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

Frederick George Scott b. 1861

Van Elsen

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

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;

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,

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.