The world had chafed his spirit proud
By its wearing, crushing strife,
The censure of the thoughtless crowd
Had touched a blameless life;
Like the dove of old, from the water's foam,
He wearily turned to the ark of home.
Hopes he had cherished with joyous heart,
Had toiled for many a day,
With body and spirit, and patient art,
Like mists had melted away;
And o'er day-dreams vanished, o'er fond hopes flown,
He sat him down to mourn alone.
No, not alone, for soft fingers rest
On his hot and aching brow,
Back the damp hair is tenderly pressed
While a sweet voice whispers low:
"Thy joys have I shared, O my husband true,
And shall I not share thy sorrows too?"
Vain task to resist the loving gaze
That so fondly meets his own,
Revealing a heart that cares for praise
From him and him alone;
And though censure and grief upon him pall,
Unto to her, at least, he is all in all.
What though false friends should turn aside,
Or chill with icy look;
What though he meet the pitying pride,
The proud heart ill can brook;
There are depths of love in one gentle heart,
Whose faith with death alone will part.
Aye! well may thy brow relax its gloom,
For a talisman hast thou
'Gainst hopes that are blighted in their bloom,
'Gainst scornful look or brow -
Her heart is a high and a holy throne
Where monarch supreme thou reignest alone.
Kindly return her tender gaze,
Press closely that little hand,
Whisper fond words and soothing praise -
They are ever at thy command;
It is all the harvest she asks to reap
In return for love as the ocean deep.