Kate Harrington

(1831 - 1917 / Allegheny City, Pennsylvania)

Oh, Why Was He Taken?


Dedicated To Mrs. H. Scott Howell, of Keokuk, Iowa.


Oh, why was he taken in Life's early morning,
Your only ―your darling ―your beautiful boy ?
Why torn from your arms without whisper or warning,
The babe that you counted a ' well-spring of joy'?
Did you love him too much? Had the future been gilded
With pictures too golden ―with dreams all too bright ?
And was it for this all the hopes you had builded
Were shattered and crushed by Death's withering blight?

What is home to you now, since your hearthstone may never
Be gladdened again by that innocent face,―
Since the light of his presence has vanished forever,
And no sign of the soft, dimpled hands you may trace?
As you sit by his crib, with his playthings beside you,
His rattle and ring and each worn, broken toy,
Your empty hearts reach for the treasure denied you,
And your lips wait in vain for the kiss of your boy.

And you wonder, so often, if this folded blossom
In Eden's own light will unopened remain ;
When your bud is reclaimed, will you clasp to your bosom
Your baby ―the dear, angel-baby― again?
Will it rest on His breast, 'as a child,' till your coming,
In His sheltering arms Who bade children to come ?
'Oh, yes !' Faith replies, as you look through the gloaming:
'Not lost ―only waiting with Jesus― at Home.'

Submitted: Monday, July 14, 2014

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