[Transcriber's Note: Irregularities in spelling have been retained as found in the original text.]
MARY ALICE WALTON
TO THE MEMORY OF MY FATHER
Copyrighted 1910 by Mary Alice Walton
The Poems contained in this booklet composed when ill, and either blind or nearly so, are given to the public for the purpose of strengthening faith in God. Those outlining in part, a life that has been more than filled by the disciplinarian, sorrow, are but a glimpse of the many heavy crosses borne. In my retrospection I can only believe the Father deemed me worthy to be tested, at the same time giving wonderful revelations of Himself and many answers to prayer. Thanks be to Him, that I was brought through the fire with unshaken faith in Christ, for this end, to prove that those who stand firm in faith will not only be given a victory, but be brought to a greater joy and fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Life's battles well waged, victoriously fought, Rich jewels of pearls in Cross will be wrought; E'er trusting in One who knoweth no wrong, Forever we'll live in Land of the Strong.
The Cross of Pearls.
Gethsemane, how oft, grown dim, With bleeding hearts, unpardoned sin, A Cross with pearls, and gems inlaid, God's gift of love, the price prepaid.
These precious pearls were once a tear, Repentant sighs, a hope, a fear, But rough seas washed and jewels grew Until the Cross was pearly hue.
Unnumbered are the pearls and fair, If burdens of the weary share; And deeply wrought with threads of gold, If smiles of peace suppress our woe.
To help Thee, Christ, in saving world, Forgetting self is rarest pearl, That brightly glows when righting wrong, Assisting souls in Thee grow strong.
The Cross that Thou so freely bare Is covered o'er with pearls of prayer; On Cross of Love all hopes are stayed, Each time it's kissed a pearl's inlaid.
The Solitary Lament.
The terrors of night have fallen on me, The shadow of forms no longer I see, Eyes that have lingered on objects of light Are now ever closed by day and by night; As time passes on I shed bitter tears, Wearily waiting these many long years, Oftentimes waking from dreaming to find Nothing but gloom—I am helpless and blind.
Of all earthly joys I am nearly bereft, No pleasure of friends, alone I am left, Kind hearts there are some, though many, alas! Send a curious gaze toward me as they pass; One visitor daily—a small ray of sun Just crossing my face, it gladly doth run— Bringing me news of the weather and time, And memories sweet of my own sunny clime.
They've taken my children away from their home, For care, to them mother love is unknown; Their smiles and caresses to strangers are given, Alone, in despair, my fond heart is riven; O! tell me, kind angels, shall I ever recover To care for my children and heart-broken mother? While sadly I'm thinking of joys that have passed, For days like my childhood, in mercy I ask.
How strange seems the quiet, how foreign to one Who reveled in beauty, in pleasure, and fun; As healthy and happy and merry as May, School-books in hand, I would hasten away. But, listen! What noises are those that I hear? In the silence strange fancies awaken my fear, And terrible phantoms of lunatics try To glare o'er my couch and stifle my cry.
Welcome, O! Death, do not leave me alone, The future's unkind and hopes are all flown; In pain and in anguish my sorrow untold; In age most a child, yet in trouble grown old. But God in His mercy one bright hope has given— Saviour to love and rest in dear Heaven; There beautiful music and many things fair, While voices of loved ones with song fill the air.
Under the Rod.
Blind and helpless alone I wait; The way seems dark and prayers too late, My anguished soul sends forth the cry, Father save me, ere I die; Save me for my children small, Leave them not to sin and fall, Sending forth the saddened call, Mother, come back, mother!
Blind and helpless days wear by, Sick and friendless, left to die; The darkness deepens as I grope, Afraid to live, afraid to hope; They tell me of a better land, Lord, I cannot see Thy hand, Around me steals an icy band, Save me or I perish.
Waiting, Ever Waiting.
Waiting, dreaming, waiting, by some flowing mystic rill, Waiting, hoping, waiting, strong desires my spirit fill; Waiting, restless waiting, Oh! could I join the busy throng, Waiting, patient waiting, for right to triumph over wrong.
Waiting, weary waiting, as the hours creep slowly by, Waiting, sadly waiting, unnoticed by those passing nigh; Waiting, daily waiting, with fire alive in heart and brain, Waiting, yearly waiting, seeming but to wait for pain.
Waiting, striving, waiting, wisdom's goal I feign would win, Waiting, weeping, waiting, ever bearing Adam's sin; Waiting, vainly waiting, the race is for the swift and strong; Waiting, sighing, waiting, pouring forth my grief in song.
Waiting, fearing, waiting, while the shadows gather deep, Waiting, doubting, waiting, down the rocky cliffs they creep; Waiting, longing, waiting, for man's promises not filled, Waiting, trusting, waiting, Jesus speaks and all is stilled.
To My Daughter.
LINES RECEIVED FROM MY MOTHER.
My child, the cold dews of evening are 'round thee, Bereft of thy sight, And dark lines of sorrow and trials surround thee By day and by night.
To-day I am sitting so dreary and lonely, Heart-sick and in pain, And wishing 'twere Heaven's will I could only Once see thee again.
If so, I could bear all the pain and the sorrow Of life and its cares, And not fill the hours of the coming to-morrow With sighs and with tears.
Like you, many hopes of the future I cherished When free from life's care, Just so, all my brightest fond visions have perished Like mists in the air.
I still hope that God in His merciful kindness Thy sight will restore, And permit thee when perfectly healed of thy blindness To see us once more.
But restore thee or not, one hope I will cherish At home and abroad, That I may submit to my fate, though I perish, And trust in my God.
In our own native land a Hospital stands, Its praises I faintly would speak; To me it seems grand, enclosed in love's bands By the Sisters of Charity meek.
These Sisters are lowly and humble and holy, All striving their God to obey; They watch o'er the poorly, while dreaming they surely Can all of their sufferings allay.
Heaven's blessings are resting on them as they're testing Their freedom from sorrow and sin, And God will uphold them and angels enfold them, Till a heavenly crown they will win.
My happiness lost on the world tempest-tossed, Weary and heart-sick with pain, Providently I came to Providence by name, Where my health I did quickly regain.
In language though weak my thoughts I would speak, My gratitude is without bounds, To my nurses while blind and physicians so kind, And the owners of Providence grounds.
Suspending night with threads of light the sun with signals bold, Flashed o'er to moon his mate on high, and wondrous secret told; Together they a photograph of mother earth would make, When midnight dropped her curtains low and watching stars locked gate.
I'll picture on thy pale round face an image vast, complete, Of pondrous size with oceans wild and mountains high and steep, A hurling mass of seething lakes, while outward beauties fold It round and o'er with nature's green, and tinted crusts of gold.
Quite pleased with thought fair lady moon laughed in merry glee, And begged the secret not reveal but plan all quietly; Appointing hour and length of time, arranging for the place, Then hiding lights at midnight bells, when earth passed o'er her face.
While swinging to a silvered chord attached to heaven's dome, To and fro 'mid seas of stars and spirit worlds unknown, Earth onward swept with mighty bounds, measured space, and soon At place appointed and the hour she hovered near the moon.
But scheming of the comrades bright to her had been revealed, With telescopes and lenses strong, were millions on the field Of spots and specks as showered sand, by fays called wo and man, Who gazed with awe at wondrous sight, earth pictured in moonland.
Inspiring vision piled on high in masses huge and dense; Where camest thou? thou ragged ball thrown out from time, and whence Doth thou intend to fathom realms of endless space and years? Art weary of thy dizzy flights? Are rolling seas thy tears?
The silence mocks the questions sighed, and nought but shadows fall; The picture made the fairies fade, with dying notes they call. Doth see the Hand that holds the key? Eclipse of moon they sing, Go, nations, to thy dreamland couch, and ponder o'er this thing.
In silent hours of midnight while earth is wrapped in dreams, I ponder o'er my present life—how desolate it seems. Through wakeful hours I scan each page penned in despair and grief, Then turn to my loved childhood's home for comfort and relief.
A cottage white was standing there among the grand old hills. And 'midst the spreading shady trees were songs of laughing rills. In that dear home my parents lived, my brothers large and small, With uncles, aunts and cousins near, and I the pet of all.
But listen! 'tis my childrens' call, I hear their plaintive prayer, In fancy now I press soft cheeks and fondly stroke fair hair. Wide seas may roll between us, yet my darlings will life brave, Perchance be folded to my heart, or kiss their mother's grave.
Some Mother's Boy.
The battle-cry is sounding loud, a bugle calls to arm, The hills and dales are clouded o'er, troops gather in alarm; With winds is mingled sighing prayer from many a sinking brave; A youth obeying duty's call, a life his country gave.
A soldier boy's dying cry is heard amid the roar Of battle strife; surround with slain he falls to rise no more. Some mother's boy! it matters not if clad in blue or gray, If fighting for the right or wrong, is hurried to his grave.
Amid the beats of drum and fife, his pillow but a sod, With folded hands and marble brow, his soul returns to God. Some mother's boy is resting where the lonely willows weep, And voices waft with waving trees, while angels watch him sleep.
Now comes along the highway a dusty tramp forlorn, A tattered coat conceals beneath a bent and aged form, With hardened weary visage, a bell he faintly rings; The air is rent with pitying notes, an angel softly sings.
Upon this frozen nature no love for years has shown; His life is made of cruel words, and knows no kindly tone; And could you see into his past, as mother clasped her boy, He then was innocent and fair—her pride, her hope, her joy.
She never dreamed her darling child a weary tramp would be, For o'er his tasks or youthful sports he laughed in childish glee; Perhaps he sinned, but, O! forget, for suffering must repay, And someone's boy has now become wretched, old and gray.
Within a large and gilded hall a revel wild is held, The sound of oaths and laughter loud upon the breezes swell; A man is seen with bloated face come reeling to the streets; He turns his fierce and lurid eyes as friends he loudly greets.
Some mother's boy has fallen low, we hear the broken sob Of angels who have watched for years his footsteps turn from God. Someone's prayers have oft been made o'er him in childhood's day, When, rocked in love, he knew no wrong, a smiling infant lay.
Some mother's tears have freely flowed, and lonely vigils kept; Some mother's heart has often bled while others coldly slept; Some mother suffers for the wrong, and angels sadly weep Whene'er some careless, wayward son has sown what he must reap.
A scaffold high with spreading arms on yonder height we see, It waits to take its victim's life, exulting cruelly. While zephyr's blow, birds hover o'er a soul in dire distress, With troubled gaze breathes out a prayer. Will God attend and bless?
What matter if he's clothed in sin, what matter if he's wild, In foulest guilt? Remember, that, he is somebody's child. We cannot tell how hard he strove to shun temptation's snare; How often on his mother's breast he wept in his despair.
How oft her lips had softly pressed his dimpled infant cheek, How oft her hand in love caressed the sinless baby feet. Then, strangers, pause and listen well; so might your own have been, But Christ can freely pardon all, though scarlet be his sin.
Some mother's boy! The sweet refrain is breathed in accents mild. Some mother's boy! If bent and gray, if pure or all denied. Some mother's boy! Soft bells repeat in sad and sweetest chime; Some mother's boy! A mother sighs; perhaps he may be mine.
God calls you, my Daughter—I hear the sweet voice Of Jesus our Saviour, He would make you His choice, To work in His vineyard, to teach in His name; He'd give you the power, lost souls to reclaim.
I give you, my darling, an offering to Him Who died to redeem us, to save us from sin; Be filled with His spirit, be strong in the strife, Bring souls unto Jesus, in Christ there is life.
And when all is over and we meet on the shore Of Heaven's fair Jordan, to part nevermore, With Christ ever present to soothe away tears, All pain we'll forget of these sorrowful years.
Thou Waters, Tell Me Why.
O'er rocks where sea waves wrestled, far from yon city's height A woman walked 'mid shadows, and watched for morning light. A woman strong with purpose, though burdened with life's care, The silvered tints of starlight matched threads in gold-brown hair.
But her heart and the waves grew restless, As she thought of years gone by, Of him she once loved truly— Cried, waters, tell me why, Thou waters tell me why!
Aged rocks lend me thy power 'gainst winds and tempest wild: A woman's strife before me, I fain would be a child. Long since 'twas said at parting, "Forever, love, good-bye." And life merged into duty, Oh, waters, tell me why!
While plaintive seas are calling, my heart for one doth yearn, "Find love in kindly service," sweet fern leaves sighed, "Return." Sad waves then cease thy moaning—let hope's resplendent rays Imbue my heart with courage—God's love's with me always.
I stood in the mossy gateway, And thought of years gone by; Then tapped on latticed windows, Heard naught only my sigh.
The house was cold and empty— A stranger's home, they say; The voices hushed of dear ones, Loved footprints passed away.
In fancy then I peopled The place with moving life, The halls again resounded, With laughter, song and fife.
In father's arms I nestle, Caressing soft, dark hair; I beg for one more story, Or breathe my childhood's prayer.
My heart cries out, when fancy Brings mother back to me, Her loving care o'er shadows The past sweet memory.
The house now grows resplendent With joys of former scene, My brothers loved so dearly, And life a happy dream.
Our uncle, kind and tender, The cousins, buoyant, gay; My playmates calling for me, To school we his away.
Awakened from my dreaming, Time speaks of saddened years, Two-score more, and voices hushed. Flow now, ye pent-up tears!
Oh, voices hushed, where art thou? A stranger lone I stand. Good-bye, good-bye, old homestead; Farewell, sweet mystic band.
Why I Love Them.
I would tell thee of Stella, how she made glad the hours, So oft calling mother with strewn wreaths and flowers, Blue eyes fondly glancing, and gleefully dance, While singing so gayly or skipping, perchance.
Then comes my son Ernest, an affectionate boy, So true and so thoughtful, never aught but a joy, E'er steady and happy, eyes earnest and clear; His dear voice so merry, methinks I still hear.
I would say of Marie, that she is very fair, With ways of a lady, and golden-waved hair; She scolds and laughs sweetly, while people all tell, With curls and long lashes, she'll yet be a belle.
Then rosy-cheeked Bertha, whose housewifely care And womanly habits call forth praises rare; Small, winsome maiden, whose large, tender heart, To blame makes thee timid, thy tears swift to start.
Tall, slender Celesta, whose spiritual face, And excelling talents could a palace well grace; Five faces so pretty, eyes brighter than gems, And hearts kind and loving is why I love them.
My First Gray Hair.
One day amid brown tresses there gleamed a silvery thread, Life pages, past and present I wonderingly then read. I saw a blithsome maiden, a child serenely fair, A woman heavey laden now lifts her first gray hair.
O silvery strand, thou soft kiss of time, The beauties of youth are now past, are now past. For evening of life are pleasures unknown, 'Tis love, only love, that will last, that will last.
Upon the shadowy threshold the small gray strand did lay, And told the old, old story of ever changing day; Within the mystic portals of life's near ending stream I stood and pondered vaguely, if death were but a dream.
I viewed the snow-white message and thought of bygone years, The hopes, the waging conflicts, joys mingled oft' with tears. Tell me, thou thing of pearl hue, what will the future greet? Will paths be strewn with roses, or thistles tear my feet?
A whisper floated near me in accents sweet and low, "My child, what'er thy portion, if tares for thee will grow, Thy soul keep pure and stainless, a crown thy brow shall wear, 'Twill shine with whitest tresses, that once was nut-brown hair."
Life's Curtain Unrolled.
Glad boyish voices with merriment ring, Two children with nought, as gayly they sing Of burdensome care, their hearts as the bird To mountains oft' soar in freedom, unstirred By future, and what it furtively brings Of pleasures, or grief, or life's bitter stings. The shadowed cross e'er failing to see, Thoughts flitting as bubbles on oft' changing sea.
From childhood spring youths with fair open brows, Surrounded by all earth ever allows Of conquering fame, while life's deepest charm They sip from the fount of love's laden balm. Of treasures untold to reap they aspire, At vanity's fair rich harvests acquire, Over this vision in mystery toss, A shadow that lifts, unveiling a cross.
In wonder they gaze at spectre so white, As softly it beams in silvery light, 'Mid silence it pleads—they pause all aghast— 'Tis Jesus who calls, His Cross in their path, Cross misty with tears, with sacrifice fraught, While deeply inlaid with sorrows 'tis wrought, Divided from world by widening stream It leadeth through pain earth's conquests a gleam.
Shall I? Shall I not? Self-questioned each youth, Take up this Cross all laden with truth? Shall lingering fear of poverty's vale, The scoffing of friends if honors should fail, Bar us accepting a promise of love By way of the Cross—the gift from above? Silently each life's curtain unfurled, One bends to his Cross, one flees to the world.
Two pictures are drawn on life's beaten page, The faces once seen have ripened with age; The purpose of each, their loved ones a dower, And conflicts of life are wielding with power. Surfeited was one with all earthly lusts, His soul he'ed surrendered to prince of earth's trusts; One bearing a Cross, e'er toiling for right, Walking with Jesus in spirit waxed bright.
There's pictured again in oft' changing scene, A tottering form appears in the dream, Furrowed his face from indulgence in sins, Eternity lost, to gold fondly clings. He'd bartered his soul a few years to live, And sinking the grave has nothing to give, Unloved and embittered e'en cross once refused, Gleamed sadly through mists then slowly withdrew.
Our vision once more life's curtain unrolled, And walked beside one with jewels untold, Unfurrowed his brow though whitened the hair, Eternally blest when freed earthly care. The cross he'd accepted oft' riven in tears, And humble his walk through life's fleeting years, Had given sweet peace as only those know Who've tasted of wealth Christs' love doth bestow.
The Chosen City.
On starlit height, distant 'gainst horizon, bright The Way of the Cross is outlined, By rocky steeps barren 'mid dangers unseen, A narrow straight pathway doth wind. The sighing winds whisper of sacrifice, toil, And foot-prints where pilgrims have trod Are crimson and tear-washed, where fissures are rent Wierd spirits of pain flit abroad.
A woman in sadness e'er watching this Cross Revealed in the morn of her life, To travel o'er mountains alone through the storm Means suffering and wearisome strife. 'Mid pitfalls of doubtings and barriers high, A valley called Vale of Delight, Appears to her vision, its beauties aglow With charms all alluring to sight.
Its meadows are tinted by golden-hued lights, Unruffled its waters, they chime With harmonic singing, while world-wedded dance To musical rhythm and time. Red wine floweth freely, with jingle of gold Jests mingle with laughter so gay, In Vale of Delight merry banquets and balls Turn quickly the night into day.
The woman enraptured by dazzling display— Yet holiness loveth and right— Back to the mountains she turneth her gaze, There gleaming through mists beyond heights, Is glittering sheen of sparkling gemmed spires, A city of pearls beyond steeps; But Calvary's Cross is path to its gate, In sorrow she bitterly weeps.
In Vale of Delight seems earthly repose, And freedom from sorrow and pain; But pleadings of Jesus appeal to her heart, In City of Lovelight doth reign. His spirit so gentle o'er floweth with good, With kindliest tokens of love; The promise He giveth beyond vale of tears— Eternal abiding above.
To City of Holies she pleads with her Lord, Help me in Thy mercy come in; Keep me from slipping o'er precipice deep, Laid for all in Valley of Sin. Then journey to Starworld she finds full of thorns, Sore-pressed on the way by life's care, Till crieth she, "Saviour, though saving Thy Cross, Its burdens most grievous to bear".
Life's duties demanding a sacrificed heart By trials hedged on either side, Yet beauty of holies celestial with love, I long for thee what e'er betide. Her Saviour upholding, foes dropping by way, She trustingly presses her flight, When sin all surrendered and laid upon Cross In peace with Christ enters Lovelight.
The Land of Love.
We are told of a beautiful land of love, Of bright jeweled mansions in blue skies above; Of mansions that glitter with diamonds and gold; While air of sweet odors their fair walls enfold, Of heavenly music, soft, thrilling, divine, Fountains that sparkle, and bright suns that shine, Birds of gay plumage with song fill the air, Flowers all lovely and crowns with gems rare.
All this we are told and many things more, Of Heaven's fair Jordan, an evergreen shore; Its golden gates ever are standing ajar, Where fall huge burdens we have carried so far; Shining-robed angels there welcome us home, Joyously lead us through fair fields to roam; Heaven alive with sweet praises shall ring, We bow at the throne of our Saviour and King.
Blessings there are bestowed just suited to all, No more vain regrets, no more tears to fall, No hearts there to ache, no sins to repent, No leaving of friends, nor wrongs to resent, No asking of bread to be given a stone, No needle-worn fingers that ache to the bone, From this fair land all life's cares have flown, Queen happiness reigns and love is her crown.
For I Long to be There.
Dear Father in Heaven, to Thee I would raise A petition, and speak to Thy bountiful praise. At Thy throne of grace I would offer one prayer: Take me to Thyself, for I long to be there.
Dear Saviour, I plead, Thou art tender and kind, O'er flowing with love, for me Thou canst find A safe resting place, that is free from all care; Press me to Thy heart, for I long to be there.
Fair angels of light, who with melodies sweet Make beautiful homes a celestial retreat, In happiness pure, a full part I would share, I'd come to your home, for I long to be there.
While pleasures are few and hope but a name, While worldliness reigns o'er all things the same, Our joys are in dreams of bright Eden fair, I'd flee to Thy rest, for I long to be there.
I am weary of life, the burdened-filled day, On the echoless shore in peace I would stray, Forgetting all sorrow for Christ will it bear, O take me to Jesus, for I long to be there.
Sometime the golden gates will lift, I know not how nor when 'twill be, My soul, the one immortal gift, Will stand beside the changeless sea.
Lift up, ye gates, ye golden gates, A soul would come before the throne; Lift up, ye gates, ye golden gates, Ring out, O bells, in rapturous tone.
Sometime this poor world's light will fade, I'll walk alone the unknown way, But Christ my sins long since hath paid, My home was purchased Easter day.
Sometime the silver cloud will break, While glory pure my spirit thrills, We'll see our friends, the crystal lake, Rest in sweet peace by love-lit rills.
Sometime my cross a crown will prove, Sometime my tears will jewels be, Sometime all doubts Christ will remove— Blest be the time, eternity!
Ring out, oh, ye bells, in soft measured chime, Sweet melodies breathe in rythmetric rhyme, The murmuring winds bring song from afar, For one we have loved is crossing the bar.
Ring gently, ye bells, the soul on its way, Would not be disturbed by discordant lay; In peace it would stem the river that flows O'er rocks crimsoned by humanity's woes.
Ring slowly, Oh, bells, death's pitiless dream Rolls eagerly on, a maddening stream; The sufferer sighs for a haven of rest. And longs to be borne to homes for the blest.
Ring thoughtfully, bells, a prayer would ascend To Father of love, this soul to befriend. While waiting, a voice is waft o'er the sea— "Hast heard of a Christ? He speaks—I am He."
Ring peacefully, bells, the wanderer soothe, In lullaby song, as in cradle of youth; No whispering doubts, no question of whence, Outpouring to mar, of love calling hence.
Ring joyfully, bells, no tempests now toss— The Valley of Death is lit by a Cross. Ring glad happy strains of love's richest song, Our dear one has fled with a heavenly throng.
The Ministering Soul.
On Canaan's fairest borders, in thought, I seemed to stand, I'd left my broken palace for this long-wished-for land. On earth for me they're mourning, friends weeping sad and low, It seemed the bells were sobbing, my joy there none could know.
Most Gracious King, One Lord in Three, All Heaven in anthems rung, Hosanna, praise, triumphantly, Rejoice for the lost Christ won.
On earth, loved ones were sighing around my vacant chair, Our risen Lord forgetting, smiles turn to lines of care; In Heaven the waves of gladness, from gate to gate doth roll, And Christ now changed my spirit into a ministering soul.
From beauties of Christ's kingdom, I came to earth by night, To mine I whispered comfort, breathed of celestial light; I hovered near the aged, who sorrowed till the end, And soothed the restless slumbers of those who knew no friend.
Into the lowly dwellings, where mother's cheeks grew pale, I kissed the fading forehead, and hushed the infant's wail; The wrath of men appeasing, to weary laborers gave A greeting smile, and told them Christ came on earth to save.
Moan not, O bells, but joyous ring out your Christian souls, Eternity, all wondrous, brightly to them unfolds; From death to life their changing, let glorias float afar, Our loved, our lost, are watching, within the gates ajar.
The home of my soul, worn and weary, And pierced by the rocks of old time, The windows grown dim and the key-boards Were mute to the wind's whispered chime. The pillars were trembling; the pitcher Was full to the brim, running o'er With burdens, hurled oft' at the fountain, And closed were the gates evermore.
Old castle of hopes and of tempests, I bid thee a loving adieu, Thou sheltered me oft' from the cloud-bursts, The winds blowing fiercely on you. My soul now arises on pinions, And wings through terrestial space, By planets all gleaming with starlight, I stand with my Lord, face to face.
O, Master, I cry, the old temple, Thou gavest on earth passed away, I come to thee houseless, unsheltered, Hast room in Thy mansion to-day? I left Mother Earth in the night-watch, And travelled alone to thy gate, Hast mercy for me, dearest Master, Do I plead for thy pardon too late?
Dear Master, sore trials beset me, My feet slipping oft' by the way, Temptations and doubt, overwhelming, From Thee, led me often astray. My cross was oft' covered with roses, Just hiding the sly, cruel thorn, My homestead built out of dust only, Has crumbled; to-day I am born.
Just born in the light of thy kingdom, Hast house in thy domain to give? A homestead to fill with the loved ones, Where with Thee in peace we may live. I know that my spirit is earth-stained, I'd wash it in yon flowing stream, I've come, oh my Saviour, all broken, Are hopes to be only a dream?
He turned with a look of compassion, His voice, as sweet waters and low, My child, I've a palace built for thee, Which time nor rude winds can o'erthrow. I've watched thee in all of thy wanderings, E'en when thy homestead of clay fell; I list for thy knock at our portals, Heard thee faintly ask, "Is all well?"
When doubts have assailed, I would press thee, In sorrow, stood oft' by thy side; I've quelled maddened waves as they dashed thee, Soul, ring heaven's bells and abide. Thy footsteps shall fall in soft places, And by mirrored waters can'st roam; Thy kindred, thy Father, shall greet thee, To peace, beauty, love,—welcome home.
Father, before Thee I am kneeling In gratitude and love, Sad, weary years I sought, appealing For succor from above. My cries seemed wild as unavailing Before Thy chastening rod, My spirit in the strife oft failing To trust Thee, O my God!
When floods of sorrow o'er me sweeping, Thy hand I could not see; Then Thou, when heart and strength were yielding, Bade me to cling to thee. Strength from Thy promise gave endurance To stem, to cross the flood; I thank Thee; rest in blest assurance Of Jesus' cleansing blood.