Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
Personal Poems
ANOTHER hand is beckoning us,
  Another call is given;
And glows once more with Angel-steps
  The path which reaches Heaven.
Our young and gentle friend, whose smile        5
  Made brighter summer hours,
Amid the frosts of autumn time
  Has left us with the flowers.
No paling of the cheek of bloom
  Forewarned us of decay;        10
No shadow from the Silent Land
  Fell round our sister’s way.
The light of her young life went down,
  As sinks behind the hill
The glory of a setting star,        15
  Clear, suddenly, and still.
As pure and sweet, her fair brow seemed
  Eternal as the sky;
And like the brook’s low song, her voice,—
  A sound which could not die.        20
And half we deemed she needed not
  The changing of her sphere,
To give to Heaven a Shining One,
  Who walked an Angel here.
The blessing of her quiet life        25
  Fell on us like the dew;
And good thoughts where her footsteps pressed
  Like fairy blossoms grew.
Sweet promptings unto kindest deeds
  Were in her very look;        30
We read her face, as one who reads
  A true and holy book:
The measure of a blessed hymn,
  To which our hearts could move;
The breathing of an inward psalm,        35
  A canticle of love.
We miss her in the place of prayer,
  And by the hearth-fire’s light;
We pause beside her door to hear
  Once more her sweet “Good-night!”        40
There seems a shadow on the day,
  Her smile no longer cheers;
A dimness on the stars of night,
  Like eyes that look through tears.
Alone unto our Father’s will        45
  One thought hath reconciled;
That He whose love exceedeth ours
  Hath taken home His child.
Fold her, O Father! in Thine arms,
  And let her henceforth be        50
A messenger of love between
  Our human hearts and Thee.
Still let her mild rebuking stand
  Between us and the wrong,
And her dear memory serve to make        55
  Our faith in Goodness strong.
And grant that she who, trembling, here
  Distrusted all her powers,
May welcome to her holier home
  The well-beloved of ours.


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