The Hills of God

Always your aims for me were large and high:
Your love was generous as the love of heaven.
The best things life could hold you wanted given
Into my keeping. So sweet years went by,
While watchful angels seemed to hover nigh,
And all the blessings for which you had striven
Were showered on me. Then the link was riven.
Was it your own great soul that bade joy die?

Ever you sought perfection for me, dear,
And all that makes for ultimate true gain.
Perchance because your vision was so clear
You understood that only those attain
The Heights Beyond, who walk through valleys here.
Was it for this you left me to such pain?

But oh, you did not, could not comprehend
How dark the valley and how long the road,
(Since days are years in sorrow's drear abode)
Or else you had gone nearer to the end
Before you left me. Pain, to be our friend,
Must use a chastening hand but not a goad,
Nor wound us so we cannot lift our load
Up the hard winding pathways that ascend.

I think you must be startled and amazed,
Seeing the blooddrops where my feet have trod.
But I think, too, your opened eyes have gazed
Upon celestial summits, beauteous, broad,
And that you know the trail my soul has blazed
Lead somehow, sometime, to those Hills of God.

Sonnets of sorrow and triumph. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
New York: George H. Doran, 1918.

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