Home  »  The Oxford Book of English Verse  »  690. Vesta

Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

John Greenleaf Whittier. 1807–1892

690. Vesta

O CHRIST of God! whose life and death 
  Our own have reconciled, 
Most quietly, most tenderly 
  Take home thy star-named child! 
Thy grace is in her patient eyes,         5
  Thy words are on her tongue; 
The very silence round her seems 
  As if the angels sung. 
Her smile is as a listening child’s 
  Who hears its mother’s call;  10
The lilies of Thy perfect peace 
  About her pillow fall. 
She leans from out our clinging arms 
  To rest herself in Thine; 
Alone to Thee, dear Lord, can we  15
  Our well-beloved resign. 
O, less for her than for ourselves 
  We bow our heads and pray; 
Her setting star, like Bethlehem’s, 
  To Thee shall point the way!  20