Birth and Death

In that home was joy and sorrow, where an infant first drew breath,
While an aged sire was drawing near unto the gate of death;
His feeble pulse was failing, and his eye was growing dim—
He was standing on the threshold, when they brought the babe to him:
While to murmur forth a blessing on the little one he tried,
In his trembling arms he raised it, pressed it to his lips—and died!
An awful darkness resteth on the path they both begin,
Who thus met upon the threshold: going out and coming in!
Going out into the triumph, coming in into the fight;
Coming in unto the darkness, going out unto the light!
Although the shadow deepened in the moment of eclipse,
When he passed through the dread portal, with the blessing on his lips;
And to him who bravely conquers, as he conquered in the strife,
Life is but the way of dying, death is but the gate of life!
Yet awful darkness resteth on the path we all begin,
When we meet upon the threshold—going out, and coming in!

—Isabella Craig