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Santa Christina
by [?]

Saints are God’s flowers, fragrant souls
That His own hand hath planted,
Not in some far-off heavenly place,
Or solitude enchanted,
But here and there and everywhere,–
In lonely field, or crowded town,
God sees a flower when He looks down.

Some wear the lily’s stainless white,
And some the rose of passion,
And some the violet’s heavenly blue,
But each in its own fashion,
With silent bloom and soft perfume,
Is praising Him who from above
Beholds each lifted face of love.

One such I knew,–and had the grace
To thank my God for knowing:
The beauty of her quiet life
Was like a rose in blowing,
So fair and sweet, so all-complete
And all unconscious, as a flower,
That light and fragrance were her dower.

No convent-garden held this rose,
Concealed like secret treasure;
No royal terrace guarded her
For some sole monarch’s pleasure.
She made her shrine, this saint of mine,
In a bright home where children played;
And there she wrought and there she prayed.

In sunshine, when the days were glad,
She had the art of keeping
The clearest rays, to give again
In days of rain and weeping;
Her blessed heart could still impart
Some portion of its secret grace,
And charity shone in her face.

In joy she grew from year to year;
And sorrow made her sweeter;
And every comfort, still more kind;
And every loss, completer.
Her children came to love her name,–
“Christina,”–’twas a lip’s caress;
And when they called, they seemed to bless.

No more they call, for she is gone
Too far away to hear them;
And yet they often breathe her name
As if she lingered near them;
They cannot reach her with love’s speech,
But when they say “Christina” now
‘Tis like a prayer or like a vow:

A vow to keep her life alive
In deeds of pure affection,
So that her love shall find in them
A daily resurrection;
A constant prayer that they may wear
Some touch of that supernal light
With which she blossoms in God’s sight.