Katharine Lee Bates

Aug. 12, 1859 - Mar. 28, 1929


Westering Heart

by Katharine Lee Bates

Westering Heart, Restless Heart, Heart of the Pioneer,
Still I wonder, wonder, what is Heaven to thee;
Lover of far horizons, eager to bring them near,
Journeying Heart, Yearning Heart, rover of land and sea.

What can stay the feet we knew,
Springing feet our meadows mourn,
From adventuring the blue
Undiscovered bourne,
Where the stars, God's wild canaries,
Sing above the ether prairies,
And the dream of time flows on
To illimitable dawn?

Tender Heart, Defender Heart, bowed with the wide world's woe,
Bearing thine own grief lightly, lightly as mortal might,
Shedding on dim, steep pathways the courage of thy glow,
Gleaming Heart, Redeeming Heart, a torch against the night;

Not the peace of Paradise
Long can hold thee, ransomed, blest,
From the old, glad sacrifice,
From the unforgotten quest,
On the wastes remotest, barren,
Watering the Rose of Sharon
Till the bleak and bitter sand
Blossoms into Holy Land.

Lifted Heart, Pain-sifted Heart, that madest death a psalm,
Pallid with sore suffering, yet kissing still the rod,
Hushed and held within some great encompassment of calm,
Soaring Heart, Adoring Heart, to whom it all is God,

What though precious gem on gem
Build the shining Zion walls,
Christ is thy Jerusalem,
Wheresoe'er His service calls.
O our Star, at rest in motion,
Lost in light, as wave in ocean,
May thy ministering bliss
Still remember what we miss.


Yellow Clover: A Book Of Remembrance
Copyright 1922
E. P. Dutton & Company, New York