[To the memory of Edwin B. Foster, a member of the Howards, who nobly sacrificed his own life for others, and in remembrance of those unknown to fame or friends who have silently followed in the steps of our Saviour.]
The shadow of death is around us all,
And life is a sorrowful thing;
For the winds sweep by with a mournful sigh,
And sad are the tidings they bring.
He is dead--and the strong, brave life that he gave
Seemed offered to God in vain;
Yet he died, Christ-like, in a labor of love,
'Mid sorrow and death and pain.
And why should we sorrow--the crown is his
And the glory of life is won;
Though he died when his labor was just begun,
Yet the work of his life is done.
The beautiful South is a land of death,
Where the shadows darken the sun;
And the moans of the dying are heard in the night
When the deeds of the day are done.
The sunlight falls with a dreary gleam
On the cities where ruin is spread,
And the rain beats down with a mournful sound
On the graves of the silent dead.
Yet high in the heavens a Hand is stretched,
That treasures the deeds of love;
And the lives gone out in the darkness below
Are wrapped in the glory above.
The North bends down in her icy pride
And kisses the land of the sun;
Love joins them both in a flood of tears,
And the glory of peace is won.
The hand that was dyed in a brother's blood
Now eases that brother's pain;
And the hearts that in life were driven apart,
In death are united again.
Then why should we sorrow--our God is love,
And lives are not lived in vain;
Bright hope still shines like a star of night
In the shadow of death and pain.