As we speed out of youth's sunny station
The track seems to shine in the light,
But it suddenly shoots over chasms,
And sinks into tunnels of night.
And the hearts that were brave in the morning
Are filled with repining and fears,
As they pause at the City of Sorrow
Or pass through the Valley of Tears.
But the path for this perilous railway,
The hand of the Master has made,
With all its discomforts and dangers,
We need not be sad or afraid.
Roads leading from dark into darkness--
Roads plunging from gloom to despair,
Wind out through the tunnels of midnight--
To fields that are blooming and fair.
Though the rocks and their shadows surround us,
Though we catch not one gleam of the Day,
Above us fair cities are laughing--
And dipping white feet in some bay;
Down over the hills in the West,
The last final end of our journey,
There lies the great Station of Rest.
'Tis the Grand Central point of all railways,
All roads unite here when they end,
'Tis the final resort of all tourists;
All rival lines meet here and blend;
All tickets, all mile-books, or passes,
If stolen, or begged for, or bought,
On whatever road or division,
Will bring you at last to this spot.
If you pause at the City of Trouble,
Or wait in the Valley of Tears,
Be patient, the train will move onward,
And sweep down the track of the years.
Whatever the place is you seek for--
Whatever your game or your request,
You shall come at the last with rejoicing
To the beautiful Station of Rest.
--Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Charlotte Home-Democrat 31 Oct. 1884: 1.
Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.
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