The Light In The Window Pane.

A poem by Charles Sangster

A joy from my soul's departed,
A bliss from my heart is flown,
As weary, weary-hearted,
I wander alone - alone!
The night wind sadly sigheth
A withering, wild refrain,
And my heart within me dieth
For the light in the window pane.

The stars overhead are shining,
As brightly as e'er they shone,
As heartless - sad - repining,
I wander alone - alone!
A sudden flash comes streaming,
And flickers adown the lane,
But no more for me is gleaming
The light in the window pane.

The voices that pass are cheerful,
Men laugh as the night winds moan;
They cannot tell how fearful
'Tis to wander alone - alone!
For them, with each night's returning,
Life singeth its tenderest strain,
Where the beacon of love is burning -
The light in the window pane.

Oh, sorrow beyond all sorrows
To which human life is prone:
Without thee, through all the morrows,
To wander alone - alone!
Oh, dark, deserted dwelling!
Where Hope like a lamb was slain,
No voice from thy lone walls welling,
No light in thy window pane.

But memory, sainted angel!
Rolls back the sepulchral stone,
And sings like a sweet evangel:
"No - never, never alone!

True grief has its royal palace,
Each loss is a greater gain;
And Sorrow ne'er filled a chalice
That Joy did not wait to drain!

- - -

"Man must be perfected
By suffering," he said;
"And Death is but the stepping-stone, whereby
We mount towards the gate
Of heaven, soon or late.
Death is the penalty of life; we die,

Because we live; and life
Is but a constant strife
With the immortal Impulse that within
Our bodies seeks control -
The time-abiding Soul,
That wrestles with us - yet we fain would win.

And what? the victory
Would make us slaves; and we,
Who in our blindness struggle for the prize
Of this illusive state
Called Life, do but frustrate
The higher law - refusing to be wise."

Rightly he knew, indeed,
Earth's brightest paths but lead
To the true wisdom of that perfect state,
Where Knowledge, heaven-born,
And Love's eternal morn,
Awaiteth those who would be truly great.

With what abiding trust
He rose from out the dust,
As Death's swift chariot passed him by the way;
No visionary dream
Was his - no trifling theme -
The Soul's great Mystery before him lay:

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