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WRITTEN AT THE GRAVE OF * *
Stop traveller beside this grave,
Which Spring has newly dress'd,
Tho' long with doubt oppress'd;
Earth claims her kindred clay,
His spirit soars away.
He talked with seers and sages gray,
And with the men of mark,
But groping in the dark;
The mystery of her plan,
A sad and solemn man.
The world was but a prison house,
Problems profound all hung around,
With writing on the wall;
He pondered on its lore,
Still thundered "Sleep no more."
Oh how he strove but to believe,
And all earth would have given,
To have the hope of heaven;
"This ye can only know— The realms are dumb from which you come,
As those to which you go."
This living world is all afloat,
Time bears it like a breath,
Upon the shores of death;
Upon her mighty river,
For ever and for ever.
And mystery on mystery,
Encompassed him around, He never caught the light he sought,
But darkness more profound; Go, traveller, nor deem his heart,
Was hardened as the clod, He sought the light, he sank in night,
Then leave him to his God.
A rev'rent man was Elder John,
Tho' but of low degree,
And garters at his knee,
Wi' wally flaps ahin,
And buckles on his shoon,
Which hapt him snugly roun, His waistcoat far below his waist,
Wi' pouches hangin' doun.
They didna ken the man wha judged,
And yet for that auld world garb,
For tho' it was sae eldrish auld,
And wisdom-laden were the words,
And to the idols o' the age,
For simple souled sincerity,
Tho' he was doure on points o' faith,
He cherished love and hope, And if he bore a grudge ava,
That grudge was to the Pope;
A Godly race he ran,
Like ony ither man,
Nae ane was better known,
As guid auld Elder John.
Though he was nae philosopher,
Tho' logic he had nane,
A system o' his ain;