Verses for Easter
William Howe Cuyler Hosmer
From Later Lays and Lyrics
“The ostrich leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in the dust.” Job—xxix : 14
Unstudied verses let me weave,
While ring the bells of Easter Eve,
And eggs of many hues that gleam,
Gifts to the children, be my theme!
By Job, that holy man of old,
Of the wild ostrich we are told,
Who hides beneath the covering sand,
Her bright eggs in a weary land,
In grave unmarked by mortal eye,
In the mute dust, her treasures lie,
Until the desert sun imparts
A vital heat to embryo hearts.
Globed are the coffins that confine
Th’ unsheltered brood by law divine,
And after burial, all unheard
Is mourning by the mother-bird.
When her maternal task is wrought
She speeds away by instinct taught
That One who marks the sparrow’s fall
Sepulchral seeds to life will call.
Types of the resurrection morn
Rise the young birdlings, desert-born,
And, though a mother’s care denied,
Eternal love will food provide.
Thus faith consigns, in holy trust,
Her loved and lost to burial dust,
Assured, though gone the quick’ning breath,
That endless life is born of death.