Love's Opportunity

EARLY they came, yet they were come too late.
The tomb was empty ; in the misty dawn
Angels sat watching, but the Lord was gone.
Beyond earth’s clouded daybreak far was he,—
Beyond the need of their sad ministry.
Regretful stood the three, with doubtful breast;
Their gifts unneeded, and in vain their quest.
The spices, — were they wasted ? Legend saith
That, flung abroad on April’s gentle breath,
They course the earth, and evermore again
In spring’s sweet odors they come back to men.
The tender thought ? Be sure he held it dear;
He came to them with words of highest cheer,
And mighty joy expelled their heart’s brief fear.
Yet happier that morning, happier yet,
I count that other woman in her home,
Whose feet impatient all too soon had come;
Who ventured chill disfavor at the feast,
’Mid critic’s murmurs sought that lowliest Guest,
Broke her rare vase, its fragrant wealth outpoured,
And gave her gift aforehand to her Lord.
Sophie Winthrop Weitzel.