The Sparrow's Fall
Too frail to soar -- a feeble thing --
It fell to earth with fluttering wing;
But God, who watches over all,
Beheld that little sparrow's fall.
'Twas not a bird with plumage gay,
Filling the air with its morning lay;
'Twas not an eagle bold and strong,
Borne on the tempest's wing along.
Only a brown and weesome thing,
With drooping head and listless wing;
It could not drift beyond His sight
Who marshals the splendid stars of night.
Its dying chirp fell on His ears,
Who tunes the music of the spheres,
Who hears the hungry lion's call,
And spreads a table for us all.
Its mission of song at last is done,
No more will it greet the rising sun;
That tiny bird has found a rest
More calm than its mother's downy breast
Oh, restless heart, learn thou to trust
In God, so tender, strong and just;
In whose love and mercy everywhere
His humblest children have a share.
If in love He numbers ev'ry hair,
Whether the strands be dark or fair,
Shall we not learn to calmly rest,
Like children, on our Father's breast?
Home, Sweet Home
Sharers of a common country,
They had met in deadly strife;
Men who should have been as brothers
Madly sought each other's life.
In the silence of the even,
When the cannon's lips were dumb,
Thoughts of home and all its loved ones
To the soldier's heart would come.
On the margin of a river,
'Mid the evening's dews and damps,
Could be heard the sounds of music
Rising from two hostile camps.
One was singing of its section
Down in Dixie, Dixie's land,
And the other of the banner
Waved so long from strand to strand.
In the land where Dixie's ensign
Floated o'er the hopeful slave,
Rose the song that freedom's banner,
Starry-lighted, long might wave.
From the fields of strife and carnage,
Gentle thoughts began to roam,
And a tender strain of music
Rose with words of "Home, Sweet Home."
Then the hearts of strong men melted,
For amid our grief and sin
Still remains that "touch of nature,"
Telling us we all are kin.
In one grand but gentle chorus,
Floating to the starry dome,
Came the words that brought them nearer,
Words that told of "Home, Sweet Home."
For awhile, all strife forgotten,
They were only brothers then,
Joining in the sweet old chorus,
Not as soldiers, but as men.
Men whose hearts would flow together,
Though apart their feet might roam,
Found a tie they could not sever,
In the mem'ry of each home.
Never may the steps of carnage
Shake our land from shore to shore,
But may mother, home and Heaven,
Be our watchwords evermore.
Outcast from her home in Syria
In the lonely, dreary wild;
Heavy hearted, sorrow stricken,
Sat a mother and her child.
There was not a voice to cheer her
Not a soul to share her fate;
She was weary, he was fainting,
And life seemed so desolate.
Far away in sunny Egypt
Was lone Hagar's native land;
Where the Nile in kingly bounty
Scatters bread with gracious hand.
In the tents of princely Abram
She for years had found a home;
Till the stern decree of Sarah
Sent her forth the wild to roam.
Hour by hour she journeyed onward
From the shelter of their tent,
Till her footsteps slowly faltered
And the water all was spent;
Then she veiled her face in sorrow,
Feared her child would die of thirst
Till her eyes with tears so holden
Saw a sparkling fountain burst.
Oh! how happy was that mother,
What a soothing of her pain;
When she saw her child reviving,
Life rejoicing through each vein
Does not life repeat this story,
Tell it over day by day ?
Of the fountains of refreshment
Ever springing by our way.
Here is one by which we gather,
On this bright and happy day,
Just to bask beside a fountain
Making gladder life's highway.
Bringing unto hearts now aged
Who have borne life's burdens long,
Such a gift of love and mercy
As deserves our sweetest song.
Such a gift that even heaven
May rejoice with us below,
If the pure and holy angels
Join us in our joy and woe.
May the memory of the giver
In this home where age may rest,
Float like fragrance through the ages,
Ever blessing, ever blest. .
When the gates of pearl are opened
May we there this friend behold,
Drink with him from living fountains,
Walk with him the streets of gold.
When life's shattered cords of music
Shall again be sweetly sung;
Then our hearts with life immortal,
Shall be young, forever young.