ON READING A MOTHER'S LETTER
'TWERE heaven enough to fill my heart
If only one would stay,
Just one of all the million joys
God gives to take away.
If I could keep one golden dawn,
The splendour of one star,
One silver glint of yon bird's wing
That flashes from afar;
If I could keep the least of things
That make me catch my breath
To gasp with wonder at God's world.
And hold it back from death,
It were enough; but death forbids.
The sunset flames to fade,
The velvet petals of this rose
She only asked to keep one thing,
The joy-light in his eyes
God has not even let her know
Where his dead body lies.
O Grave, where is thy victory?
O Death, where is thy sting?
Thy victory is ev'rywhere,
Thy sting's in ev'rything.