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GATES, Ellen M.H.


I Shall Not Cry Return

I Shall not cry Return! Return!
— Nor weep my years away;
But just as long as sunsets burn,
— And dawns make no delay,
I shall be lonesome — I shall miss
Your hand, your voice, your smile, your kiss.

Not often shall I speak your name,
— For what would strangers care
That once a sudden tempest came
— And swept my gardens bare,
And then you passed, and in your place
Stood Silence with her lifted face.

Not always shall this parting be,
— For though I travel slow,
I, too, may claim eternity
— And find the way you go;
And so I do my task and wait
The opening of the outer gate.


Beautiful Hands

Such beautiful, beautiful hands,

They’re neither white nor small;

And you, I know, would scarcely think

That they were fair at all.

I’ve looked on hands whose form and hue

A sculptor’s dream might be,

Yet are these agéd wrinkled hands

Most beautiful to me.


Such beautiful, beautiful hands!

Though heart were weary and sad

These patient hands kept toiling on

That the children might be glad.

I almost weep when looking back

To childhood’s distant day!

I think how these hands rested not

When mine were at their play.


Such beautiful, beautiful hands!

They’re growing feeble now,

And time and pain have left their mark

On hand, and heart and brow.

Alas! alas! the nearing time–

And the sad, sad day to me,

When ‘neath the daisies, out of sight,

These hands must folded be.


But, oh! beyond the shadowy lands,

Where all is bright and fair,

I know full well these dear old hands

Will palms of victory bear;

When crystal streams, through endless years,

Flow over golden sands,

And where the old are young again,

I’ll clasp my mother’s hands.


Sleep Sweet

Sleep sweet within this quiet room,

O thou, whoe'er thou art,

And let no mournful yesterdays

Disturb thy peaceful heart.


Nor let tomorrow mar thy rest

With dreams of coming ill:

Thy Maker is thy changeless friend,

His love surrounds thee still.

Forget thyself and all the world,

Put out each garish light:

The stars are shining overhead -

Sleep sweet! Good night! Good night!