A poem by Hattie Howard

The days are long and lonely,
The weary eve comes on,
And the nights are filled with dreaming
Of one beloved and gone.

I reach out in the darkness
And clasp but empty air,
For Rutha dear has vanished -
I wonder, wonder where.

Yet must it be: her nature
So lovely, pure, and true;
So nearly like the angels,
Is she an angel too.

The cottage is dismantled
Of all that made it bright;
Beyond its silent portal
No love, nor life, nor light.

Where are the hopes I cherished,
The joys that once I knew,
The dreams, the aspirations?
All, all are perished too.

Yes, love's dear chain is broken;
From shore to shore I roam -
No comfort, no companion,
No happiness, no home.

Oh could I but enfold her
Unto my heart once more,
If aught could e'er restore me
My darling as before;

If God would only tell me -
Such myriads above -
Why He must needs have taken
The one I loved to love;

If God would only tell me
Why multitudes are left,
Unhappy and unlovely,
And I am thus bereft;

If - O my soul, be silent
And some day thou shalt see
Through mystery and shadow,
And know why it must be.

To every cry of anguish
From every heart distressed,
Can be no other answer
Than this - God knoweth best.

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