The God of the day has vanished
    The light from the hills has fled,
And the hand of an unseen artist,
    Is painting the west all red.
All threaded with gold and crimson,
    And burnished with amber dye,
And tipped with purple shadows,
    The glory flameth high.

Fair, beautiful world of ours!
    Fair, beautiful world, but oh,
How darkened by pain and sorrow,
    How blackened by sin and woe.
The splendor pales in the heavens
    And dies in a golden gleam,
And alone in the hush of twilight,
    I sit, in a checkered dream.

I think of the souls that are straying,
    In shadows as black as night,
Of hands that are groping blindly
    In search of a shining light;
Of hearts that are mutely crying,
    And praying for just one ray,
To lead them out of the shadows,
    Into the better way.

I think of the Father's children
    Who are trying to walk alone,
Who have dropped the hand of the Parent,
    And wander in ways unknown.
Oh, the paths are rough and thorny,
    And I know they cannot stand.
They will faint and fall by the wayside,
    Unguided by God's right hand.

And I think of the souls that are yearning
    To follow the good and true;
They are striving to live unsullied,
    Yet know not what to do.
And I wonder when God, the Master,
    Shall end this weary strife,
And lead us out of the shadows
    Into the deathless life.


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

Back to Poem Index