TWO watchers sit beside the dead;
From hour to hour no prayer is said,
For they are dumb and he is dead;
And snows are curling round his head,
While God's white wings are overspread.
None heard the sad heart's stifled cry—
None, save the two dogs sitting by,
And Him that watcheth in the sky.
It passed, that agonizing cry,
In gloom as deep as Calvary!
None saw the last look on that face
Where men once read such love and grace;
No hand was nigh to smooth the trace
Of anguish on that pallid face.
The patient hero wins the race
Alone in God's great dwelling-place.
Earth folded him with gentle hands
In Nature's whitest swathing-bands;
A snow-veil on his face and hands,
And silence on those northern lands.
Thro' cloud-rift in the west expands
A light from where God's temple stands.
The new-born soul in Paradise
Forgets the snow and wintry skies—
Forgets, in sunny Paradise,
The dying body's agonies.
Lord, keep him till that form shall rise
To meet Thee coming in the skies!