by Alice Cary
For me, in all life's desert sand
No well is made, no tent is spread;
No father's nor a brother's hand
Is laid in blessing on my head.
The radiance of my mortal star
Is crossed with signs of woe to me,
And all my thoughts and wishes are
Sad wanderers toward eternity.
Stricken, riven helplessly apart
From all that blest the path I trod;
Oh tempt me, tempt me not, my heart,
To arraign the goodness of my God!
For suffering hath been made sublime,
And souls, that lived and died alone,
Have left an echo for all time,
As they went wailing to the throne.
There have been moments when I dared
Believe life's mystery a breath,
And deem Faith's beauteous bosom bared
To the betraying arms of Death;
For the immortal life but mocks
The soul that feels its ruin dire,
And like a tortured demon rocks
Upon the cradling waves of fire.
To mine is pressed no loving lip,
Around me twines no helping arm;
And like a frail dismasted ship
I blindly drift before the storm.
Boston: Ticknor And Fields