"The Hidden Servants and Other Very Old Stories" from Francesca Alexander. American illustrator, author, and translator from the Italian (1837 - 1917).
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Che Bag of Sand /ff thai land of desolation Where, mid dangers manifold, Lost in heavenly contemplation, Iksert fathers dwelt of old, Lay a field tthere grass teas growing Green beneath the palm-trees' shade; And a. spring, forever flowing, Life amid the stillness made. There a. brotherhood, incited 'By one hope and purpose high, Came to dwell In faith united, 'Pray and labour, five and die. SMighty "teas the love that bound them. Each to each, in that Itoild lana, Where the desert closed around them, One dead 'toaste of rocks and sand, Saving tohere, to rest their eyes on, While they dreamed of hills divine, 'Blue, above the low horizon, Stretched the mountains' foavy tine. There could nought of earth remind them, cNjr disturb their dreams and prayers; They had left the luorld behind themf Fett no more its joys and cares. Far from all its keary bustle, Will subdued, and mind at ease, They could hear the palm-trees rustle In the early morning breeze. When the bell, to prayer inviting. From the lotu-built belfry rang. They could hear the birds uniting With them "tohile the psalms they sang. From the earth their labour brought them All they needed scanty fare. Life of toil and hardship taught them, Though at peace, the cross to bear. This is all their record: never Can Oze hope the rest to know ! Shames and deeds are lost forever. In the mist of long ago; cAnd of all that life angelic dftiher shadow left, nor trace. Save this tale, a precious relicr In its %ise and saintly grace I This, above the darkness lifted By the truth that in it by. On the sea of time has drifted, And is still our own to-day. Listen to it, it may teach us Wisdom, 'frith its "frords of gold! Let thisfar-off blessing reach its From the desert saints of old. ...