In golden youth, when seems the earth,
A Summer land for singing mirth,
When souls are glad, and hearts are light,
And not a shadow lurks in sight.
We do not know it, but there lays
Somewhere, veiled under evening skies,
A garden all must sometimes see,
    Gethsemane, Gethsemane,
    Somewhere his own Gethsemane.

With joyous steps we go our ways,
Love lends a halo to our days,
Light sorrows sail like clouds afar,
We laugh and say how strong we are.
We hurry on, and, hurrying, go
Close to the borderland of woe
That waits for you and waits for me;
    Gethsemane, Gethsemane,
    Forever waits Gethsemane.

Down shadowy lanes, across strange streams,
Bridged over by our broken dreams,
Behind the misty caps of years,
Close to the great salt fount of tears
The garden lies ; strive as you may,

You cannot miss it on your way.
    All paths that have been, or shall be
    Pass somewhere through Gethsemane.

All those who journey soon or late,
Must pass within the garden's gate ;
Must kneel alone in darkness there,
And battle with some fierce despair.
God pity those who cannot say :
“Not mine, but thine;” who only pray,
“Let this cup pass;” and cannot see
The purpose in Gethsemane.
    Gethsemane, Gethsemane,
    God help us through Gethsemane.

                        —Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

The Courier-Journal [Louisville] 28 Aug. 1887: 13.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.

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