Anniversary - Poem by Kate Harrington
When first thou went'st my yearning heart,
With many a low, despairing cry,
Kept reaching up, with sudden start,
As if to draw thee from the sky.
And when they said, ' Be reconciled,
And know it is the Father's will,'
I only moaned, ' My child ! my child !'
And held my arms to clasp thee still.
But vain were all my pleading cries ;
My prayers, my longings, all were vain :
My wild lament might reach the skies,
But could not call thee back again.
And time wrore on ; the summer days
Dragged, with slow step, their weary length,
While upward still my earnest gaze
Would wander as I prayed for strength.
I mind me when the great eclipse
Spread its black wings o'er earth and sea,
With eager eye and parted lips
I stood to catch a glimpse of thee.
I said, ' If from the jasper wall
The angels lean toward friends below,
Thy searching glance may on me fall,
Thy gentle whispers soothe my woe.'
But through the shade no gleam was given,
I could but watch and yearn-in vain ;
It only met the frown of Heaven,
My wish to call thee back again.
And so, as each returning year
Brought round the day that claimed my child,
With bursting sigh and blinding tear
It found me still unreconciled.
It seemed so long to watch and wait:
My selfish sorrow made me blind ;
I charged my bitter loss to fate,
Nor felt the chastening Hand was kind.
The wild, wild wish to have thee here,
Close to my heart, in joy or pain,
Was all I craved,—to feel thee near,
To have thee, darling, back again.
But now, oh now, I see it all
With vision clear, with open eyes,
And would not, if I could, recall
Thy deathless spirit from the skies.
Nor will I think the blight and gloom
That sear and shade a world like ours,
Are known to those who rest in bloom
And brightness in the Eden bowers.
Forever safe, forever blest,
'Tis sweet to know thou wilt remain ;
And from that true, abiding Rest
I would not call thee back again.
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