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The Real
by [?]

The leaf is faded, and decayed the flower,
The birds have ceased to sing in wayside bower,
The babbling brook is silenced by the cold,
And hill and vale the frost and snow enfold.
The life we see seems hasting to the tomb
Nor sun, nor star, relieves the dismal gloom;
The good man suffers with the base and vile,
And honesty and truth give place to guile.

Things are not always as they seem to be;
The outer surface only man may see.
The summer sleeps beneath the quilt of snow,
Behind the clouds is hid the solar glow,
The babbling brook will burst its icy bands,
And birds will sing, and trees will clap their hands.
The fallen leaf has left a bud behind,
And flowers will bloom of brightest hue and kind;
For when we look beneath the outward crust
With vision clear, and free from worldly lust,
We will behold a brighter world than this,
With less of curse and much of noble bliss;
For God’s kind hand in all our conflicts here
Is clearly seen and doubts must disappear;
The end He has in view is most benign;
The fire will dross consume and gold refine.