Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
VII. Death: Immortality: Heaven
Hopefully Waiting
Anson Davies Fitz Randolph (1820–1896)
 
   “Blessed are they who are homesick, for they shall come at last to their Father’s house.”—HEINRICH STILLING.

NOT as you meant, O learnèd man, and good!
  Do I accept thy words of truth and rest;
  God, knowing all, knows what for me is best,
And gives me what I need, not what he could,
        Nor always as I would!        5
I shall go to the Father’s house, and see
  Him and the Elder Brother face to face,—
What day or hour I know not. Let me be
  Steadfast in work, and earnest in the race,
    Not as a homesick child who all day long        10
    Whines at its play, and seldom speaks in song.
 
If for a time some loved one goes away,
  And leaves us our appointed work to do,
  Can we to him or to ourselves be true
In mourning his departure day by day,        15
        And so our work delay?
Nay, if we love and honor, we shall make
  The absence brief by doing well our task,—
Not for ourselves, but for the dear One’s sake.
  And at his coming only of him ask        20
    Approval of the work, which most was done,
    Not for ourselves, but our Belovèd One.
 
Our Father’s house, I know, is broad and grand;
  In it how many, many mansions are!
  And, far beyond the light of sun or star,        25
Four little ones of mine through that fair land
        Are walking hand in hand!
Think you I love not, or that I forget
  These of my loins? Still this world is fair,
And I am singing while my eyes are wet        30
  With weeping in this balmy summer air:
    Yet I ’m not homesick, and the children here
    Have need of me, and so my way is clear.
 
I would be joyful as my days go by,
  Counting God’s mercies to me. He who bore        35
  Life’s heaviest cross is mine forevermore,
And I who wait his coming, shall not I
        On his sure word rely?
And if sometimes the way be rough and steep,
  Be heavy for the grief he sends to me,        40
Or at my waking I would only weep,
  Let me remember these are things to be,
    To work his blessèd will until he comes
    To take my hand, and lead me safely home.
 
 
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