Abram Joseph Ryan

(1838-1886 / USA)

Now


Sometimes a single hour
Rings thro' a long life-time,
As from a temple tower
There often falls a chime
From blessed bells, that seems
To fold in Heaven's dreams
Our spirits round a shrine;
Hath such an hour been thine?

Sometimes -- who knoweth why?
One minute holds a power
That shadows every hour,
Dialed in life's sky.
A cloud that is a speck
When seen from far away
May be a storm, and wreck
The joys of every day.

Sometimes -- it seems not much,
'Tis scarcely felt at all --
Grace gives a gentle touch
To hearts for once and all,
Which in the spirit's strife
May all unnoticed be.
And yet it rules a life;
Hath this e'er come to thee?

Sometimes one little word,
Whispered sweet and fleet,
That scarcely can be heard,
Our ears will sudden meet.
And all life's hours along
That whisper may vibrate,
And, like a wizard's song,
Decide our ev'ry fate.

Sometimes a sudden look,
That falleth from some face,
Will steal into each nook
Of life, and leave its trace;
To haunt us to the last,
And sway our ev'ry will
Thro' all the days to be,
For goodness or for ill;
Hath this e'er come to thee?

Sometimes one minute folds
The hearts of all the years,
Just like the heart that holds
The Infinite in tears;
There be such thing as this --
Who knoweth why, or how?
A life of woe or bliss
Hangs on some little Now.

Submitted: Monday, October 11, 2010

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