For years eighteen she, patient soul,
Her eyes had graveward sent;
Her earthly life was lapt in dole,
She was so bowed and bent.
What words! To her? Who can be near?
What tenderness of hands!
Oh! is it strength, or fancy mere?
New hope, or breaking bands?
The pent life rushes swift along
Channels it used to know;
Up, up, amid the wondering throng,
She rises firm and slow--
To bend again in grateful awe--
For will is power at length--
In homage to the living Law
Who gives her back her strength.
Uplifter of the down-bent head!
Unbinder of the bound!
Who seest all the burdened
Who only see the ground!
Although they see thee not, nor cry,
Thou watchest for the hour
To lift the forward-beaming eye,
To wake the slumbering power!
Thy hand will wipe the stains of time
From off the withered face;
Upraise thy bowed old men, in prime
Of youthful manhood's grace!
Like summer days from winter's tomb,
Shall rise thy women fair;
Gray Death, a shadow, not a doom,
Lo, is not anywhere!
All ills of life shall melt away
As melts a cureless woe,
When, by the dawning of the day
Surprised, the dream must go.
I think thou, Lord, wilt heal me too,
Whate'er the needful cure;
The great best only thou wilt do,
And hoping I endure.