Best by Helen Hunt Jackson

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Mother, I see you with your nursery light,
Leading your babies, all in white,
To their sweet rest;
Christ, the Good Shepherd, carries mine tonight,
And that is best.

I cannot help tears when I see them twine
Their fingers in yours, and their bright curls shine
On your warm breast.
But the Saviour’s is purer than yours or mine.
He can love best.

You tremble each hour because your arms
Are weak; your heart is wrung with alarms
And sore opprest:
My darlings are safe, out of reach of harm
And that is best.

You know over yours may hang even now
Pain and disease, whose fulfilling slow,
Naught can arrest.
Mine in God’s gardens run to and fro,
And that is best.

You know that of yours, your feeblest one
And dearest, may live long years alone,
Unloved, unblest.
Mine entered spotless on eternal years,
Oh, how much the best.

But grief is selfish; I cannot see
Always why I should stricken be,
More than the rest:
But I know that, as well as for them, for me
God did the best.

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