An English Missal

UPON these pages clear,
I, Basil, write my name;
My task is ended, and the year
Is gone out like a flame.
Martin and John the good
Are gathered to the blest;
It seems an hour ago they stood
And praised me with the rest.
I missed them when they went;
Then filled this page with palms,
And visioned both — their travail spent —
Harbored in heavenly calms.
The tulips in this book,
Their like our garden knew;
All spring what could I do but look,
And set them here anew ?
The saint that yonder walks
Smiles from our chancel space;
But Mary with the lily-stalks
Has mine own mother’s face.
The thought of her was sweet
As blossoms are in Lent;
Green turned our winding convent street,
And all the world was Kent.
Kent lilies round her nod ;
I drew her staid and fair;
I drew her with the Son of God
Clasped to her bosom there.
Brief is our life, and dark;
The grave shall hold us fast;
Yet find I here in old Saint Mark
That only Right shall last.
I, Basil, too, must heed,
Else were my task undone.
I praise him for this one.
God has more books than I can read;
Lizette Woodworth Reese.