My life has been a summer day complete,
Teeming with pleascres, tender, pure, and sweet.
But tiny clouds have ever dimmed the sky,
And they have quickly passed, and floated by.
Oh, seldom in this thorny world of ours,
Is mortal's pathway so bestrewn with flowers.
Fragrant and fair, they ever blow and bloom,
Untouched by chilling frosts, and wintry gloom.
And I thank God, for all his tenderness,
And from my very soul adore, and bless
Him who has cast my lines in pleasant ways,
And crowned with joy and happiness my days.
But sometimes, though the sun shines clear and bright,
And all the world seems full of joy and light,
A nameless shadow, none but I can see,
Falls on my heart, hushing its melody.
A nameless, voiceless shadow; but I know
It tells of future agony and woe.
Some mighty sorrow, vague and undefined,
But dark, and awful, waits for me, behind
That shadowy cloud. Something of woe and tears--
Of grief, and anguish, is the future years.
It floats away, and I rejoice again,
With all my warm young heart untouched by pain.
But ever and anon I see it loom,
Over my life, and feel its awful gloom.
Oh God! I know not what is hidden there.
But give me strength to suffer and to bear.
Oh guide my soul! and teach me how to pray,
And make my spirit stronger every day.
Upon Thy mighty arm, oh! let me rest,
And lean. And when Thou deemest best,
Reveal, my Father, what is hid behind
The nameless shadow, vague, and undefined.
Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.
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