One bitter time of mourning, I remember,
  When day, and night, my sad heart did complain,
My life, I said, was one cold, bleak December,
  And all its pleasures, were but whited pain.

Nothing could rouse me from my sullen sorrow,
  Because you were not near, I would not smile.
And from a score of joys refused to borrow
  One ray of light, to gild the weary while.

But all the blessing God has given, scorning,
  I wept because we were so far apart,
And spent my time in idle, aimless mourning,
  That only kept the grief fresh in my heart.

God pity me! I know now we were nearer,
  With all these intervening miles of space--
That life was sweeter, and the future dearer,
  Than when to-day I met you, face to face!

God meant to break it gently--ease my anguish,
  But I rebelled, and caviled at His will.
Now, seeing His great wisdom, though I languish,
  In bitter pain, I trust His mercy still.

Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.

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