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His poem

"The end of that man was peace."

"The Brewing of Soma" gives his prescription for

all earthly care and trouble:

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,

Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word,
Rise up and follow Thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee!

O calm of hills above,

Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity

Interpreted by love!

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;

Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess

The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire

Thy coolness and Thy balm;

Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;

Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!

"My Psalm" is a yet more convincing assurance of his freedom from anxiety with regard to his own future or the future of the world:

I mourn no more my vanished years:

Beneath a tender rain,

An April rain of smiles and tears,

My heart is young again.

156

66

MY PSALM'

The west winds blow, and, singing low,
I hear the glad streams run;
The windows of my soul I throw
Wide open to the sun.

No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;

But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.

All as God wills, who wisely heeds
To give or to withhold,
And knoweth more of all my needs
Than all my prayers have told!

Enough that blessings undeserved
Have marked my erring track;
That wheresoe'er my feet have swerved,
His chastening turned me back;

That more and more a Providence
Of love is understood,

Making the springs of time and sense
Sweet with eternal good;-

That death seems but a covered way
Which opens into light,

Wherein no blinded child can stray
Beyond the Father's sight;

That care and trial seem at last,
Through Memory's sunset air,
Like mountain ranges overpast,
In purple distance fair;

That all the jarring notes of life
Seem blending in a psalm,
And all the angles of its strife
Slow rounding into calm.

And so the shadows fall apart,
And so the west winds play;
And all the windows of my heart
I open to the day.

THE HUMBLE FRIEND OF GOD

157

Whittier illustrates Augustine's doctrine that humility is the fundamental grace of the Christian character. Humility is no mere self-depreciation; it is a coming down to the humus, or hard-pan, of actual fact; it is the estimate of self according to the divine standard, which is nothing less than absolute conformity to the character of God. When we compare ourselves with one another, we may be proud; when we compare ourselves with infinite purity and benevolence, we must be humble. Humility is the indispensable condition of religious knowledge, for only the childlike spirit can understand God; it is the condition of all spiritual power, for only the receptive soul can be the medium. of divine revelation. The secret of Whittier's life and work was his humble faith in God. "I believe in a living God," he said. That is the quintessence of Quakerism. "The Friends" took that name because they were first of all God's friends, and then for God's sake had become friends to suffering and sinning men. Our poet had learned that God is not far away, but a present God, a God here and now, a God reconciled to men through the infinite sacrifice of his only begotten Son, a God who reveals himself to the contrite spirit by an inner voice, condensing into a moment his works of power, and making his servants mighty to do and to endure. It is this humble faith of Whittier that has conquered criticism, has made "SnowBound" more popular than Oliver Goldsmith's "Deserted Village," or Robert Burns's "Cotter's Saturday Night," and has given his poetry, in spite of its defects of rhyme and of compression, an imperishable fame. In the last of his poems, written but a few weeks be

158 A BLAMELESS MEMORY IN DEATHLESS SONG

fore his death, and addressed "To Oliver Wendell Holmes," he sums up this faith of his life:

The hour draws near, howe'er delayed and late,

When at the Eternal Gate

We leave the words and works we call our own,
And lift void hands alone

For love to fill. Our nakedness of soul

Brings to that Gate no toll;

Giftless we come to Him, who all things gives,
And live, because He lives.

And I cannot better close my essay than by quoting the words which Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in memory of his friend:

"For thee, dear friend, there needs no high-wrought lay, To shed its aureole round thy cherished name,Thou whose plain, home-born speech of Yea and Nay Thy truthful nature ever best became.

"Best loved and saintliest of our singing train, Earth's noblest tributes to thy name belong. A lifelong record closed without a stain,

A blameless memory, shrined in deathless song."

EDGAR ALLAN POE

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