by Adelaide Anne Procter
Nothing resting in its own completeness
Can have worth or beauty: but alone
Because it leads and tends to farther sweetness,
Fuller, higher, deeper than its own.
Spring’s real glory dwells not in the meaning,
Gracious though it be, of her blue hours;
But is hidden in her tender leaning
To the Summer’s richer wealth of flowers.
Dawn is fair, because the mists fade slowly
Into Day, which floods the world with light;
Twilight’s mystery is so sweet and holy
Just because it ends in starry Night.
Childhood’s smiles unconscious graces borrow
From Strife, that in a far-off future lies;
And angel glances (veiled now by Life’s sorrow)
Draw our hearts to some belovèd eyes.
Life is only bright when it proceedeth
Towards a truer, deeper Life above;
Human Love is sweetest when it leadeth
To a more divine and perfect Love.
Learn the mystery of Progression duly:
Do not call each glorious change, Decay;
But know we only hold our treasures truly,
When it seems as if they passed away.
Nor dare to blame God’s gifts for incompleteness;
In that want their beauty lies: they roll
Towards some infinite depth of love and sweetness,
Bearing onward man’s reluctant soul.