Sunday, May 13, 2012


They said, "The Master is coming
To honor the town today,
And none can tell at what house or home
The Master will choose to stay."
And I thought while my heart beat wildly,
What if He should come to mine,
How would I strive to entertain
And honor the Guest Divine!

And straight I turned to toiling,
To make my home more neat;
I swept, and polished and garnished,
And decked it with blossoms sweet.
I was troubled for fear the Master
Might come ere my work was done
And I hasted and worked the faster,
And watched the hurrying sun.

But right in the midst of my duties
A woman came to my door;
She had come to tell her sorrows
And my comfort and aid to implore,
And I said, "I cannot listen,
Nor help you any, today;
I have greater things to attend to."
And the pleader turned away.

But soon there came another -
A cripple, thin, pale and gray -
And said: "Oh, let me stop and rest
A while in your house, I pray !
I have traveled far since morning,
I am hungry and faint and weak;
My heart is full of misery,
And comfort and help I seek."

And I cried, "I am grieved and sorry
But I cannot help you today.
I look for a great and noble Guest,"
And the cripple went away;
And the day wore onward swiftly -
And my task was nearly done,
And a prayer was ever in my heart
That the Master to me might come.

And I thought I would spring to meet Him,
And serve Him with utmost care,
When a little child stood near me
With a face so sweet and fair -
Sweet, but with marks of teardrops -
And his clothes were tattered and old;
A finger was bruised and bleeding,
And his little bare feet were cold.

And I said, "I'm sorry for you -
You are sorely in need of care;
But I cannot stop to give it,
You must hasten otherwhere."
And at the words, a shadow
Swept o'er his blue-veined brow -
"Someone will feed and clothe you, dear,
But I am too busy now."

At last the day was ended,
And my toil was over and done;
My house was swept and garnished -
And I watched in the dark - alone.
Watched - but no footfall sounded,
No one paused at my gate;
No one entered my cottage door;
I could only pray - and wait.

I waited till night had deepened,
And the Master had not come.
"He has entered some other door," I said,
"And gladdened some other home !"
My labor had been for nothing,
And I bowed my head and I wept,
My heart was sore with longing -
Yet - in spite of it all - I slept.

Then the Master stood before me,
And His face was grave and fair;
"Three times today I came to your door,
And I craved your pity and care;
Three times you sent me onward,
Unhelped and uncomforted;
And the blessing you might have had was lost,
And your chance to serve has fled."

"O Lord, dear Lord, forgive me !
How could I know it was Thee ?"
My very soul was shamed and bowed
In the depths of humility,
And He said, "The sin is pardoned,
But the blessing is lost to thee;
For, comforting not the least of Mine,
You have failed to comfort Me."

- Emma A. Lent

The Fool's Prayer

      The royal feast was done; the King
      Sought some new sport to banish care,
      And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
      Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"
      The jester doffed his cap and bells,
      And stood the mocking court before;
      They could not see the bitter smile
      Behind the painted grin he wore.
      He bowed his head, and bent his knee
      Upon the Monarch's silken stool;
      His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
      Be merciful to me, a fool!
      "No pity, Lord, could change the heart
      From red with wrong to white as wool;
      The rod must heal the sin: but Lord,
      Be merciful to me, a fool!
      "'T is not by guilt the onward sweep
      Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
      'T is by our follies that so long
      We hold the earth from heaven away.
      "These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
      Go crushing blossoms without end;
      These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
      Among the heart-strings of a friend.
      "The ill-timed truth we might have kept--
      Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
      The word we had not sense to say--
      Who knows how grandly it had rung!
      "Our faults no tenderness should ask.
      The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
      But for our blunders -- oh, in shame
      Before the eyes of heaven we fall.
      "Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
      Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
      That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
      Be merciful to me, a fool!"
      The room was hushed; in silence rose
      The King, and sought his gardens cool,
      And walked apart, and murmured low,
      "Be merciful to me, a fool!" 
      -Edward Rowland Sill

O World

O world, thou choosest not the better part!
It is not wisdom to be only wise,
And on the inward vision close the eyes,
But it is wisdom to believe the heart.
Columbus found a world, and had no chart,
Save one that faith deciphered in the skies;
To trust the soul's invincible surmise
Was all his science and his only art.
Our knowledge is a torch of smoky pine
That lights the pathway but one step ahead
Across a void of mystery and dread.
Bid, then, the tender light of faith to shine
By which alone the mortal heart is led
Unto the thinking of the thought divine. 
-George Santayana

Sun and Rain and Dew from Heaven

 Sun and rain and dew from heaven,
Light and shade and air,
Heat and moisture freely given,
Thorns and thistles share.
Vegetation rank and rotten
Feels the cheering ray;
Not uncared for, unforgotten,
We, too, have our day.
Unforgotten! though we cumber
Earth, we work His will.
Shall we sleep through night’s long slumber,
Unforgotten still?
Onward! onward! toiling ever,
Weary steps and slow,
Doubting oft, despairing never,
To the goal we go!

Hark! the bells on distant cattle
Waft across the range,
Through the golden-tufted wattle,
Music low and strange;
Like the marriage peal of fairies
Comes the tinkling sound,
Or like chimes of sweet St. Mary’s
On for English ground.
How my courser champs the snaffle,
And with nostrils spread,
Snorts and scarcely seems to ruffle
Fern leaves with his tread;
Cool and pleasant on his haunches
Blows an evening breeze,
Through the overhanging branches
Of the wattle trees:
Onward! to the Southern Ocean,
Glides the breath of Spring,
Onward, with a dreamy motion,
I, too, glide and sing--
Forward! forward! still we wander--
Tinted hills that lie
In the red horizon yonder--
Is the goal so nigh?

Whisper, spring-wind, softly singing,
Whisper in my ear;
Respite and nepenthe bringing,
Can the goal be near?
Laden with the dew of vespers,
From the fragrant sky,
In my ear the wind that whispers
Seems to make reply--

“Question not, but live and labor
Till yon goal be won,
Helping every feeble neighbor,
Seeking help from none;
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone--
KINDNESS in another’s trouble,
COURAGE in your own.”

Courage, comrades, this is certain
All is for the best--
There are lights behind the curtain--
Gentles let us rest.
As the smoke-rack veers to seaward,
From “the ancient clay,”
With its moral drifting leeward,
Ends the wanderer’s lay.

-Adam Lindsay Gordon

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I don't understand it. I can't wrap my mind around it. Not until my mind has grasped it will I be able to let it go.