Alice Cary

April 26, 1820 - 1871



by Alice Cary

Truth, with her calm and steady eyes,
Looked sternly in my face one morning,
And of the night, that closes on
Life's worn out day, I saw such warning
As sunken cheeks and gray hairs give,
And faint smiles fading into sorrow;
And hiding from the light my face,
I cried, Oh night, that knows no morrow!
Gather your solemn clouds away;
And leave me and my youth together,
And make its joys grow thick and bright
As apples in the summer weather.

And night was silent, and the sea
Was silent, and the eyes of heaven
Shut under lid-like clouds, and thus
An answer to my prayer was given.

I in a vision went, and saw
From the low grave, asunder breaking.
A face of beauty smiling like
A baby's in the cradle waking;
And heard a voice that said to me
Stay, if thou wilt, among the living;
But earth thy ancient mother is,
And rest is only of her giving.
Plain is the creed of nature's book,
Daily you read the truthful story
That when the day is dim with clouds
The twilight has the most of glory.
The tassel of the corn must fade --
The ear will grow not in its shadow,
And for the winter snow there blooms
So much the brighter harvest meadow.
So, send no more instead of praise
Through God's good purposes, a sighing,
The gray hairs and the fading cheeks
Are tokens of the glorifying.


Copyright 1855
Boston: Ticknor And Fields