Sunday, May 13, 2012

Woman: The Dawn of Love

In celebration of Mother's Day, we present the following lines - taken from the latter half of Augusta Joyce Crocheron's poem "Woman: The Dawn of Love" - as reprinted from Augusta Joyce Crocheron, Wild Flowers of Deseret: A Collection of Efforts in Verse (Salt Lake City, UT: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1881), 128-132:
The mother's lot: like Christ to weep,
While loved ones, wearied, sink in sleep;
The mother's lot, like Him to bear
The burden of their wrongs, and wear
A name assailed, if by that cost,
A soul were saved that else were lost.
He died, that souls of men might live;
She, life-long sacrifice doth give.

Too often on her brow doth press
The cruel thorns of thanklessness;
And oft her life its peace hath missed,
Betrayed, too, by a Judas' kiss.
Forget not in thy misery,
The heritage He gave to thee,
To bear, like Him, earth's griefs, and win
A triumph o'er the world within
Thy narrow sphere; and then to share
Reward that greatest love doth bear.

Never recorded to His name -
Stern judgment on thee, weak and shamed;
His charity and wisdom turned
The accuser's blow, and hearts that burned
To wreak their hate and cruelty,
In shame and silence, turned from thee.
And she who came with perfumes sweet,
And, weeping, washed the Savior's feet,
Though sinful, mercy found, and heard
From lips divine, the blest reward -
"Thy sins are all forgiven thee,
And this shall thy memorial be."

For thee, what miracles He wrought!
Thy dead to life again He brought;
The widow's mite He blessed, and she
Lives in His sacred history.
Where'er is told His life divine,
There woman's faith is intertwined.
Never recorded to thy name -
The deed or word, that tongue might claim,
In proof that woman's soul denied
Belief in Him. Though crucified,
Though cold, inanimate, He lay,
In faith and love no fear could stay
(Mightiest love that ever moved
Hearts in mortality, and proved
Their faith and constancy to Him),
They came while morning yet was dim
In the far east, and weeping brought
Their sacred gifts, and found Him not!

To them who waited through the night
In desolation, for the light,
Nor even yet their Lord could yield
From their existence, He revealed
Fulfillment of His prophecy -
To rise in immortality!
They, who undoubting faith had kept,
O'erjoyed, enraptured, kneeling wept,
With inspiration's eyes to see
The resurrection's mystery!
The first to see the risen Lord,
Thou wert not first to doubt His word;
But first, the wondrous joy to share,
And the glad word ordained to bear.

Though thou hast lost that light of love,
Which made thy path so bright before,
Or though its glow hath died away,
To shine again for thee no more,
Despair not thou, nor silent turn,
In wounded pride, to steel thy heart
Against the faithless, when anew
Thy tender thoughts relenting start.

Too oft demanded in love's name,
Such test of thy soul's strength we see,
As greater minds would scorn to bear,
And justice ne'er would claim of thee;
'Till wearied, tired, and sore at heart,
Thy nature riseth swift to turn
'Gainst all the record of thy hopes,
And all their promises to spurn.

Despair not thou, though 'gainst thy soul
The wrongs of earth seem to prevail;
Though thou hast yielded all and bowed,
Weeping above life's phantoms pale,
Thy heritage to love, and give
Thy life's best deeds unto thy kind;
Though that reward, which thou hast earned,
Thou ne'er within this life shalt find.

Still to thy standard be thou true,
And passing time to thee shall bring
Perfected fruit of all thine aims;
And griefs that bowed thee shall take wing.
The ideal within thy soul
Is not a fiction of thine own;
Hereafter thou wilt see in full,
That which was here but dimly shown.

Thou art not least and last of all
In heaven's mighty plan;
Thou too hast place of high degree
Beside the soul of man.
Thou wilt not there be counted weak,
Though led by love thou art;
In that high court where all is love,
Such thought will bear no part.
There wilt thou in thy soul redeemed
The jewel, love, retain;
And wear it as a diadem,
Not as a master's chain.

Unto this blest and grand estate,
The gospel lights the way;
Trust thou its guidance, let no doubts
Thine onward footsteps stay.
O, be thou like the blessed five -
Thy robes and lamp prepare,
At marriage supper of the Lamb,
A name and place to share.

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