Light! emblem of all good and joy!
Shade! emblem of all ill!

Light! emblem of all good and joy!
Shade! emblem of all ill!
And yet in this strange mingled life,
We need the shadow still.
A lamp with softly shaded light,
To soothe and spare the tender sight,
Will only throw
A brighter glow
Upon our books and work below.

We could not bear unchanging day,
However fair its light;
Ere long the wearied eye would hail,
As boon untold, the evening pale,
The solace of the night.
And who would prize our summer glow
If winter gloom we did not know?
Or rightly praise
The glad spring rays
Who never saw our rainy days?

How grateful in Arabian plain
Of white and sparkling sand,
The shadow of a mighty rock
Across the weary land.
And where the tropic glories rise,
Responsive to the fiery skies,
We could not dare
To meet the glare,
Or blindness were our bitter share.

Where is the soul so meek and pure,
Who through his earthly days
Life's fullest sunshine could endure,
In clear and cloudless blaze!
The sympathetic eye would dim,
And others pine unmarked by him,
Were no chill shade
Around him laid,
And light of joy could never fade.

He, who the light-commanding word
First spake, and formed the eye,
Knows what that wondrous eye can bear,
And tempers with providing care,
By cloud and night, all hurtful glare,
By shadows ever nigh.
So in all wise and loving ways
He blends the shadows of our days,
To win our sight
From scenes of night,
To seek the "True and Only Light."

We need some shadow o'er our bliss,
Lest we forget the Giver:
So, often in our deepest joy
There comes a solemn quiver;
We could not tell from whence it came,
The subtle cause we cannot name;
Its twilight full
May well recall
Calm thought of him who gave us all.

There are who all undazzled tread
Awhile the sunniest plain;
But they have sought the blessed shade
By one great Rock of Ages made,
A sure, safe rest to gain.
Unshaded light of earth soon blinds
To light of heaven sincerest minds:
O envy not
A cloudless lot!
We ask indeed we know not what.

So it is here, so is it now!
Not always will it be!
There is a land that needs no shade,
A morn will rise which cannot fade,
And we, like flame-robed angels made,
That glory soon may see.
No cloud upon its radiant joy,
No shadow o'er its bright employ,
No sleep, no night,
But perfect sight,
The Lord our Everlasting Light.

~ Frances Ridley Havergal

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