A Lyric of Life by Frances Fuller Victor

Said one to me: "I seem to be—

Like a bird blown out to sea,

In the hurricane's wild track—

Lost, wing-weary, beating back

Vainly toward a fading shore,

It shall rest on nevermore."

Said I: "Betide, some good ships ride,

Over all the waters wide;

Spread your wings upon the blast,

Let it bear you far and fast:

In some sea, serene and blue,

Succor-ships are waiting you."

This soul then said: "Would I were dead—

Billows rolling o'er my head!

Those that sail the ships will cast

Storm-waifs back into the blast;

Omens evil will they call

What the hurricane lets fall."

For my reply: "Beneath the sky

Countless isles of beauty lie:

Waifs upon the ocean thrown,

After tossings long and lone,

To those blessed shores have come,

Finding there love, heaven, and home."

This soul to me: "The seething sea,

Tossing hungry under me,

I fear to trust; the ships I fear;

I see no isle of beauty near;

The sun is blotted out—no more

'Twill shine for me on any shore."

Once more I said: "Be not afraid;

Yield to the storm without a dread;

For the tree, by tempests torn

From its native soil, is borne

Green, to where its ripened fruit

Gives a sturdy forest-root.

"That which we lose, we think we choose,

Oft, from slavery to use.

Shocks that break our chains, tho' rude,

Open paths to highest good:

Wise, my sister soul, is she

Who takes of life the proffered key."