(Written on receiving a letter from a friend, T.H., who had spent the best years of his life as a missionary in Central Africa, in which he speaks of “the glorious superfluity of strength and spirits one remembers as a lad, but alas! only remembers.”)
Weep not that you no longer feel the tide
High breasting sun and storm, that bore along
Your youth on currents of perpetual song:
For in these mid-stream waters, still and wide,
A sleepless purpose the great deep doth hide;
Here spring the mighty fountains pure and strong,
That bear sweet change of breath to city throng,
Who, had the sea no breeze, would soon have died.
So though the sun shines not in such a blue,
Nor have the stars the meaning youth deviced,
The heavens are nigher, and a light shines through
The brightness that nor sun nor stars sufficed;
And on this lonely waste we find it true
Lost youth and love, not lost, are hid with Christ.