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I sit beside my window,
This dull October day,
And watch the crowd that is passing
Below in the busy street;
I wonder where they are going
And why they pass this way?
The young and the old, the high and the low,
The rich and the poor all meet;
Some arrayed in silks and satins,
Graceful forms and faces fair;
And some are dirty and ragged,
And others look worn with care.
Some are God's children with souls made white,
And hearts that are free from sin,
And our Heavenly Father knoweth His own,
For He see'th the heart within;
And some are hard and cruel,
Some wicked and steeped in shame;
But was it not for sinners
To earth the Saviour came?
He came to lift them out of the mire,
To lead them nearer God;
It was for the groveling worms of earth
That His thorny path He trod.
They are going. Where are they going?
They are passing the livelong day;
Many are in destruction's road
But few in the narrow way.
They are going all from the scenes of earth
To rest in a silent bed;
For no crowds are seen and no sounds are heard
In the city of the dead.
Come, go with me to the lone graveyard
Where so many are silently sleeping;
No sound of childish laughter is heard
And here, no sighing or weeping.
No sound is heard but the requiem low
Of the wind in the tree-tops wailing,
And far away on the stormy bay
The white-sailed ships are sailing.
How changed the scene, how lone the place,
From the street, with its bustle and noise;
But they all will soon be called to go
And leave their gilded toys.
O God! I see naught but change and decay,
One hour in the sunlight's glory;
The shadow comes, and they pass away
Leaving nothing to tell their story;
And the withered leaves of the Autumn time
That rustle in every blast
Seem chanting a sad funeral dirge
For the hours that could not last;
But God knoweth best; His children all
Must pass Death's chilly portal,
But bright through the gloom of the silent tomb
Shines the glory of the immortal;
And the vanished hours are like heavenly flowers
To an earthly garden given,
To bud for the Lord of Paradise,
But gathered to bloom in Heaven.