A Sonnet.

There came to meet me, on Life’s toilsome way,1
An angel form, in sable garments clad,2
With eyes that shone through tears—serenely sad3
And met my glance unheeding, thoughtless, gay.4
My son,’ he said, and softly touched my hand,5
Walk not in idle paths of unbelief.6
God’s messenger am I—my name is Grief ;7
I know the things thou canst not understand.’8
He showed me secrets strange of Death and Life,9
The mysteries of sorrow and of strife,10
High, holy things I had not dreamed of yore ;11
And when he left me—sorrowful, alone12
Earth seemed another Earth than I had known,13
But God was nearer than He seemed before.14