LIFE’S LIGHT AND SHADE
How strangely in this life of ours,
Light falls upon the darkest shade!
How soon the thorn is hid by flowers!
How Hope, sweet spirit, comes to aid
The heart oppressed by care and pain;
She whispers “all shall yet be well!”
We listen to her magic strain,
And yield the spirit to her spell.
How oft, when Love is like a bird
Whose weary wing droops o’er the sea,
While not an answering tone is heard,
She spies a verdant olive tree;
And soon within that shelt’ring bower,
She pours her very soul in song;
While other voices wake that hour,
Her gentle numbers to prolong.
Thus, when this heart is sad and lone,
As memory wakes her dirge-like hymn,
When Hope on heavenward wing hath flown,
And earth seems wrapped in shadows dim —
O! then a word, a glance, a smile,
A simple flower, or Childhood’s glee,
Will each sad thought, each care beguile,
Till joy’s bright fountain gushes free.
To-day its waters gladly stirr’d,
For Peace was nigh —that gentle Dove,
And sweet as song of forest bird,
Came the low voice of one I love;
And flowers, the smile of Heaven, were mine,
They whisper’d, “Wherefore art thou sad?
Of love, we are the seal and sign,
We come to make thy spirit glad.”
Thus, ever, in the steps of grief,
Are sown the precious seeds of joy;
Each fount of Marah hath a leaf,
Whose healing balm we may employ.
Then, ‘mid life’s fitful, fleeting day,
Look up! the sky is bright above!
Kind voices cheer thee on thy way!
Faint spirit! trust the God of Love!
American Female Poets ©1820 Caroline May