Ella Wheeler Wilcox (5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)
The God of the day has vanished,
The light from the hills has fled,
And the hand of an unseen artist
Is painting the west all red.
All threaded with gold and crimson,
And burnished with amber dye,
And tipped with purple shadows,
The glory flameth high.
Fair, beautiful world of ours!
Fair, beautiful world, but oh,
How darkened by pain and sorrow,
How blackened by sin and woe.
The splendour pales in the heavens
And dies in a golden gleam,
And alone in the hush of twilight,
I sit, in a chequered dream.
I think of the souls that are straying,
In the shadows as black as the night,
Of hands that are groping blindly
In search of a shining light;
Of hearts that are mutely crying,
And praying for just one ray,
To lead them out of the shadows
Into the better way.
And I think of the Father's children
Who are trying to walk alone,
Who have dropped the hand of the Parent,
And wander in ways unknown.
Oh, the paths are rough and thorny,
And I know they cannot stand.
They will faint and fall by the wayside,
Unguarded by God's right hand.
And I think of the souls that are yearning
To folow the good and true;
They are striving to live unsullied,
Yet I know not what to do.
And I wonder when God, the Master,
Shall end this weary strife,
And lead us out of the shadows
Into the deathless life.
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