Across the sodden fields 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 day;
   To grasses and to green-hung trees.
They lived, grew old and passed away.
   And yet, not satisfied with these,
The cruel Autumn will not pass
   Without this keen, 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 His "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!
   Forever youthful, never old!
How can we think she died too soon?
   What though life's story was half told?
Wiser than all earth 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.

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

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