John Greenleaf Whittier

(17 December 1807 – 7 September 1892 / Haverhill, Massachusetts)

Vesta Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier


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,
   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;
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
   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!

Submitted: Saturday, January 4, 2003

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