Comfort Ye, Comfort Ye My People

A poem by Nora Pembroke


By the sad fellowship of human suffering,
By the bereavements that are thine and mine,
I venture--oh, forgive me!--with this offering,
I would it were to thee God's oil and wine

I too have suffered--is it then surprising
If to thy sacred grief I enter in?
My spirit draws near thine all sympathising,
Sorrow, like love, "makes aliens near of kin."

Thou'rt weeping for thy gathered blossoms, mother,
The Lord had need of him, and called him soon,
In morning freshness ere the dews of heaven
Were chased before the burning rays of noon.

Thy darling child, like to God's summer blossom,
Was very fair and pleasant to the sight,
The sunny head that rested on thy bosom,
The loving eyes that were thy heart's delight,

Made passers by look on him with a blessing,
Saying, "His mother is not all alone;
Her widowed sorrow, in that sweet caressing,
Will find some comfort for the lost and gone."

I miss him from the doorway, blythely playing,
Where he has turned on me his winsome face;
O lovely child! I said, "by lone hearth staying,
Thou'lt make the widow's home a pleasant place."

The little one, thy comfort in affliction,
With the sweet face earnest and innocent;
That was to thee like Heaven's benediction,
Such children for a little while are lent.

Pilgrims and strangers are we in our praying,
But birds of passage to a brighter shore;
Yet build our nests as if for ever staying,
We and our treasures, here for evermore

But when our nestlings by the Master taken
Up in God's Paradise to safely sing;
And by the empty nest we wail forsaken,
In the great loneliness of suffering.

We lift our tearful eyes in sorrow's blindness,
And cry to him for very helplessness,
Then He reveals to us His loving kindness,
Even in bereavements 'tis His will to bless

He says "Look up," that we may cease our crying,
Seeing our treasures in glad safety there,
And there our hearts will be--for upward flying
In longing love, they cast off earthly care

Thy home is silent all the rippling laughter,
The sound of racing feet at play, is fled,
But he, thy darling led up by the Master,
Is with the living--not among the dead

Thy little ones within the jasper portals,
There by the crystal sea he learns to sing
The new song only known to the immortals,
Promoted to the presence of the King

The child is safe within the Father's mansion
Safe on the hills of God in light to range,
And heart ties stretched unto their utmost tension,
Will, by God's touch, to golden harp strings change

On which the Master will soft music render,
Soothing with heaven's airs thy pathway dim,
On which love's messages all sweet and tender
Shall run between thee and thy angel kin

And they will draw thee upward growing stronger,
When flesh and heart will one day faint and fail,
And thou wilt care for earthly things no longer,
For all thy treasures are within the veil

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