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CCXCIII

DUST TO DUST

Oh blessing, wearing semblance of a curse,

We fear thee, thou stern sentence!--yet to be

Link'd to immortal bodies were far worse

Than thus to be set free.

For mingling with the life-blood through each vein

The venom of the serpent's bite has run,

And only thus might be expell'd again--

Thus only health be won.

Shall we not then a gracious sentence own,

Now since the leprosy has fretted through

The entire house, that Thou wilt take it down,

And build it all anew?

Build it this time (since Thou wilt build again),

A holy house, where righteousness may dwell;

And we, though in the unbuilding there be pain,

Will still affirm,--'tis well.

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