In hours of meditation fraught
With mem'ries of departed days,
Comes oft a tender, loving thought
Of one who shared our youthful plays.
In gayest sports and pleasures rife
Whose happy nature reveled so,
That on her ardent, joyous life
A shadow lay, we did not know;
And bade her look one summer night
Up to the sky that seemed to hold,
In dying sunset splendor bright,
All hues of sapphire, red, and gold.
How strange the spell that mystified
Us all, and hushed our wonted glee,
As sadly her sweet voice replied,
"Why, don't you know I cannot see?"
Too true! those eyes bereft of sight
No blemish bare, no drop-serene,
But nothing in this world of light
And beauty they had ever seen.
A dozen years in gentle ruth
Their impress lent to brow and cheek,
When precious words of sacred truth
Led her the Saviour's face to seek.
Responsive unto earnest prayers
Commingling love and penitence,
A blessing came - not unawares -
In new and strange experience.
And all was light, as Faith's clear eye
A brighter world than ours divined;
For never clouds obscured the sky
That she could see, while we were blind.
Oh, it must be an awful thing
To be shut out from light of day! -
From summer's grace, and bloom of spring
In gladness words cannot portray.
But haply into every heart
May enter that Celestial Light
That doth to life's dark ways impart
A radiance hid from mortal sight.