If all our life were one broad glare
Of sunlight, clear, unclouded;
If all our path were smooth and fair,
By no soft gloom enshrouded;
If all life's flowers were fully blown
Without the sweet unfolding,
And happiness were rudely thrown
On hands too weak for holding--
Should we not miss the twilight hours,
The gentle haze and sadness?
Should we not long for storms and showers
To break the constant gladness?

If none were sick and none were sad,
What service could we render?
I think if we were always glad,
We scarcely could be tender.
Did our beloved never need
Our patient ministration,
Earth would grow cold and miss indeed
Its sweetest consolation;
If sorrow never claimed our heart,
And every wish were granted,
Patience would die, and hope depart--
Life would be disenchanted.

And yet in heaven is no more night,
In heaven is no more sorrow!
Such unimagined new delight
Fresh grace from pain will borrow.
As the poor seed that underground
Seeks its true life above it,
Not knowing what will there be found
When sunbeams kiss and love it,
So we in darkness upward grow,
And look and long for heaven,
But cannot picture it below
Till more of light be given.