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Bees in Amber A Little Book of Thoughtful Verse

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    "See this my garden,      Large and fair!"—Thus, to his friend,The Philosopher.

  "'Tis not too long,"His friend replied,With truth exact,—  "Nor yet too wide.  But well compact,   If somewhat cramped    On every side."

Quick the reply—  "But see how high!—  It reaches up  To God's blue sky!"

Not by their sizeMeasure we menOr things.Wisdom, with eyesWashed in the fire,Seeketh the thingsThat are higher—Things that have wings,Thoughts that aspire.


The Mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small—So soft and slow the great wheels go they scarcely move at all;But the souls of men fall into them and are powdered into dust,And in that dust grow the Passion-Flowers—Love, Hope, Trust.

Most wondrous their upspringing, in the dust of the Grinding-Mills,And rare beyond the telling the fragrance each distils.Some grow up tall and stately, and some grow sweet and small,But Life out of Death is in each one—with purpose grow they all.

For that dust is God's own garden, and the Lord Christ tends it fair,With oh, such loving tenderness! and oh, such patient care!In sorrow the seeds are planted, they are watered with bitter tears,But their roots strike down to the Water-Springs and the Sources of the        Years.

These flowers of Christ's own providence, they wither not nor die,But flourish fair, and fairer still, through all eternity.In the Dust of the Mills and in travail the amaranth seeds are sown,But the Flowers in their full beauty climb the Pillars of the Throne.

NOTE.—The first line only is adapted from the Sinngedichte ofFriedrich von Logau.


But once I pass this way,And then—no more.But once—and then, the Silent DoorSwings on its hinges,—Opens … closes,—And no moreI pass this way.So while I may,With all my might,I will essaySweet comfort and delight,To all I meet upon the Pilgrim Way.For no man travels twiceThe Great Highway,That climbs through Darkness up to Light,—Through NightTo Day.


King's Daughter!Wouldst thou be all fair,Without—within—Peerless and beautiful,A very Queen?

Know then:—Not as men build unto the Silent One,—With clang and clamour,Traffic of rude voices,Clink of steel on stone,And din of hammer;—Not so the temple of thy grace is reared.But,—in the inmost shrineMust thou begin,And build with careA Holy Place,A place unseen,Each stone a prayer.Then, having built,Thy shrine sweep bareOf self and sin,And all that might demean;And, with endeavour,Watching ever, praying ever,Keep it fragrant-sweet, and clean:So, by God's grace, it be fit place,—His Christ shall enter and shall dwell therein.Not as in earthly fane—where chaseOf steel on stone may strive to winSome outward grace,—Thy temple face is chiselled from within.


Better in bitterest agony to lie,Before Thy throne,Than through much increase to be lifted up on high,And stand alone....