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  No Solitude  

 

"Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?"

I stood where ocean lashed the sounding shore
With his unresting waves, and gazed far out
Upon the billowy strife. I saw the deep
Lifting his watery arms to grasp the clouds,
While the black clouds stooped from the sable arch
Of the storm-darkened heavens, and deep to deep
Answered responsive in the ceaseless roar
Of thunders and of floods.

                                                     "Here, then, I am alone,
And this is solitude, "I murmured low,
As in the presence of the risen storm
I bowed my head abashed. "Alone?"--
The echoing concave of the skies replied,--
"Alone?"--the waves responded, and the winds
In hollow murmurs answered back--"Alone?"

"Thou canst not be alone, for God is here!
Yon mighty waste of waters, whose deep voice
Goes up unceasingly to heaven, He holds
E'en as a drop within His hollow hand!
He makes His dark pavillion stormy clouds;
The winds and thunders are His uttered voice;
And the red flames that blaze athwart the sky
Are but the lightnings of His awful glance!"

I stood at eve, where, high in upper air,
A mountain reared its solitary head,
Bathing its forehead in the ruddy light
Of cloudless sunset. Like a snowy veil
The white mist gathered o'er the distant plain,
While, over all, the sunset heavens shone
In burning glory, and the blushing West
Gathered all gorgeous hues into a wreath
Of wondrous radiance to twine around
The temples of her monarch, ere he sought
The chambers of his rest.

                                                    Full-orbed the moon
Rode slowly up the east; while, one by one,
Spirits of night lighted the lamps of heaven.
"This is to be alone!"--I whispered low,
For nature's solemn beauty had a spell
To awe my soul to silence.

                                                        "What, alone?"--
Murmured the mountain wind, as round my brow
It waved its rustling pinions. "What, alone?"--
Low voices questioned from the sighing pines,--
"Alone?"--the stars repeated to my soul--
"In the Eternal's presence, canst thou stand,
While, from above, His awful glories look,--
While all, around, beneath thee, and within,
Attest His presence, and thus idly deem
Thou art alone? No; thou art not alone,
For God is here!"

                                                 It was a summer noon.
The soft, south wind made music 'mid the boughs
Of the cool forest, whence glad bursts, of song
Floated unceasing. On a mossy bank
Starred with pale flowers, I laid me down to rest,
Yet not to slumber. Tenderly, the sky
Glanced like a loving spirit through the leaves;
And, ever and anon, like fleecy gold,
The yellow sunbeams dropped amid the gloom
Startling the shadows. Twas a hallowed scene!
Each waving leaf seemed Instinct with glad life,
And every sound was richly freighted with
The wealth of harmony.

                                             "Is this to be alone?"
I inly questioned, yet my secret soul
Needed from Nature no responsive voice;
For my whole being, with a thrill of joy.
Replied;--"In all the universe of God,
There is no solitude!"

                                             O soul of mine,
Joy in thy wealth of being!--in the power
To grasp the Infinite where'er thou turn'st;--
To see Him, feel Him near, yet most of all,
Him to adore and love;--to hear His voice
In every breeze, in every gentle chime
Of the sweet waters, in the song of birds,
The hum of insects, and all deeper tones
Of Nature's wondrous music;--yet, far more,
To recognize His Spirit's gentle voice
Unto thy spirit, whisp'ring tenderly--
"I am thy Father, thy Redeemer, thine
Amid the devious paths that checker earth,
And thine in Heaven!"

       - Mrs. J. C. Yule


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