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CCCVII

A FALLEN SISTER

She is not dead--she only sleeps:

Life in her soul its vigil keeps:

Though dark the cloud, though strong the chain,

Speak, LORD, and she shall live again!

She is not dead:--it cannot be

That one whose soul so glow'd to Thee,

Should all that's past renounce, forget:

Oh, speak, and she will hear Thee yet!

245

I know, I know how once she felt,

Have seen her spirit mount and melt;

Have join'd with her in praise and prayer;

And cannot, dare not, yet despair.

She that has fed on heavenly food,

Conversed with all that's great and good,

Can she descend from heights like these

To the poor worldling's husks and lees?

She, that has bent at Heaven's high throne,

And claim'd its glories for her own,

An earthworm here again to crawl?--

She cannot long so deeply fall.

I know how many for her feel,

And plead with Thee to come and heal:

I know the power of faith and prayer,

And cannot, will not, yet despair.

Sunk as she is in thoughtless sin,

Thou hast a still, small voice within--

A silent hold--a hidden plea--

That needs but quickening, LORD, from Thee.

A look of Thine can life impart;

A tone of Thine can touch the heart:

The very grave Thy voice must hear:

Oh, bid it reach our sister's ear!

Press on her soul each pang and scorn,

Which Thou for her of old hast borne;

And ask how she will dare to meet

Thy face upon a judgment-seat.

Talk to her heart, and bid her feel;

Send forth Thy word to wound and heal;

Melt off her spirit's icy chain,

And bid her rise and live again,

She is not dead:--Thy voice Divine

Can still revive, and seal her Thine;

And 'neath Thy wing she yet may dwell,

More meek, more safe, than ere she fell.

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