Kate Harrington, (Rebecca Harrington Smith and later known as Rebecca Smith Pollard, September 20, 1831 – May 29, 1917) was an American teacher, writer and poet.
THE END OF THE RAINBOW
Written for little Etta Ayres.
‘Come, Nellie !’ I cried, on a clear April day,
When the sunbeams kept kissing the shadows away,
‘The rainbow has lit on the hill, and, you know,
We might find heaps of gold at the end of the bow.’
We were young, foolish children, sweet Nellie and I,
And we thought that the hill-top was close to the sky;
Believed, too, because we were told it was so,
We should find ‘lots’ of gold at the end of the bow.
So onward we trudged, over meadows of green,
Whose clover-blooms brightened their emerald sheen;
Then down from the hill to the valley below,
And gazed all around for the end of the bow.
‘ Not here !’ I said, sadly; but Nellie replied,
‘ It is hid in yon grass by the waterfall’s side;
Run fast ! if you move o’er the pebbles so slow,
I’m sure I’ll be first at the end of the bow.’
We found not the treasures we searched for till night,
But Nellie, the sweet, fragile blossom, was right;
From this valley of shades she was first called to go
To the clime where is resting the end of the bow.
Where rainbows of glory eternally play,
Our Nellie is singing with seraphs to-day;
And her beautiful pinions are folded, I know,
In the fullness of joy at the end of the bow.
HOLD THE LIGHT
Ho ! thou traveler on life’s highway,
Moving carelessly along;
Pausing not to note the darkness
Lowering o’er the struggling throng;
Waiting not to mark how feebly
Some are laboring in the fight,
Bending on thee wistful glances, —
Turn aside, and hold the light!
Look ! upon thy right a brother
Wanders blindly from the way;
And upon thy left a sister,
Frail and erring, turns astray.
One kind word, perchance, may save them,
Guide their wayward steps aright;
Canst thou, then, withhold thy counsel?
No ! but fly, and hold the light!
Hark ! a feeble wail of anguish
Bursts from the advancing throng,
And a little child is groping
Through the shadows deep and long.
‘Tis a timid orphan, sinking
‘Neath misfortune’s withering blight;
Friends, home, love, are all denied her:
Oh, in pity hold the light !
Not alone in heathen darkness,
Where the pagan bows the knee,
Worshiping his senseless image
With a blind idolatry,—
Where no blessed gospel teachings
E’er illume the soul’s dark night,
Comes the cry to listless mortals,
Wild and pleading, ‘ Hold the light !’
Here as well, in life’s broad highway,
Are benighted wanderers found;
And if all the strong would aid them,
Lights would glimmer all around.
Acts of love and deeds of kindness
Then would make our pathway bright,
And we’d have no need of calling,
‘Ho! thou traveler, hold the light !’