Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
 
V. Death and Bereavement
Van Elsen
Frederick George Scott (1861–1944)
 
GOD spake three times and saved Van Elsen’s soul;
He spake by sickness first and made him whole;
    Van Elsen heard him not,
    Or soon forgot.
 
God spake to him by wealth, the world outpoured        5
Its treasures at his feet, and called him Lord;
    Van Elsen’s heart grew fat
    And proud thereat.
 
God spake the third time when the great world smiled,
And in the sunshine slew his little child;        10
    Van Elsen like a tree
    Fell hopelessly.
 
Then in the darkness came a voice which said,
“As thy heart bleedeth, so my heart hath bled,
    As I have need of thee,        15
    Thou needest me.”
 
That night Van Elsen kissed the baby feet,
And, kneeling by the narrow winding sheet,
    Praised Him with fervent breath
    Who conquered death.        20
 
 
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