As the bright flowers start from their wintry tomb,
I've sprung from the depths of futurity's gloom;
With the glory of Hope on my unshadowed brow,
But a fear at my heart, earth welcomes me now.
I come and bear with me a measureless flow,
Of infinite joy and of infinite woe:
The banquet's light jest and the penitent prayer,
The sweet laugh of gladness, the wail of despair,
The warm words of welcome, and broken farewell,
The strains of rich music, the funeral knell,
The fair bridal wreath, and the robe for the dead,
O how will they meet in the path I shall tread!
O how will they mingle where'er I pass by,
As sunshine and storm in the rainbow on high!
Yet start not, nor shrink from the race I must run;
I've peace and repose for the heart-stricken one,
And strength for the weary who fail in the strife,
And falter before the great warfare of Life.
I've love for the friendless; a morrow of light
For him who is wrapped in adversity's night;
With trust for the doubting, a field for the soul,
That has dared from its loftier purpose to stroll,
To haste to the conflict, and blot out the shame
With the deeds of repentance, and resolute aim
To seek, 'mid the struggle with tempters and sin,
The high meed of virtue triumphant to win.
Unsullied and pure is the future's broad scroll,
And as leaf after leaf from its folds shall unroll,
The warp and the woof they are woven by me,
But the shadows and coloring rest, mortal, with thee.
'T is thine to cast over those leaves as they bloom,
The sunlight of morning or hues of the tomb;
Though moments of sorrow to all must be given,
There 's a vista of light that leads up to heaven;
Nor utterly starless the path thou hast trod,
Till thy heart prove a traitor to thee or to God.