Affliction’s faded form draws nigh,
With wrinkled brow and downcast eye;
With sackcloth on her bosom spread,
And ashes scattered o’er her head.
But deem her not a child of earth;
From heaven she draws her sacred birth;
Beside the throne of God she stands
To execute his kind commands.
The messenger of love, she flies
To train us for our sphere, the skies;
And onward as we move, the way
Becomes more smooth, more bright the day.
Her weeds to robes of glory turn,
Her looks with kindling radiance burn;
And from her lips these accents steal,—
“God smites to bless, he wounds to heal!”