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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By II. “The strongest light casts deepest shades”

Elizabeth Charles (1827–1896)

THE STRONGEST light casts deepest shades,

The dearest love makes dreariest loss;

And she His birth so blest had made

Stood by Him dying on the cross.

Yet since not grief but joy shall last,

The day and not the night abide,

And all time’s shadows earthward cast

Are lights upon the “other side;”

Through what long bliss that shall not fail

That darkest hour shall brighten on!

Better than any angel’s “Hail!”

The memory of “Behold thy Son!”

Blest in thy lowly heart to store

The homage paid at Bethlehem;

But far more blessed evermore

Thus to have shared the taunts and shame—

Thus with thy pierc’d heart to have stood

’Mid mocking crowds, and owned Him thine,

True through a world’s ingratitude,

And owned in death by lips Divine.