Edwin Arnold

The Mourner

The shadows fall from the minster-wall,
Where a weeping mother prayed,
Resting the knee in her agony
On the stone where her son was laid.
And she thought how her son was asleep below
With the grave-cloth bound on his boyish brow,
And how little he recked of his mother now,
Or her lonely tears;
Till she had no heart to end her prayer,
But almost prayed to end her pain;
To sicken and die and be buried there
Beside her dear dead boy again.

The sunlight came with its golden flame
Down through the holy fane,
Losing its gold in the histories told
With colours on the pane.
But it took for the gold as it flickered through
Purple and crimson and silver with blue,
And on like an Angel of God it flew
To the painted wall,
Where a dead man rose from the place of the dead,
And lighting all, it lighted best
The letters along a scroll that said,
'Jesus lachrymatus est.'

And her face grew bright at the blessed sight,
As she rose from the sunny spot;
And she spake in joy to the sleeping boy,
'Rest on! I call thee not.
'I will call thee again when the years are done;
'I can wait till I see thee an angel, son;
'For the Christ that doth sorrow and save is one.
We shall meet again.
'His pity knows the sad salt tear,
'His power turns the tear to joy;
'And pity and power shall bring us there,
'Where there is never parting, boy.' 

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