Is There A Brighter World? Beneath the surface of a shallow lake,
Where grasses rank and mammoth rushes grow,
And playful fish their bright fins nimbly shake,
Or madly chase each other to and fro,
The larva of the dragon-fly submerged,
In family large, had taken their abode,
And tho' the waves around them daily surged,
Upon the bending grass they safely rode.

Content were they with life as there enjoyed;
To brighter world they never had aspired,
Had they not felt unfilled an aching void,
And heard a whisper of a life attired
In sapphire robes, 'midst gleams of golden light,
Above their present world, so dank and chill,
Where all day long they wing their happy flight
From roses sweet to lovely daffodil.

But some essayed to doubt if it were so.
Who ever had returned to make it known?
One volunteered that he would upward go,
To bring report; but he was not full grown,
And fainted when he reached the surface air,
And falling, round a reed his form he curled,
Then cried, "Delusion! I have been up there.
And could not find a trace of brighter world."

Yet others could not still the voice within,
Nor disregard tradition's hopeful tale.
They called a council; but it caused some din,
And all their efforts seemed at first to fail,
Till one wise head suggested this compact,
Expressed, no doubt, in dragon larva lore;
That if that brighter life were actual fact,
And all who rose in golden sunshine soar,

Each must return to tell the joyful tale,
And o'er the waters shake his sapphire wings,
So all may see, and their bright comrade hail,
And talk about the tidings which he brings.
Now each returns, clad in his bright array;
Skims o'er the grassy lake with gauze-like wings,
Attracts their notice by his plumage gay,
And they collect to hear the news he brings.

Then, holding fast, he buzzes out his song,
And seeks to woo them to a brighter world.
And he succeeds; for see, the larva strong
Climb up the grass, and soon in light enfurled,
They wait the growth of wings, then burst their shells,
Shake loose the gauzy folds, and soar away;
But soon come back again their joy to tell,
And help their brothers to a brighter day.

Perhaps our loved ones do not always stay
In far-off heaven, and leave their comrades lone;
Tho' yet unseen, may hover round our way,
And see our toil, and hear our daily moan;
And tho' we cannot see their lovely forms,
Nor hear full well the whispers of their voice,
May shield us oft in life's tempestuous storms,
And when we victories gain, with us rejoice.

They whisper thoughts, perhaps, if not word sounds,
And help to waken longings for our rest;
And thus allure our hearts beyond earth's bounds
To joy and home, upon our Saviour's breast.

O may I heed the whispers which they bring,
And seek the grace which will my heart prepare
To climb from earth and take on angel wing,
Then soar aloft, to find my home up there!

Is There A Brighter World? by Joseph Horatio Chant