Pacing the hopeless
Wistful and wan and pale,
Each foam-flash like a beckoning hand,
Each wave a glancing sail,
And so for days and days, and still the sail delays.
I hide my eyes
In vain I try to smile;
That urging vision comes again,
The sailor on his isle,
With none to hear his cry, to help him live—or die!
And with the pang
Breaks o’er me like the sun,
Of the great listening Love which caught
Those accents every one,
Nor lost one faintest word, but always, always heard.
The monk his vigil pale
Could lighten with a smile,
The sailor’s courage need not fail
Upon his lonely isle;
For there, as here, by sea or land, the pitying Lord stood
close at hand.
O coward heart of mine!
When storms shall beat again,
Hold firmly to this thought divine,
As anchorage in pain:
That, lonely though thou seemest to be, the Lord is near,
What is it to commune?
It is when soul meets soul, and they embrace
As souls may, stooping from each separate sphere
For a brief moment’s space.
it to commune?
It is to lay the veil of custom by,
To be all unafraid of truth to talk,
Face to face, eye to eye.
to face, dear Lord;
That is the joy of brighter worlds to be;
And yet, Thy bidden guests about Thy board,
We do commune with Thee.
Our eyes, anointed with a sudden grace,
Dare to conjecture of a mighty guest,
A dim beloved Face.
And is it
And dost Thou lay Thy glory all away
To visit us, and with Thy grace to feed
Our hungering hearts to-day?
a thing so sweet,
And can such heavenly condescension be?
Ah! wherefore tarry thus our lingering feet?
It can be none but Thee.
the gracious ear
That never yet was deaf to sinner’s call;
We will not linger, and we dare not fear,
But kneel,—and tell Thee all.
Thee of our sin
Only half loathed, only half wished away,
And those clear eyes of Love that look within
Rebuke us, seem to say,—
bought with my own blood,
Mine own, for whom my precious life I gave,
Am I so little prized, remembered, loved,
By those I died to save?”
that deep gaze
Sorrow awakes; we kneel with eyelids wet,
And marvel, as with Peter at the gate,
That we could so forget,
Thee of our care,
Of the sore burden, pressing day by day,
And in the light and pity of Thy face
The burden melts away.