Furl your sail, my little boatie,
Fold your wings, my weary dove.
Dews are sprinkling, stars are twinkling
Cease from sailing, cease from rowing;
Rock upon the dream-tide, knowing
Safely o’er your rest are glowing,
All the night, my little boatie,
Harbour-lights of love.
Lord Jesus, Thou hast known
A mother’s love and tender care:
And Thou wilt hear,
While for my own
Mother most dear
I make this birthday prayer.
Protect her life, I pray,
Who gave the gift of life to me;
And may she know,
From day to day,
The deepening glow
Of joy that comes from Thee.
As once upon her breast
Fearless and well content I lay,
So let her heart,
On Thee at rest,
Feel fear depart
And trouble fade away.
Ah, hold her by the hand,
As once her hand held mine;
And though she may
Life’s winding way,
Lead her in peace divine.
I cannot pay my debt
For all the love that she has given;
But Thou, love’s Lord,
Wilt not forget
Her due reward,—
Bless her in earth and heaven.
Only a little shrivelled seed,
It might be flower, or grass, or weed;
Only a box of earth on the edge
Of a narrow, dusty window-ledge;
Only a few scant summer showers;
Only a few clear shining hours;
That was all. Yet God could make
Out of these, for a sick child’s sake,
A blossom-wonder, fair and sweet
As ever broke at an angel’s feet.
Only a life of barren pain,
Wet with sorrowful tears for rain,
Warmed sometimes by a wandering gleam
Of joy, that seemed but a happy dream;
A life as common and brown and bare
As the box of earth in the window there;
Yet it bore, at last, the precious bloom
Of a perfect soul in that narrow room;
Pure as the snowy leaves that fold
Over the flower’s heart of gold.
I count that friendship little worth
Which has not many things untold,
Great longings that no words can hold,
And passion-secrets waiting birth.
Along the slender wires of speech
Some message from the heart is sent;
But who can tell the whole that’s meant?
Our dearest thoughts are out of reach.
I have not seen thee, though mine eyes
Hold now the image of thy face;
In vain, through form, I strive to trace
The soul I love: that deeper lies.