(Miss Jennie Blanchard, age'd 21.)
Across the sodden field we gaze,
To woodlands, painted gold and brown;
To hills that hide in purple haze,
And proudly wear the autumn's crown.
Oh, lavish autumn! fair, we know,
And yet we cannot deem her so.
The blossoms had their little day;
The grasses, and the green-hung trees.
They lived, grew old, and passed away.
And yet, not satisfied with these,
The cruel autumn could not pass
Without this last fell stroke: alas!
"Alas," we cry, because God's ways
Seem so at variance with our own,
And grieving through the nights and days,
We see not that His love was shown
In gathering to the "Harvest Home,"
Our lost one, from the grief to come.
Oh, Tears! she will not have to weep!
Oh, Woes! she will not have to bear!
For her, who fell so soon asleep,
No furrowed face, no whitened hair.
And yet we would have given her these,
In lieu of heavenly victories.
How weak the strongest mortal love!
How selfish in its tenderness!
How God's angelic host above
Must wonder at our blind distress!
We see her still grave, dark and dim,
And they see only Heaven and Him.
Perpetual youth! oh, priceless boon!
For ever youthful: never old!
How can we think she died too soon?
What though life's story was half told?
Wiser than all earth's seers, to-day,
Is this fair soul, that passed away.
Magician, sage, philosopher,
With all their vast brain-wealth combined,
Are only babes, compared with her:
This soul, that left the "things behind,"
And, "reaching to the things before,"
Gained God, through Christ, forevermore.
Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.
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