The Gates of Time and Other Poems

by Frederick George Scott


 

VAN ELSEN


 

God spake three times and saved Van Elsen’s soul;
He spake by sickness first and made him whole;
                    Van Elsen heard Him not,
                    Or soon forgot.

God spake to him by wealth, the world outpoured

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Its treasures at his feet, and called him Lord;
                    Van Elsen’s heart grew fat
                    And proud threat.

God spake the third time when the great world smiled,
And in the sunshine slew his little child;

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                    Van Elsen like a tree
                    Fell hopelessly.

Then in the darkness came a Voice which said,
“As thy heart bleedeth, so my heart hath bled,
                    As I have need of thee,

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                    Thou needest Me.”

That night Van Elsen kissed the baby feet,
And kneeling by the narrow winding-sheet,
                    Praised Him with fervent breath
                    Who conquered death.

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