Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
502. The Pilgrim
 
By Sarah Hammond Palfrey
 
 
A PILGRIM am I, on my way
  To seek and find the Holy Land;
Scarce had I started, when there lay
  And marched round me a fourfold band:
    A smiling Joy, a weeping Woe,        5
    A Hope, a Fear, did with me go;
    And one may come, or one be gone;
    But I am never more alone.
 
My little Hope, she pines and droops,
  And finds it hard to live on earth;        10
But then some pitying angel stoops
  To lift her out of frost and dearth,
    And bears her on before, and up,
    To taste, out of our Saviour’s cup,
    Such cheer as here she cannot find,        15
    While patiently I plod behind.
 
Thus oft I send her from below—
  Poor little Hope—for change of air.
I miss her sorely; but I know
  That God of her is taking care.        20
    And when my earthly course is done,
    To heaven’s gate I ’ll see her run
    To meet me mid the shining bands,
    With full fruition in her hands.
 
My Fear I give to Faith to still        25
  With lullabies upon her breast.
She sings to him, “Our Father’s will,
  Not ours, be done, for His is best,”
    And lays him down to sleep in bowers—
    Beneath the cross—of passion-flowers        30
    But ever yet he wakes in pain,
    And finds his way to me again.
 
But Woe,—she scarce will lose her hold.
  She sits and walks and runs with me,
And watches. Ere the sun with gold        35
  Pays to the East his entrance fee
    She stirs, and stares me in the face,
    And drives me from each stopping-place.
    A guardian angel in disguise
    Seems looking through her tearful eyes.        40
 
Perhaps she hath a charge from God
  To see that ne’er, through Satan’s camp,
I slumber on my dangerous way
  Too sound or long. A safety lamp
    Meantime by Joy is carried nigh,        45
    Somewhat aloof; for he is shy,
    Too shy within my grasp to stay,
    Though seldom is he far away.
 
Thus, fellow-pilgrims, fare we on;
  But, in what mortals call my death,        50
My Fear is doomed to die anon;
  When Woe shall leave me safe,—so saith
  My sweet-voiced Hope,—and turn to bring
  Some other soul; while Joy shall spring
  With me through heaven’s strait door, to be        55
  Forever of my company!
 

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