For his anger endures but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Lo! there comes hitherward, as though making for the door of our house, a dark form. She is slightly bent, but not with age. She has a pale face, her step is languid, like one who has travelled far and is weary; and her tears flow so fast that she cannot wipe them away. Our hearts begin to beat as we watch her coming. Will she pass, or will she stay? "I am a pilgrim," quoth she; "will you lodge me for the night? I am sad, I am weary, for I go round all the world. There are few houses I do not enter, and in some I make a long stay. You ask me for nay name. I bear it in my countenance: my name is 'Weeping.' You wish to see my credentials? It is sufficient that none have been able to keep me outside a door inside of which I wished to be; and I know that, notwithstanding your beating hearts, you will not be inhospitable; you will take me in." "Yes, for a little, to refresh you, to dry your tears if we can; and then to bid you farewell." "Nay, I can make no stipulation; I go where I am sent, I depart at the appointed time!" And now "Weeping" has her chamber in the house. And the blinds are drawn down, and hearts are hushed, and feet tread lightly; and, listening all night through, we hear sighs, and sometimes almost sobs, from the chamber where "Weeping" lies sleepless. And we, too, are sleepless and anxious, and one and another find the tears flowing down their own cheeks as the night goes on; and the house is all full of pain and fear, as the dark thought begins to take shape that she may have come to make a long stay. We are up betimes, for now we are amongst them "that watch for the morning." Some flush of it is in file eastern sky, "and see," we say to each other, "it is beginning to gild yon mountain peaks, and to flow down into the valleys," when, hearing some footsteps approaching — lo! there comes one whose step is elastic, whose form is graceful, who bears the dawn on his countenance, who sheds light around him as he walks. Again our hearts begin to beat, but this time it is with fear that he will not stay. "I am a pilgrim," quoth he; "I have been long on the road; I can walk through the darkest night and not stumble; I have come to you this morning with the dawn, and I wish to stay." Ah, welcome indeed I if we knew where to give thee room; we have but one guest-chamber, and it is occupied. There came to us last night a poor pilgrim named 'Weeping,' who for the first hours of night sighed and wept so sorely that it seemed as if she were breathing her life away. For the last two hours she seems to have fallen on sleep, for her chamber is silent, and it would be cruel to awake her." "Weeping? ah, I know her well. My name is Joy. Weeping and Joy have bad the world between them since the world was made. But, now, look in your room. You will find it empty. I met her an hour ago on the other side of the hill. She told me she had slipped silently away, and that I would be just in time to smile good-morning to you from my bright face, while she went on her way towards the valley of Baca, and the deeper, darker valley of the shadow of death. Weeping will not come here again to-night, and I shall stay, or I shall leave some of the light of my presence to fill the house. We often meet, and always part. But there is a time coming, in the Land of Light, from which I come, when even she will not know how to weep. "For the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces."
(A. Raleigh, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.