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  Heart Pictures  


Two pictures, strangely beautiful, I hold
In Mem'ry's chambers, stored with loving care
Among the precious things I prized of old,
And hid away with tender tear and prayer
The first, an aged woman's placid face
Full of the saintly calm of well spent years,
Yet bearing in its pensive lines the trace
Of weariness, and care, and many tears.

We sat together in our Sabbath-place,
Through the hushed hours of many a holy day,
And sweet it was to watch the gentle grace
Of that bowed form with those who knelt to pray,
And lifted face, when swelled the sacred psalm,
And the rich promise of God's word was shed
Upon her waiting heart like heavenly balm,
And all our souls with angels' meat were fed.

There came a day when missing was that face,--
The form so meekly bent in prayer was gone,--
Those lifted eyes, so radiant with praise,
Beyond the spheres in saintly beauty shone!--
Another crowned one swelling Heaven's high train--
Another loved one missed from our low shrine,--
Hers, the rich wealth of Heaven's eternal gain,--
A tearful trust, a tender memory, mine!

The other picture is a young, fair child--
A gentle boy, with curls of clustered gold,
And calm, dark eyes that seldom more than smiled
As though his life had grown too grave and old--
Too full of earnest thought, and anxious quest,
And silent searchings after things unseen;--
And yet, the quiet child seemed strangely blest,
As one who inly feels Heaven's peace serene.

So close beside me, in his Sabbath-place,
He sat or stood, my hand I might have laid
Upon his rippling curls, or dropped a kiss
Upon his fair, white forehead while he prayed.
Frail, beauteous boy!--upon his little feet--
Though all unheard by love's quick ear attent--
E'en then Death's chilling waters sternly beat,
And with his sweet child-hymns their murmurs blent.

One Sabbath day there was an empty seat--
I could not see for blinding tears that hour--
But by and by, where Living waters meet
In God's fair Paradise, I saw my flower,
And ceased to weep!-Henceforth with loving care,
These precious pictures in my heart I shrine--
Food for sweet thought, incentive to sweet prayer--
My own, until I reach their home and mine!

       - Mrs. J. C. Yule

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