I HAVE a friend, I cannot tell just where,
For out of sight and hearing he has gone ;
Yet now, as once, I breathe for him a prayer,
Although his name is carved upon a stone.
O blessed habit of the lips and heart !
Not to be broken by the might of Death.
A soul beyond seems how less far apart,
If daily named to God with fervid breath.
If one doth rest in God, we well may think
He overhears the prayer we pray for him :
Our Father, let us keep the sacred link;
The hand of Prayer Love’s holy lamp doth trim.
Were the dear dead once heedless of God’s will,
Needing our prayer that he might be forgiven ;
Against all creeds, that prayer uprises still,
With the dim trust of pardon and of heaven.
Charlotte F. Bates.