Out of the Silence, Speak!

OUT of the Silence, speak !
Could you come through the waiting door,
With your eyes aglow, and your heart on fire,
As in days that are no more ;
Could you enter the wide old hall,
And the chambers fresh and fair,
And wander from room to room
In the sweet, flower-scented air;
Could you tread the garden paths
Where your own white lilies grow,
And the rose you planted blooms
As in Junes of long ago, —
Would you be glad to come
Back to the world of men,
Back to your wonted place
In its busy ranks again ?
Out of the Shadows, speak!
O tender heart and true,
Could you return, return,
All would be changed for you !
For others sit at your board,
And others warm at your fire,
And over your walls strange shadows flit
As the flames leap high and higher.
The boys that you knew are bearded men,
And the bearded men are gray,
And the weight of years has touched them all, —
You would know them not to-day !
There are children born of your line
To whom you are but a name, —
A name, a dream, and a shadow,
A phantom they scarce can claim.
Out of the Glory, speak !
From your high heaven afar,
Where you need no light of sun,
Nor ray of moon or star,
Would you come to earth if you could
To face the changes here,
The sense of a strange new world
With its alien atmosphere ?
For lo! as the Century dies
It spreadeth its mighty hands,
And a change comes over the deep
And over the waiting lands,
As the youngest born of the Nations
Lifts Destiny’s proud gage,
Accepting for weal or woe
Life’s lofty heritage !
Out of the Glory, speak !
As your changeless years roll on,
Would ye return if ye could,
O ye who have lost and won ?
Julia C. R. Dorr.