Ella Wheeler Wilcox (5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)
When I shall meet God’s generous dispensers
Of all the riches in the heavenly store,
Those lesser gods, who act as Recompensers
For loneliness and loss upon this shore,
Methinks abashed, and somewhat hesitating,
My soul its wish and longing will declare,
Lest they reply: ‘Here are no bounties waiting:
We gave on earth, your portion and your share.’
Then shall I answer: ‘Yea, I do remember
The many blessings to my life allowed;
My June was always longer than December,
My sun was always stronger than my cloud,
My joy was ever deeper than my sorrow,
My gain was ever greater than my loss,
My yesterday seemed less than my to-morrow,
The crown looked always larger than the cross.
‘I have known love in all its radiant splendour,
It shone upon my pathway to the end.
I trod no road that did not bloom with tender
And fragrant blossoms, planted by some friend.
And those material things we call successes,
In modest measure, crowned my earthly lot.
Yet there was one sweet happiness that blesses
The life of woman, which to me came not.
‘I knew the hope of motherhood; a season
I felt a fluttering heart beat ‘neath my own;
A little cry- then silence. For that reason
I dare, to you, my only wish make known.
The babe who grew to angelhood in heaven,
I never watched unfold from child to man.
And so I ask, that unto me be given
That motherhood, which was God’s eternal plan.
‘All womanhood He meant to share its glories;
He meant us all to nurse our babes to rest.
To croon them songs, to tell them sleepy stories,
Else why the wonder of a woman’s breast?
‘He must provide for all earth’s cheated mothers
In His vast heavens of shining sphere on sphere,
And with my son, there must be many others –
My spirit children who will claim me here.
‘Fair creatures by my loving thoughts created –
Too finely fashioned for a mortal birth –
Between the borders of two wounds they waited
Until they saw my spirit leave the earth.
In God’s great nursery they must be waiting
To welcome me with many an infant wile.
Now let me go and satisfy this longing
To mother children for a little while.’
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