Poems: Old and New

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 thereat.

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;      

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                  As I have need of thee,  
                  Thou needest Me.” [Page 108]

That night Van Elsen kissed the baby feet,
And kneeling by the narrow winding sheet,      

                  Praised Him with fervent breath
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                  Who conquered death. [Page 109]