My heart that otherwise was glad
    (So much God gives to make it so)
This golden afternoon is sad
    And troubled with another's woe;
And stranger that I am, I fain
    Would send some solace for her pain.

My talks with Sorrow have been brief;
    She touched my robe, in gliding by--
And when I've chanced to meet with Grief,
    He's passed me with averted eye.
Yet, through another's pain, I see
    Sometimes a glimpse of what may be.

And of all griefs that mortals know--
    Of all that pierce the human heart,
There seems to me no other woe
    Like that which rends the soul apart,
When a fond mother sees death's night
    Sealing an infant's eyes of light.

The babe endeared by pangs and fears
    That she has suffered for its sake,
The babe she watched above with tears,
    Or sat through lonely nights, awake.
And sang some tender lullaby--
    And all for this--to see it die.

And thinking of that stricken one,
    Who weeps to-day a double loss,
Who sees a darkness o'er the sun
    Made by her overshadowing cross--
And thinking how her poor arms ache--
    I shed some tears for her sad sake.

Yet in the perfect pure sunlight--
    In flowers of beauty and perfume,
I think God puts these souls so white,
    And gives them back to us in bloom.
'Tis thus we have the light and flowers,
    By yielding up these buds of ours.

In every golden, burnished ray,
    In every sweet unfolding leaf,
Sad mother, you may find to-day
    Some little solace in your grief.
God lets them comfort you this wise,
    Until you join them in the skies.

Poems of reflection. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Chicago, M.A. Donohue & company [c1905].

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