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Your Treasure

Louisa Sarah Guggenberger Bevington

Long years, you say, you had a quest,
You sought a blossom fine and sweet
And perfect, that your soul might greet
To win and cherish as your best.

And once, and more than once, you seemed
To near it in your wandering,
Yet only grasped a common thing
That mocked you where you yearned and dreamed.

And as you told me of your grief,
And how you yielded up your hope,
There laughed through tears on heaven's slope
A little wingèd angel-thief;

Who, as your aspiration went,
Dead, as you thought, in your spent cry,
Caught it and held it up on high,
And to my soul a whisper sent:

"He shall not miss it, strong and meek;
Though scarcely on the soil of earth
Spring his fine treasure into birth,
Yet may you find it if you seek.

And having won it, bear it home
To where his heart still craveth it,
Where, though in desolation's pit,
His will and spirit yet o'ercome."

Then softened in me all my strife,
Then seemed my chains to set me free,
Then, dear, there dawned in peace to me
The first clear morning of my life.

What once you sought, behold I found,
The rare, strange blossom, passing sweet;
For when I bowed me at your feet
I saw it where they met the ground.

And as you moved your soul away
I reached my hand and grasped the flower,
And from that saddest, holiest hour
Here in my bosom doth it stay.

And here I hold it till you turn,
And by its perfume know its face;
Till having gazed a little space
Its finding you may care to learn.

Of how, because you longed for it,
And it was worthy to be born,
It sprang on that same tearful morn
Close in the shadow of your feet.

And how, because my head was low
For my most deep repentance' sake,
I, all unworthy, saw it wake,
I, even I, beheld it grow.

And how, as since, the days have run,
Repentant days that teach like years,
In floods of ruthful, tender tears
I've watered it, the dearly-won!

And how some hearts that caught its scent,
Hearts very weak and very pressed,
Took courage, and with hope possessed,
Smiled the more sweetly as they went.

Ay, how one came in soiled despair
And saw the radiance of your flower,
And felt the pureness of its power,
And woke to aspiration fair.

'Tis starnge that I, whose heart, earth-bound,
Believed not in it, for my fate
Should find and prize it even late,
While you who sought it, never found.

'Tis sweet that loving made the way
To penitence, so weeping laid
My whole soul meekly in the shade
Where your dear doubted treasure lay.

Your eyes were sunward as you sought;
What recks the eagle where his wings
Screens from the sun-fire weaker things?
'Twas so your searching came to nought.

You could not see it, reason clear;
'Tis I must nurture hour by hour
That pure, sweet, half-unearthly flower
That sprang in your own shadow, dear.

And if, and when, you turn and see,
It may be you'll forget the past,
And smile, and own your crown at last,
Your holy, high love victory.

Home :: Poetry :: Friendship (4) :: Your Treasure

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