And yet in other realms of life,
Unknown temptations rise,
Unknown perplexities and strife,
New questions and replies.
And every lesson learnt, anew,
The vain assurance lends
That now I know, and now can do,
And now should see thy ends.
So I forget I am a child,
And act as if a man;
Who through the dark and tempest wild
Will go, because he can.
And so, O Lord, not yet I dare
To clasp thee to my breast;
Though well I know that only there
Is hid the secret rest.
And yet I shrink not, as at first:
Be thou the judge of guilt;
Thou knowest all my best and worst,
Do with me as thou wilt.
Spread thou once more thine arms abroad,
Lay bare thy bosom’s beat;
Thou shalt embrace me, O my God,
And I will kiss thy feet.
I stood before my childhood’s home,
Outside the belt of trees;
All round, my dreaming glances roam
On well-known hills and leas.
When sudden, from the westward, rushed
A wide array of waves;
Over the subject fields they gushed
From far-off, unknown caves.
And up the hill they clomb and came,
On flowing like a sea:
I saw, and watched them like a game;
No terror woke in me.
For just the belting trees within,
I saw my father wait;
And should the waves the summit win,
I would go through the gate.
For by his side all doubt was dumb,
And terror ceased to foam;
No great sea-billows dared to come,
And tread the holy home.
Two days passed by. With restless toss,
The red flood brake its doors;
Prostrate I lay, and looked across
To the eternal shores.
The world was fair, and hope was nigh,
Some men and women true;
And I was strong, and Death and I
Would have a hard ado.
And so I shrank. But sweet and good
The dream came to my aid;
Within the trees my father stood,
I must not be dismayed.
My grief was his, not mine alone;
The waves that burst in fears,
He heard not only with his own,
But heard them with my ears.
My life and death belong to thee,
For I am thine, O God;
Thy hands have made and fashioned me,
’Tis thine to bear the load.
And thou shalt bear it. I will try
To be a peaceful child,
Whom in thy arms right tenderly
Thou carriest through the wild.
The rich man mourns his little loss,
And knits the brow of care;
The poor man tries to bear the cross,
And seeks relief in prayer.
Some gold had vanished from my purse,
Which I had watched but ill;
I feared a lack, but feared yet worse
Regret returning still.
And so I knelt and prayed my prayer
To Him who maketh strong,
That no returning thoughts of care
Should do my spirit wrong.