Life-Crystals

The world is full of crystals.  Swift, or slow,

The world is full of crystals.  Swift, or slow,
Or dark, or bright their varying formation;
From pure calm heights of fair untrodden snow
To fire-wrought depths of earliest creation.
And life is full of crystals; forming still
In myriad-shaped results from good and seeming ill.


Yes!  forming everywhere; in busiest street,
In noisiest throng.  Oh! how it would astound us,
The strange soul-chemistry of some we meet
In slight and passing talk!  For all around us,
Deep inner silence broods o'er gems to be.
Now, in three visioned hearts trace out the work with me!


A heart that wonderingly received the flow
Of marvels and of mysteries of being,
Of sympathies and tensions, joy and woe;
Each earnestly from baser substance freeing:
A great life-mixture, full, and deep, and strong:
A sudden tough, and lo! it crystalized in Song.


Then forth it flashed among the souls of men
Its own prismatio radiance, brightly sealing
A several rainbow for each several ken;
The secrets of the distant stars revealing;
Reflecting many a heart's clear rays unknown,
And, freely shedding light, it analyzed their own.


A heart from which all joy had ebbed away,
And grief poured in a flood of burning anguish,
Then sealed the molten glow;  till, day by day,
The fires without, within, began to languish:
Then "afterward" came coolness; all was well,
And from the broken crust a shining crystal fell.


A mourner found, and fastened on her breast
The soft-hued gem, the prized by mourners only;
With sense of treasure gained she sought her rest,
No longer wandering in the twilight lonely;
The Sorrow-Crystal glittering in the dark,
While faith and hope shone out to greet its starry spark.


A heart where emptiness seems emptier made
By colorless remains of tasteless pleasure;
ONE came, and pitying the hollow shade,
Poured in his own strong love in fullest measure;
Then shadowed it with silent falling night,
And stilled it with the solemn Presence of His might.


A little while, then found the Master there
Love-Crystals sparkling in the joyous morning;
He stooped to gaze, and smiled to own them fair,
A treasured choice for His own rich adorning;
Then set them in His diadem above,
To mingle evermore with His own light and love.

~ Frances Ridley Havergal