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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

George Francis Savage-Armstrong b. 1845

“The Father”

IF it were only a dream,

Were it not good to cherish,

Seeing to lose its beam

Is in despair to perish—

Maker and Father and Friend,

Yearning in pity to guide me,

Leading me on to the end,

Ever in love beside me,

Never in storm or gloom

Deaf to a cry of sorrow,

Kindling beyond the tomb

Light of an endless morrow?

Yea, if ’t were only a dream,

Better it were to clasp it,

Brood on it until it seem

Real as the lives that grasp it.

Helpless, feeble, and lost,

Groping in Wisdom’s traces,

Whirl’d like a leaf, and tost

Out in the awful spaces,—

Oh, how the heart betray’d

Bounds, into life upleaping,

Trusting that He who made

Watch over all is keeping!