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Poems About Faith

Table of Contents

  1. Faith by Kate Louise Wheeler
  2. Weaving by Florence May Alt
  3. The Blind Man by Hannah Flagg Gould
  4. Turning Back by Anonymous
  5. Faith by William Henry Venable
  6. Everywhere by Raymond Garfield Dandridge
  7. I thank thee God, that I have lived by Elizabeth Craven
  8. Lead, Kindly Light by John Henry Newman
  9. The Young Setting Moon by Hannah Flagg Gould
  10. The Cross by Hannah Flagg Gould
  11. The Sentenced by Hannah Flagg Gould
  12. The Flying Squirrel by Amos Russel Wells
  13. Happiness Not To Be Found Upon Earth by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott
  14. Consider the Lilies by Peter Burn
  15. God's Will is Best by Caroline H. Mason
  16. The Eternal Goodness by John Greenleaf Whittier
  17. Trust Lessons by William Henry Dawson
  18. Guide Thou My Steps by William Henry Dawson
  19. Resignation by William Henry Dawson
  20. Don't, My Boy, Feel Blue by William Henry Dawson
  21. I Saw a Gate by James Russell Lowell
  22. Let Me Lean Hard by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  23. Until She Died by Edgar A. Guest
  24. The Path in the Sky by Anonymous
  25. What the Sparrow Chirps by Anonymous
  26. The Death of the Righteous by Lydia Sigourney
  27. The American Farmer by Thomas Cogswell Upham
  28. New-Mown Hay by Margaret Elizabeth Sangster
  29. Hope and Trust by Bernhardt Paul Holst
  30. The Potter's Clay by James B. Kenyon
  31. Confidence by Ellen P. Allerton
  32. Faith and Work by J. R. Eastwood
  33. George Muller by Amos Russel Wells
  34. The Sermon of St. Francis by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  35. A Hymn at Sea by Hannah Flagg Gould
  36. Lost Faith by Emily Dickinson
  37. Faith by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  38. Encouragement by ENS
  39. None Other Name by Christina Rossetti
  40. No Coward Soul Is Mine by Emily Brontë
  41. Faith by Tessa Sweazy Webb
  42. Lettie and John by H. H. Fuson
  43. To a Waterfowl by William Cullen Bryant
  44. The Foolish Virgins by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  45. The Light by Paul Laurence Dunbar
  46. Walk With Me by Gigi Ryan
  47. Thou Knowest by John Hill Luther
  48. The One Talent by William Cutter
  49. A Gingerbread Story by Lottie Brown Allen
  50. Faith by Frances Anne Kemble
  51. Faith, Hope, Charity by David Barker

  1. Faith

    by Kate Louise Wheeler

    Faith is needed every day,—
    Faith to work and faith to pray;
    Faith to learn and faith to teach,
    Faith to practice, faith to preach;
    Faith to love and faith to charm,
    Faith to quicken, faith to calm;
    Faith to bless and faith to chide,
    Faith to follow, faith to guide;
    Faith to prove and faith to know,
    Faith to stay and faith to go;
    Faith to urge and faith to keep,
    Faith to waken, faith to sleep;
    Faith to do and faith to dare,
    Faith to bear and faith to share;
    Faith to bind and faith to break,
    Faith to give and faith to take;
    Faith to stand and faith to yield,
    Faith to heal, faith to be healed,
    Faith to pardon, faith to seek,
    Faith to listen, faith to speak;
    Faith to wait and faith to try,
    Faith to live and faith to die.

  2. Weaving

    by Florence May Alt

    My life is but a weaving
    Between my God and me;
    I may but choose the colors—
    He worketh steadily.
    Full oft he weaveth sorrow;
    And I in foolish pride,
    Forget he sees the upper,
    And I the under side!

    I choose my strands all golden,
    And watch for woven stars;
    I murmur when the pattern
    Is set in blurs and mars.
    I cannot yet remember
    Whose hands the shuttles guide;
    And that my stars are shining
    Upon the upper side.

    I choose my thread all crimson,
    And wait for flowers to bloom,
    For warp and woof to blossom
    Upon that mighty loom.
    Full oft I seek them vainly,
    And fret for them denied—
    Though flowering wreaths and garlands,
    May deck the upper side.

    My life is but a weaving
    Between my God and me;
    I see the seams, the tangles—
    The fair design sees He.
    Then let me wait in patience
    And blindness; satisfied
    To make the pattern lovely
    Upon the upper side.

  3. The Blind Man

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    'T is darkness, darkness; dreary, starless night;
    Nature a blank, and day that shows no sun;
    Man, earth and seas and heavens shut out from sight—
    Such is thy portion, blind and hapless one!

    Hapless! a smile upon thy lip will dwell,
    While in thy sunken eye no light appears!
    That cold and rayless orb will never tell
    If first its film would burst with joy or tears.

    Yet light is in thy soul—that fire divine,
    That shone on Horeb's mount, illumines thee:
    Thou walk'st in safety, for the Guide is thine,
    Whom Israel followed through the parting sea.

    Though thou must grope for pillars hands have raised,
    Like him who erst Philistia's thousands slew,
    The temple where, by angels, God is praised,
    Thy father's house, is ever kept in view.

    Thou know'st how soon these earthly walls must fail;
    How frail and vain the things of time and sense;
    Thy steady faith looks onward through the veil,
    Where life eternal and its joys commence.

    Thy head is white—thy foot is at the grave;
    And nature's hasty work is nearly done;
    But He will bear thee safe o'er Jordan's wave,
    Whose peace is with thee, blind, but happy one!

  4. Turning Back

    by Amos Russel Wells

    When the blossom from the sun
    Turns its head away,
    Not for it do sunbeams run
    Through the shining day.

    When the blossom turns again
    To the sun's bright face,
    The forgiving sunlight then
    Pours its golden grace.

    When the round earth turns aside
    Into winter's cold,
    How the merry blossoms hide,
    How the world grows old!

    When the earth again in spring
    To the sun returns,
    How all heaven's pardoning
    Leaps and laughs and yearns!

    So when hearts of human kind
    Turn from God away,
    Gloom and misery they find
    Darkening the day.

    But if they will turn again
    And their God adore,
    As in nature so in men,
    All is well once more.

  5. Faith

    by William Henry Venable

    The spreading circle of the known
    That Science strives to bound with laws
    Is but a glowing sparkle thrown
    From God, the radiant central cause.

    His mystery is vaster far
    Than knowledge is or e'er can be;
    The wheel of Evolution's car
    Rolls onward through eternity.

    A stilly voice forever sounds
    The lapses of our doubt between;
    "Seek not to give Religion bounds,
    Nor limit Faith by forces seen,"

  6. Everywhere

    by Raymond Garfield Dandridge

    How dare you question Him, or doubt,
    With proof conclusive all about?
    What basis has your faith and hope
    If grave and death conclude your scope?
    Do you not see, as here you stand,
    The working of His Master Hand?
    Behold you not in field and stream
    Presence of His power, supreme?
    He is a solace to the poor
    In purse and spirit; He is more.
    An all-wise Counsel to the meek;
    A place of refuge for the weak;
    His Omnipresence fills the air!
    Behold Him, doubter, everywhere!

  7. I thank thee God, that I have lived

    by Elizabeth Craven

    I thank thee God, that I have lived
    In this great world and known its many joys:
    The songs of birds, the strongest sweet scent of hay,
    And cooling breezes in the secret dusk;
    The flaming sunsets at the close of day,
    Hills and the lovely, heather-covered moors;
    Music at night, and the moonlight on the sea,
    The beat of waves upon the rocky shore
    And wild white spray, flung high in ecstasy;
    The faithful eyes of dogs, and treasured books,
    The love of Kin and fellowship of friends
    And all that makes life dear and beautiful.

    I thank Thee too, that there has come to me
    A little sorrow and sometimes defeat,
    A little heartache and the loneliness
    That comes with parting and the words 'Good-bye';
    Dawn breaking after weary hours of pain,
    When I discovered that night's gloom must yield
    And morning light break through to me again.
    Because of these and other blessings poured
    Unasked upon my wondering head,
    Because I know that there is yet to come
    An even richer and more glorious life,
    And most of all, because Thine only Son
    Once sacrificed life's loveliness for me,
    I thank Thee, God, that I have lived.

  8. Lead, Kindly Light

    by John Henry Newman

    Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
    Lead thou me on!
    The night is dark, and I am far from home,—
    Lead thou me on!
    Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
    The distant scene,—one step enough for me.

    I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou
    Shouldst lead me on:
    I loved to choose and see my path, but now
    Lead thou me on!
    I loved the garish days, and, spite of fears,
    Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

    So long thy power hath blessed me, sure it still
    Will lead me on;
    O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
    The night is gone;
    And with the morn those angel faces smile
    Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

  9. The Young Setting Moon

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    The fair, young moon in a silver bow,
    Looks back from the bending west,
    Like a weary soul, that is glad to go
    To the long-sought place of rest.

    Her crescent lies in a beaming crown
    On the distant hill's dark head,
    Serene as the righteous looking down
    On the world, from his dying bed.

    Her rays, to our view, grow few and faint.
    Her light is at last withdrawn;
    And she, like the calmly departing saint,
    To her far-off home is gone.

    O! what could have made the moon so bright
    Till her work for the earth was done?
    'T was the glory drawn from a purer light—
    From the face of the radiant sun!

    For she on her absent king could look,
    Whom the world saw not the while;
    Her face from his all its beauty took—
    She conveyed to the world his smile.

    By him, through night has the moon been led
    'Mid the clouds that crossed the sky,
    While she drew her beams o'er the earth to shed,
    From the god where she fixed her eye.

    And thus does Faith 'mid her trials, view
    In the God to whom she clings
    A SUN, whose glories for ever new,
    Unfold in his healing wings.

    'T is He, who will guide our course aright
    Though grief overcloud the heart;
    And it is but faith being lost in sight
    When the good from the earth depart!

  10. The Cross

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    'T was night. In silence the tranquil scene
    Of earth lay under a sky serene.
    The moon in her peerless beauty shone.
    She traversed the ether fields alone,
    With mildness sending her silver beams
    To glitter and play in the lakes and streams;
    While over the slumbering world she cast
    Her mantle of light, as on she passed
    Across the numberless stars, that strewed
    Her path in the calm, deep solitude.

    But there was one, at this peaceful hour,
    Awake to worship the holy power,
    Whose wisdom the firm foundations laid
    Whereon the heavens and earth were made;
    Who willed; and what to a world was wrought,
    Arose from the depth of eternal thought;
    Who spake, while Chaos the mandate heard—
    And order appeared at his mighty word;
    Who marked the space for the spheres to roll;
    Who breathed—and man was a living soul!

    The lady her evening prayer had said,
    Had sung her hymn and a tear had shed,
    As the sign of her faith she marked and blessed,
    Where lightly it lay on her heaving breast;
    While, bowed in spirit, she mourned within
    That God's fair image, enslaved by sin,
    Had caused the stream from the crimsoned tree,
    Where death was conquered, and man made free—
    That now he must pass to his native skies
    Through the blood of a guiltless sacrifice.

    The cross she wore was of oaken wood,
    That once in a far-off wild had stood:
    'T was carved from the heart of the forest king,
    And hung o'er hers by a silken string.
    But what it had seen in the royal oak,
    And since it bowed to the woodman's stroke,
    Until to the sacred emblem formed,
    And thus by a christian bosom warmed,
    She asked; and this did it seem to say,
    As on it, sleeping, a moonbeam lay:

    'When called from my mother earth, at first
    A fair, young shoot from the acorn burst;
    And I was there in the infant tree;
    Its vital fluid was feeding me.
    And when it arose from the tender germ,
    To stand in an oak mature and firm,
    Its root struck deep and its head towered high,
    While I, still hidden from mortal eye,
    Was viewed alone by the radiant One
    That kindled the stars and lit the sun.

    'Unseen I've listened, and fearless heard
    The cry of the savage, of beast and bird.
    The heavy tramp of the gloomy bear
    Has passed by me to his sunken lair;
    The wolf prowled 'round me, the eagle screamed,
    And near me the blood of their victims streamed.
    I've heard the whiz of the Indian's dart,
    The deer's last bound as it touched his heart,
    And the crackling faggots that then have blazed,
    But reached me not with the flame they raised.

    'The wounded chieftain has pressed the sod
    Beneath me, trusting an unknown God,
    That he to a hunting-ground should go,
    In the spirit-world, with his shafts and bow;
    While death was hastening to dismiss
    His blindly wandering soul from this.
    And when that warrior-soul had fled,
    And under the clods they laid their dead,
    Then nature dissolved his mortal part,
    To strengthen the oak in its root and heart.

    'The scorching heat and the pinching cold
    Have only rendered me strong and bold.
    The storms of ages have 'round me beat,
    But shook me not from my moveless seat.
    The hail has rattled, the torrent poured,
    The lightning glared and the thunder roared—
    The wind with fury has tried its power
    In vain, to ruin my strong high tower;
    The sick earth opened, and heaved to free
    Her fires, but never neglected me.

    'And Nature her sweetest sounds has made
    About me to play, in my calm, green shade.
    The tender mother who found her young
    Where o'er them the living veil was hung,
    Would tell the joy of her downy breast
    In song, while hovering 'round her nest.
    The spirit that made the oak his care
    Has touched his harp with a hand of air,
    To whispering leaves, that danced to hear
    The notes of their guardian angel near.

    'But Time, who, born with his wings unfurled,
    Where new-made matter became a world,
    Has never suffered them since to pause,
    Decrees, as first of his tyrant laws,
    That all they sweep in his powerful range,
    Shall take his signet, and yield to change.
    And what no element could destroy,
    The tree, which the savage beheld with joy,
    And left it flourishing high and fair,
    The hand of the white man would not spare.

    'He came. The might of his arm he tried.
    He smote the oak till it bowed and died.
    The stately trunk of its head bereft,
    When its limbs were lopped and its sides were cleft,
    Was forced away from the sylvan scene,
    To strengthen the frame of an ocean queen.
    When pierced and probed by the cold, blue steel,
    They fastened it over her noble keel,
    On every side enclosing it tight
    From Heaven's free air and its cheering light.

    'When far from my own dear forest-ground,
    I lay in irons, and firmly bound
    To many an aged oak that died
    To form that ship in her power and pride,
    They gave her the arms of a mighty host,
    And called her after Columbia's boast,
    The "CONSTITUTION"—and I, in part,
    Was nerve and strength to her dauntless heart.
    But sad indeed were the scenes they then
    Prepared for me in the ways of men!

    'An exile, torn from my place of birth,
    They now denied me a home on earth,
    And hurried me off on the deep, to be
    The restless sport of a rolling sea.
    But, not the furious waves I crossed,
    By winds and waters driven and tossed,
    Nor yet the tempest, in all its wrath,
    That came to trouble my perilous path,
    Was half so terrible, as the strife
    Of man with man, and his waste of life.

    'When war strode over the yawning flood,
    Displaying his garments drenched in blood,
    The withering flash of his fiery eye
    He gave as a signal for man to die.
    His thundering voice for his victims roared—
    And forth from their bosoms the life-streams poured!
    A shroud for his banner on high he bore,
    With death's dread countenance traced in gore.

    'He claimed the ship. With his sword unsheathed,
    He reapt on the deep, and round her wreathed
    The fairest laurels, that spring and grow
    Where drop the arms of a conquered foe!
    And, dipped in the red and reeking sluice
    Of life's warm current at once let loose,
    Her palm he raised in victory high;
    And bright was her glory to this world's eye,
    Though weeds and weeping its light revealed,
    As it shone afar from the victor's shield.

    'But Time flew on; and the murdered oak
    In many a battle was stricken and broke.
    By the mouths of its wounds it craved release
    From war and the waves, to the earth and peace.
    And what it had sought in its strength, and failed,
    It asked in its weakness, and thus prevailed.
    From bonds and darkness 't was then set free;
    And I was cut from its heart to be,
    Through joy and sadness, a holy sign
    Of the vow, the faith, and the hopes of thine.

    'When war and death shall at length be slain,
    For the Prince of peace and life to reign—
    When sin, nor sorrow, nor pain, nor night,
    Can pass the end of the christian fight—
    Where earth's vain glory is all forgot
    Before his brightness, who changeth not,
    May the Spirit that hovers about thee here,
    To note the cause of thy falling tear,
    Attest to thy counting all as loss,
    To follow the LAMB and bear the CROSS!'

  11. The Sentenced

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    They say the blessed Spring is here,
    With all her buds and flowers;
    With singing birds and fountains clear,
    Soft winds, and sunny hours.
    They say the earth looks new and bright,
    That o'er the azure sky
    The very clouds are fringed with light,
    And gaily floating by.

    They tell me nature's full of life,
    And man, of hope and joy:
    But ah! not so, my widowed wife,
    My more than orphan boy!
    For, smiling nature cannot give
    Such innocence as theirs
    To me; nor can she bid me live
    In answer to their prayers.

    Beyond my dismal prison-bars,
    The coy night air steals by;
    And but a few pale, trembling stars
    Will greet my guilty eye.
    Ere thrice the rising morn shall spread
    Her mantle o'er the wave,
    I shall be numbered with the dead,
    And fill a felon's grave!

    To thee, alas! my noble son,
    I leave a withered name—
    A life, for what thy sire hath done,
    Of bitter, blighting shame!
    And thou, to whom I gave a love
    More pure, and warm, and free,
    Than e'er I placed on aught above,
    What do I leave to thee?

    A bleeding heart, that cannot make
    Its throbbing pulses cease:
    Thou'lt smell the dungeon in the bloom
    Of every vernal flower.

    A pall will hang beside the way,
    Where'er thy feet may go,
    Upon the brightest path to lay
    A shade of death and woe.
    I leave thee as a tender vine
    That felt the tempest rush,
    And fell, with fought whereon to twine,
    For every foot to crush!

    These cutting thoughts, while yet I live,
    Will ceaseless anguish bring,
    And, in the last, sad moment, give
    To death a double sting.
    From them, O heaven! I turn to thee,
    The sinner's friend to seek—
    If thou hast pard'ning grace for me,
    O God! my pardon speak.

    Thy spirit in the still, small voice,
    O, send with peace to mine;
    And let this trembling soul rejoice
    In being sealed as thine!
    Then, through the world's dark wilderness
    Be thou my widow's God—
    The Father of my fatherless,
    When I'm beneath the sod!

    13But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    – Luke 18:13-14
    The Bible, ESV
  12. The Flying Squirrel

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Down the chimney's treacherous way
    A flying squirrel fell one day,
    And, terror-stricken, flew around
    With scratching sound and bumping sound,
    Behind the pictures, chairs, and vases,
    In all obscure, protecting places.
    And how persistently, with shout,
    And flapping cloth and poker stout,
    We tried to drive the rascal out

    There was the sunny world outside,
    And doors and windows open wide,
    Yet that poor beastie, foolish-wise,
    With quivering breast and frightened eyes,
    His little body one wild fear.
    He darted there and scuttled here,
    But shunned, the silly! o'er and o'er,
    The open windows and the door.

    Till last a nervous, lucky blow
    Worked the poor fool a happy woe,—
    Struck him to floor, a furry heap,
    And there he lay as if asleep.
    We took him up with tender care
    And bore him to the outer air;
    When suddenly his heady eyes
    Snapped open in a glad surprise;
    "Too good," he thought it, "to be true.
    But yet I'll try," and off he flew!

    And so, dear human squirrels,we,
    Caught where it is not best to be,
    By some mischance or likelier sin,
    The same wild blundering course begin.
    We rave, we faint, we fly, we fall,
    We dash our heads against the wall,
    We scramble there, we scurry here.
    We palpitate in nameless fear,
    In stupid corners still we hide,
    And miss the windows, open wide.

    Till last, struck down by some stern blow
    That seems a climax to our woe,
    As there we lie in helplessness,
    God's great, strong hand of tenderness
    Closes around us, lifts us high,
    And bears us forth beneath the sky,
    And leaves us where we ought to be,
    Under blue heavens, glad, and free.

  13. Happiness Not To Be Found Upon Earth

    by Eliza Wolcott

    Hours of peace, and tranquil pleasure,
    Scarce are found in hearts below;
    And the friend we call a treasure,
    Falls beneath Death's cruel blow.

    Life, and health, we call a blessing,
    Sure it is, if well improv'd;
    Yet the thought of sin's distressing,
    Makes one sigh, as all have prov'd.

    Yet the gift of life's a short one,
    Health is ever on the wing;
    Soon our life is gone, 'tis done,—
    Transient life's a feeble string.

    May we tune our harps for heaven,—
    Strive to walk the narrow way;
    How our Savior's life was given,
    For those sheep who go astray.

    Let us highly prize this treasure,
    Let us own His holy name;
    Let it be our highest pleasure,
    To be true followers of the Lamb.

  14. Consider the Lilies

    by Peter Burn

    Consider the lilies,
    Ye sons of despair;
    Consider the lilies,
    Ye daughters of care,
    And from them instruction receive:
    Though fragile and feeble,
    Yet, see how they grow,
    "They toil not, they spin not,"
    Nor care do they know,
    But, kept by their Maker, they live.

    Consider the lilies!
    To them ever give
    Attention and study—
    They'll teach you to live,
    The secret of peace they will show;
    Then, ye from distresses
    And cares shall be free,
    Like them ye shall flourish,
    Though lowly ye be,
    Like them, ye in vigour shall grow.

    When the heart's with anguish riven,
    Hope 's our anchor,—faith's our guide,
    Which directs our souls to heaven,
    Where we from the storm may hide.

    – Eliza Wolcott
    To Sorrow

    Soon our bark will land, where sorrow
    Never rolls along the side;
    Faith and hope light's up the morrow—
    Where with God we shall abide.

    – Eliza Wolcott
    To Sorrow

    I've felt the fond emotion
    Of pity and of love;
    But nothing's like devotion,
    Which lifts the heart above.

    – Eliza Wolcott
    Happiness Is To Be Found In God Alone

    Like clouds before a shower,
    Our better passions move;
    The darkest cloud hath power,
    Our faith and hope to prove.

    – Eliza Wolcott
    Grief And Hope, Compared To The Rainbow After A Shower

    Father, perfect my trust;
    Strengthen the might of my faith;
    Let me feel as I would when I stand
    On the rock of the shore of death,—

    Feel as I would when my feet
    Are slipping o'er the brink;
    For it may be I am nearer home,
    Nearer now than I think.

    – Phoebe Cary
    Nearer Home
  15. God's Will is Best

    by Caroline H. Mason

    Whichever way the wind doth blow,
    Some heart is glad to have it so;
    Then blow it east, or blow it west,
    The wind that blows, that wind is best.
    My little craft sails not alone,—
    A thousand fleets, from every zone,
    Are out upon a thousand seas,
    And what for me were favoring breeze
    Might dash another with the shock
    Of doom upon some hidden rock.

    I leave it to a higher Will
    To stay or speed me, trusting still
    That all is well, and sure that He
    Who launched my bark will sail with me
    Through storm and calm, and will not fail,
    Whatever breezes may prevail,
    To land me, every peril past,
    Within His Haven at the last.
    Then blow it east, or blow it west,
    The wind that blows, that wind is best.

  16. The Eternal Goodness

    by John Greenleaf Whittier

    O friends! with whom my feet have trod
    The quiet aisles of prayer,
    Glad witness to your zeal for God
    And love of man I bear.

    I trace your lines of argument;
    Your logic linked and strong
    I weigh as one who dreads dissent,
    And fears a doubt as wrong.

    But still my human hands are weak
    To hold your iron creeds:
    Against the words ye bid me speak
    My heart within me pleads.

    Who fathoms the Eternal Thought?
    Who talks of scheme and plan?
    The Lord is God! He needeth not
    The poor device of man.

    I walk with bare, hushed feet the ground
    Ye tread with boldness shod;
    I dare not fix with mete and bound
    The love and power of God.

    Ye praise His justice; even such
    His pitying love I deem:
    Ye seek a king; I fain would touch
    The robe that hath no seam.

    Ye see the curse which overbroods
    A world of pain and loss;
    I hear our Lord's beatitudes
    And prayer upon the cross.

    More than your schoolmen teach, within
    Myself, alas! I know:
    Too dark ye cannot paint the sin,
    Too small the merit show.

    I bow my forehead to the dust,
    I veil mine eyes for shame,
    And urge, in trembling self-distrust,
    A prayer without a claim.

    I see the wrong that round me lies,
    I feel the guilt within;
    I hear, with groan and travail-cries,
    The world confess its sin.

    Yet, in the maddening maze of things,
    And tossed by storm and flood,
    To one fixed trust my spirit clings;
    I know that God is good!

    Not mine to look where cherubim
    And seraphs may not see,
    But nothing can be good in Him
    Which evil is in me.

    The wrong that pains my soul below
    I dare not throne above,
    I know not of His hate, — I know
    His goodness and His love.

    I dimly guess from blessings known
    Of greater out of sight,
    And, with the chastened Psalmist, own
    His judgments too are right.

    I long for household voices gone,
    For vanished smiles I long,
    But God hath led my dear ones on,
    And He can do no wrong.

    I know not what the future hath
    Of marvel or surprise,
    Assured alone that life and death
    His mercy underlies.

    And if my heart and flesh are weak
    To bear an untried pain,
    The bruisèd reed He will not break,
    But strengthen and sustain.

    No offering of my own I have,
    Nor works my faith to prove;
    I can but give the gifts He gave,
    And plead His love for love.

    And so beside the Silent Sea
    I wait the muffled oar;
    No harm from Him can come to me
    On ocean or on shore.

    I know not where His islands lift
    Their fronded palms in air;
    I only know I cannot drift
    Beyond His love and care.

    O brothers! if my faith is vain,
    If hopes like these betray,
    Pray for me that my feet may gain
    The sure and safer way.

    And Thou, O Lord! by whom are seen
    Thy creatures as they be,
    Forgive me if too close I lean
    My human heart on Thee!

  17. Trust Lessons

    by William Henry Dawson

    Just a tiny, little bird flew down upon the ground,
    And with seeming satisfaction swallowed what he found;
    Then flew back to the branches of a nearby apple tree,
    Seemingly as happy as a little bird could be.
    Not a trace of worry could I see upon his face,
    Though I knew that he knew not either the time or place:
    When or where he'd gather crumbs for his next little meal.
    Then I thought I'd give the world if I could only feel
    Such simple and abiding trust in my own Father's care,
    As little birds are teaching to men everywhere.
    Just a tiny rabbit from his fur-lined burrow crept—
    Where through the hours of sunshine he had securely slept—
    To nibble leaves from clover, and his thirst to slake,
    Then back into his burrow another nap to take.
    Not a sign of worry could be seen in act or look:
    I know that bunny did not learn that trust from any book.
    Then why should I not have that trust in my own Father's care,
    That little rabbits teach to doubting people everywhere?
    A father placed his little child upon an open wall,
    And said, "Now jump, my little man—papa won't let you fall:
    Jump into papa's arms my boy—I'll surely catch you dear
    The child leaped to his father's arms, without a sign of fear.
    Why is it when my Father calls to me, I hesitate,
    And doubt, and wait, and falter, and talk of unkind fate,
    And pray to be excused from all unpleasant work?
    Such conduct in a child of mine would brand him as a shirk.
    I cannot understand why I don't trust my Father's care,
    With that sweet trust that's being taught by children everywhere.

  18. Guide Thou My Steps

    by William Henry Dawson

    I do not ask to have revealed today
    Each step that in tomorrow's pathway lies;
    But 'tis for this, O Lord, I humbly pray:
    Guide Thou my steps aright from day to day.
    If Thou wilt only let me feel Thy hand
    At each new step, while traveling toward the skies,
    Firm as a rock, in fiercest storm, I'll stand;
    Guide Thou my steps aright to Heaven's land.
    If through deep Sorrow's vale I m called to tread,
    And darkest clouds from me Thy face doth hide,
    Let me remember that my Lord hath said,
    "I'll never leave thee, though all friends have fled."
    If but Thy touch, dear Savior, I may know,
    Then Trouble's sea, how rough, how deep, how wide,
    It matters not, can ne'er me overflow;
    Guide Thou my steps and I aright shall go.

  19. Resignation

    by William Henry Dawson

    Swen Kittelson, an honest Swede,
    Who owned a Minnesota farm—
    A man of thrift but not of greed,
    Who never wished his neighbor harm—
    Was never known to fume and fret;
    And when things got into a plight,
    Such as would many a man upset,
    Swen smiled and said, "Das ben ol rait,"
    No matter if the rain would fall
    For a whole week, both day and night,
    And weeds shot upward thick and tall,
    Swen smiled and said, "Das ben ol rait."
    Or if the sun shone day by day,
    Until the corn leaves rolled up tight,
    All anyone e'er heard Swen say
    Was, "Val, Ay tank das ben ol rait."
    A neighbor one day asked of Swen,
    "How can you see things in that light?"
    Swen answered, "Val, Ay tank dat ven
    God runs dose tings, Hae runs 'em rait.
    And ven Hae vants to make it rain,
    Or if Hae vants de sun to shine,
    Ay tank it's foolish to complain,
    Fer dat's God's business and not mine."
    One day Swen fell from scaffold high:
    The doctor said, "Can't live till night."
    Swen smiled and said, "Christine, don't cry,
    If I must die, das ben ol rait,"

  20. Don't, My Boy, Feel Blue

    by William Henry Dawson

    Sometimes one feels as if he'd lost
    His last and dearest friend;
    And that a bare existence costs
    More than one has to spend.
    Should such a feeling ever take
    Possession, boy, of you,
    Strain every nerve its chain to break,
    And don't, my boy, feel blue.

    No matter if the cold should drop
    Below the thirty line;
    Don't fume, and fret, and scold, but stop
    And smile, and say "it's fine."
    Behind each cloud, however dense,
    There is a silver hue;
    Then exercise your common sense,
    And don't, my boy, feel blue.

    Or if beneath the scorching rays
    Of summer's sun you're called
    To walk, rough shod, plain duty's ways,
    Until footsore and galled,
    Go right along with patient tread,
    And whate'er else you do,
    Keep a right heart and level head,
    And don't, my boy, feel blue.

    For every man who does his best,
    According to the light
    That God has placed within his breast,
    Is right—most surely right.
    And when that little silent guide
    Tells you that what you do
    Is right, you may in him confide,
    And don't, my boy, feel blue.

    The great highway that skyward leads,
    Goes not through vice and crime;
    Its steps are just the little deeds
    Performed, each hour of time.
    Be sure, then, that each act is right,
    And each heartbeat is true;
    Then you will find each day so bright
    'Twill dissipate the blue.

  21. I Saw a Gate

    by James Russell Lowell

    I saw a gate: a harsh voice spake and said,
    "This is the gate of Life;" above was writ,
    "Leave hope behind, all ye who enter it;"
    Then shrank my heart within itself for dread;
    But, softer than the summer rain is shed,
    Words dropt upon my soul, and they did say,
    "Fear nothing, Faith shall save thee, watch and pray!"
    So, without fear I lifted up my head,
    And lo! that writing was not, one fair word
    Was carven in its stead, and it was "Love."
    Then rained once more those sweet tones from above
    With healing on their wings: I humbly heard,
    "I am the Life, ask and it shall be given!
    I am the way, by me ye enter Heaven!"

  22. Let Me Lean Hard

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Let me lean hard upon the Eternal Breast:
    In all earth's devious ways, I sought for rest
    And found it not. I will be strong, said I,
    And lean upon myself. I will not cry
    And importune all heaven with my complaint,
    But now my strength fails, and I fall, I faint:
    Let me lean hard.

    Let me lean hard upon the unfailing Arm.
    I said I will walk on, I fear no harm,
    The spark divine within my soul will show
    The upward pathway where my feet should go.
    But now the heights to which I most aspire
    Are lost in clouds. I stumble and I tire:
    Let me lean hard.

    Let me lean harder yet. That swerveless force
    Which speeds the solar systems on their course
    Can take, unfelt, the burden of my woe,
    Which bears me to the dust and hurts me so.
    I thought my strength enough for any fate,
    But lo! I sink beneath my sorrow's weight:
    Let me lean hard.

  23. Until She Died

    by Edgar A. Guest

    Until she died we never knew
    The beauty of our faith in God.
    We'd seen the summer roses nod
    And wither as the tempests blew,
    Through many a spring we'd lived to see
    The buds returning to the tree.

    We had not felt the touch of woe;
    What cares had come, had lightly flown;
    Our burdens we had borne alone—
    The need of God we did not know.
    It seemed sufficient through the days
    To think and act in worldly ways.

    And then she closed her eyes in sleep;
    She left us for a little while;
    No more our lives would know her smile.
    And oh, the hurt of it went deep!
    It seemed to us that we must fall
    Before the anguish of it all.

    Our faith, which had not known the test,
    Then blossomed with its comfort sweet,
    Promised that some day we should meet
    And whispered to us: "He knows best."
    And when our bitter tears were dried,
    We found our faith was glorified.

  24. The Path in the Sky

    by Amos Russel Wells

    The woods were dark and the night was black,
    And only an owl could see the track;
    Yet the cheery driver made his way
    Through the great pine woods as if it were day.

    I asked him, "How do you manage to see?
    The road and the forest are one to me."
    "To me as well," he replied, "and I
    Can only drive by the path in the sky."

    I looked above, where the treetops tall
    Rose from the road like an ebon wall,
    And lo! a beautiful starry lane
    Wound as the road wound and made it plain.

    And since, when the path of my life is drear
    And all is blackness and doubt and fear,
    When the horrors of midnight are here below
    And I see not a step of the way to go,
    Then, ah! then I can look on high,
    And walk on earth by the path in the sky.

  25. What the Sparrow Chirps

    by Anonymous

    I am only a little sparrow,
    A bird of low degree;
    My life is of little value,
    But the dear Lord cares for me.

    He gave me a coat of feathers;
    It is very plain, I know,
    With never a speck of crimson,
    For it was not made for show.

    But it keeps me warm in winter,
    And it shields me from the rain;
    Were it bordered with gold or purple
    Perhaps it would make me vain.

    By and by, when spring-time comes,
    I’ll build myself a nest,
    With many a chirp of pleasure,
    In the spot I like the best.

    And He will give me wisdom
    To build it of leaves most brown;
    Soft it must be for my birdies,
    And so I will line it with down.

    I have no barn or storehouse,
    I neither sow nor reap;
    God gives me a sparrow’s portion,
    But never a seed to keep.

    If my meal is sometimes scanty,
    Close picking makes it sweet;
    I have always enough to feed me,
    And “life is more than meat.”

    I know there are many sparrows—
    All over the world we are found—
    But our heavenly Father knoweth
    When one of us falls to the ground.

    Though small, we are never forgotten; Though weak, we are never afraid;
    For we know that the dear Lord keepeth The life of the creatures he made.

    I fly through the thickest forests,
    I light on many a spray;
    I have no chart or compass,
    But I never lose my way.

    And I fold my wings at twilight,
    Wherever I happen to be;
    For the Father is always watching,
    And no harm will come to me.

    I am only a little sparrow,
    A bird of low degree,
    But I know that the Father loves me.
    Have you less faith than we?

    28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

    – Matthew 10:28-29
  26. The Death of the Righteous

    by Lydia Sigourney

    I look'd upon the righteous man,
    And saw his parting breath,
    Without a struggle or a sigh
    Yield peacefully to Death,
    There was no anguish on his brow,
    No terror in his eye,
    The Spoiler launch'd a fatal dart,
    But lost the victory.

    I look'd upon the righteous man,
    And heard the holy prayer
    Which rose above that breathless clay
    To soothe the mourner's care,
    And felt how precious was the gift,
    He to his dear ones gave,
    The stainless memory of the just,
    The wealth beyond the grave.

    I look'd upon the righteous man,
    And all our earthly trust,
    Its pleasure—vanity, and pride,
    Seem'd lighter than the dust,
    Compar'd with his eternal gain,
    A home above the sky!—
    O grant us, Lord, his life to live,
    That we his death may die.

  27. The American Farmer

    by Thomas Cogswell Upham

    The thoughtful farmer reads the Sacred Book,
    Then, with the wife and children of his heart,
    With mind serene, and reverential look,
    He humbly kneels, as is the Christian's part,
    And worships Thee, Our Father, Thee, who art
    The good man's hope, the poor man's only stay;
    Who hast a balm for sorrow's keenest dart,
    A smile for those to thee who humbly pray,
    Which, like the morning sun, drives every cloud away.

    Thou Lord of heaven above and earth below,
    Our Maker and our Guide, our hope, our all!
    Be thou the farmer's friend. In want and woe,
    Teach him to look to thee, on thee to call;
    Nor let his steps in error's pathway fall.
    With him preserve his loved, his native land;
    In innocence and honor let her stand;
    And centuries yet to come, oh, hold her in thy hand!

  28. New-Mown Hay

    by Margaret E. Sangster

    Sweet, oh sweet, from the fields to-day
    Wafts the breath of the new-mown hay.

    Sewing away in a happy dream,
    I sit in the porch with my long white seam.

    The very silence is like a tune,
    Sung to the golden afternoon.

    While the house is still, and the meadows lie
    Fast asleep 'neath the radiant sky.

    Only at intervals, now and then,
    I hear the farmer call to his men.

    And the farmer's voice is dear to me
    As ever a mortal voice can be.

    You may talk of the love of youth and maid,
    Of two in childhood, perhaps, who played

    Together by rill and fount and tree,
    Till their hearts had grown one heart to be;

    You may tell of the loyal faith and life
    Of the husband dear and the gentle wife;

    But the widowed mother leans closest on
    The tender strength of her only son.

    Ah! what if that farmer of mine one day
    Should seek him a bride, as well he may,

    And bring her home! Would I be loath,
    Mother and friend, to live for both?

    For somehow the scent of the new-mown hay
    Carries me back to a far-off day,

    When my silver hair was in waves of brown,
    When my bashful glances kept looking down,

    And swift to my cheek, in a sudden red,
    Mounted the blush, at a soft word said.

    Truly the days of my youth were sweet,
    Ere the path was rough to my toiling feet.

    Truly the morning of life was blest,
    And yet in sooth is the evening best;

    For I've learned the lesson that joys must fly,
    And the proudest hopes, like flowers, die.

    But God abides in his heaven, and he
    Will never forget to care for me.

    Sweet, oh sweet, is the new-mown hay,
    Wafting its breath from the fields to-day.

    Sweet is the golden afternoon,
    With its silence rhythmic as a tune,

    And dear to the soul is the calm content
    Of hours in grateful trusting spent.

  29. Hope and Trust

    by Bernhardt Paul Holst

    Whoever plants an acorn seed,
    With faith that it will fill a need;
    Who seeks for potence in the sod,
    He lives in hope and trusts in God.

    Whoever plows 'and tills the soil,
    And plants the seed with earnest toil;
    Who waits on nature to reward,
    He lives in hope and trusts in God.

    Whoever guides a youthful mind,
    That it might power and wisdom find;
    Who aims that sin be overawed,
    He lives in hope and trusts in God.

    Whoever teaches men to know,
    That they must reap whate'er they sow,
    Who stands for truth, unshorn, unshod,
    He lives in hope and trusts in God.

    Whoever leads a mighty host,
    To save a cause that's almost lost;
    Who pleads for right, 'gainst every odd,
    He lives in hope and trusts in God.

    Whoever keeps the faith secure,
    Though death may hover at the door;
    Who is alert, though others nod,
    He lives in hope and trusts in God.

  30. Confidence

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    Is it better never to hope, than to hope in vain?
    Is it better never to strive, lest we never attain?
    Is it better to cling to the shore and leave untried
    Life's wide, deep sea, for dread of its storm and tide?

    Who ventures naught, he surely shall never win;
    He naught shall finish, who never doth aught begin;
    The sun may shine and the heavens may shed its rain,
    But only the sower may harvest his golden grain.

    To-morrow, we know, is dark with its misty veil;
    The light on the path to-day is but dim and pale;
    Blindly we grope our way—but 'tis better so—
    What God hath hidden 'tis better we should not know.

    Nobler and braver is he who stakes his all,
    And takes his loss or gain as the chances may fall,
    Than he who folds his hands and idly waits,
    Till the shadows gather darkly about his gates.

    Shall we turn our ear away from a sweet refrain,
    Lest the pleasant song may turn to a diqje of pain?
    Shall we close our eyes to the ray in the midnight gloom,
    Lest it prove a lure that leads to the door of a tomb?

    Is it better never to love, lest love mistake?
    The passionate heart may quiver and ache and break—
    Yet give us the warm, rich wine, though well we know
    That dregs as bitter as death may lie below.

    We sigh for the joys that were coming, and never came;
    We sit in the dark and weep, with our hearts aflame;
    We feel the crush and grind of the silent mill—
    Feel the crush and grind, while our lips are still.

    What, then! shall we spurn our life as a broken thing?
    Shall we fling a curse in the face of Heaven's King?
    Happy is he who keepeth his trust through all;
    He may shrink and shiver, and falter, but shall not fall.

  31. The Potter's Clay

    by James B. Kenyon

    Upon the potter's flying wheel the clay
    Knows not the purpose of its plasmic day;
    So we upon this blindly-whirling sphere
    Are shaped to ends which do not yet appear.

  32. Faith and Work

    by J. R. Eastwood

    This gospel is more true and sweet
    Than all beside that men declare;
    It is as light and strength and heat
    In hearts that waste with dark despair.

    We have no time to moan and sigh,
    With fears assailed, and filled with grief;
    For each and all beneath the sky
    One happy way will bring relief.

    Work, though the heart should throb with pain
    Toil on, and be of better cheer;
    Work, with both hands, and with the brain,
    Busy and bright, and keen and clear.

    The lot of all beneath the sky,
    We live by faith, assailed with grief;
    We have no time to moan and sigh;
    We trust in God, and find relief.

  33. George Muller

    by Amos Russel Wells

    While others taught a race to thrust and fence
    And shaped new nations with their measuring rod,
    Thou didst lay hold of heaven's omnipotence,
    O Caesar of the promises of God!

    While other hands grew large to grasp and hold
    What slipped, and left them like an empty pod,
    Thou wert a millionaire of heaven's gold,
    O Croesus of the promises of God!

    While others through the maze of seen and heard,
    Conjectures, fancies, all unsteady trod,
    Thou hadst one lore: that God would keep His word,
    O Solon of the promises of God!

  34. A Hymn at Sea

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    O thou, who hast spread out the skies
    And measured the depths of the sea,
    'Twixt the heavens and the ocean shall rise,
    Our incense of praises to thee!

    We know that thy presence is near,
    While our bark tosses far from the land;
    And we ride o'er the deep without fear;
    For, the waters are held in thy hand.

    Though not since the morn when the flood
    Poured in, this vast cavern to fill,
    Has the sea ever motionless stood,
    Or the pulse of its bosom been still.

    Inscribed on its face, from that hour
    Thy name has indelibly shone,
    Where man, while he worships thy power,
    Can leave not a trace of his own!

    Eternity comes in the sound
    Of the billows, that never can sleep!
    There's Deity circling us round—
    Omnipotence walks o'er the deep!

    O Father, our eye is to thee,
    As on for the haven we roll;
    And faith in our Pilot shall be
    An anchor to steady the soul!

  35. Lost Faith

    by Emily Dickinson

    To lose one's faith surpasses
    The loss of an estate,
    Because estates can be
    Replenished, — faith cannot.

    Inherited with life,
    Belief but once can be;
    Annihilate a single clause,
    And Being's beggary.

  36. Faith

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    The faint lose faith
    When in the tomb their all is laid,
    And there returns
    No echoing of weal or woe.
    The strong hope on,
    They see the clods close over head,
    The grass grow green,
    No word is said,
    And yet—
    A little world within the world
    Are we,
    Daily our hearts' high yearnings fade,
    Are buried!
    New ones are made,—
    Are crucified!
    And yet

  37. Encouragement

    by ENS

    My fainting soul had well nigh droop'd
    When sorrow's heavy hand was near;
    But to the throne of grace I look'd,
    And mercy soon dispel'd my fear.

    "I'll never leave thee, nor forsake,"
    Came sweetly to my tremb'ling heart;
    His word I know He will not break,
    He cannot from His oath depart.

    Now cheerfully I onward speed,
    His promises forbid my fear;
    He will supply my every need,
    And in distress be ever near.

    I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 

    – Psalm 27:13
  38. None Other Lamb

    by Christina Rossetti

    None other Lamb, none other Name,
    None other Hope in heaven or earth or sea,
    None other Hiding-place from guilt and shame,
    None beside thee.

    My faith burns low, my hope burns low;
    Only my heart's desire cries out in me
    By the deep thunder of its want and woe,
    Cries out to thee.

    Lord, thou art Life, tho' I be dead,
    Love's Fire thou art, however cold I be:
    Nor heaven have I, nor place to lay my head,
    Nor home, but thee.

  39. No Coward Soul Is Mine

    by Emily Brontë

    No coward soul is mine
    No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere
    I see Heaven's glories shine
    And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear

    O God within my breast
    Almighty ever-present Deity
    Life, that in me hast rest,
    As I Undying Life, have power in Thee

    Vain are the thousand creeds
    That move men's hearts, unutterably vain,
    Worthless as withered weeds
    Or idlest froth amid the boundless main

    To waken doubt in one
    Holding so fast by thy infinity,
    So surely anchored on
    The steadfast rock of Immortality.

    With wide-embracing love
    Thy spirit animates eternal years
    Pervades and broods above,
    Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears

    Though earth and moon were gone
    And suns and universes ceased to be
    And Thou wert left alone
    Every Existence would exist in thee

    There is not room for Death
    Nor atom that his might could render void
    Since thou art Being and Breath
    And what thou art may never be destroyed.

  40. Faith

    by Tessa Sweazy Webb

    The raging storms that come and go
    Across our daily path
    Are but life's storms of grief and woe
    Spilling their bitter wrath;
    And all the while
    Their shrewd beguile
    Is testing out our faith.

    Some day
    The raging storms that blew
    Across my soul, and tore
    Asunder all my earthly joys
    Shall rage for me
    No more.

    At evening I shall go to sleep
    And waken at the dawn
    To find life's storms, bitter and deep,
    A quiet, silver calm
    Across my lea
    And every heart-ache gone.

  41. Lettie and John

    by H. H. Fuson

    Lettie and John lived on a mountain side,
    On the very edge of time's slow moving tide.

    They often sat by deepest-flowing spring
    And viewed the marching centuries in the thing.

    They walked out there beneath great-branching trees
    And scanned the lofty heavens up thru these.

    At night the stars came out in clearest sky,
    To shine thru trees, their hopes to glorify.

    They tilled the fragrant flowers at their door
    And spent their days in living life the more.

    They wrought in fields not far from their dear home
    And sought less of the world in which to roam.

    They reared ten children by the hardest toil
    And kept themselves free from the world's turmoil.

    They sang their songs before the cabin fire
    And kept their souls clean of base desire.

    They lived their lives upon the sloping sod
    And surely found, in this true life, their God.

  42. To a Waterfowl

    by William Cullen Bryant

    Whither 'midst falling dew,
    While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
    Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue
    Thy solitary way?

    Vainly the fowler's eye
    Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
    As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
    Thy figure floats along.

    Seek'st thou the plashy brink
    Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
    Or where the rocky billows rise and sink
    On the chafed ocean side?

    There is a Power whose care
    Teaches thy way along that pathless coast.
    The desert and illimitable air,
    Lone wandering, but not lost.

    All day, thy wings have fanned,
    At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere,
    Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land
    Though the dark night is near.

    And soon that toil shall end,
    Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
    And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend,
    Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.

    Thou'rt gone; the abyss of heaven
    Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart,
    Deeply has sunk the lesson thou hast given,
    And shall not soon depart.

    He, who, from zone to zone,
    Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
    In the long way that I must tread alone,
    Will lead my steps aright.

  43. The Foolish Virgins

    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    Late, late, so late! and dark the night, and chill!
    Late, late, so late! but we can enter still.
    Too late, too late, ye cannot enter now.

    No light had we, for that we do repent;
    And learning this, the Bridegroom will relent.
    Too late, too late, ye cannot enter now.

    No light, so late! and dark and chill the night!
    O let us in, that we may find the light!
    Too late, too late, ye cannot enter now.

    Have we not heard the Bridegroom is so sweet?
    O, let us in, though late, to kiss His feet!
    No, no, too late! ye cannot enter now.

  44. The Light

    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    Once when my soul was newly shriven,
    When perfect peace to me was given,
    Pervading all in all with currents bright,
    I saw shine forth a mighty Light;
    And myriad lesser lights to this were joined,
    Each light with every other light entwined;
    And as they shone a sound assailed my ears,
    Alike the mighty music of the spheres.
    The greater light was Love and Peace and Law,
    And it had power toward it the rest to draw;
    It was the Soul of souls, the greatest One,
    The Life of lives, of suns the Sun.
    And floating through it all, my soul could see
    The Christ-light, shining for humanity;
    And silently I heard soft murmurs fall,
    "Look up, earth child; the light is all."

  45. Walk With Me

    by Gigi Ryan

    Lord, before me is a task
    I will do, because You ask.
    I don’t embark expecting bliss;
    But by Your grace this rod I kiss.

    The fiery furnace beckons me,
    I go, fulfilling your degree.
    Please, dear Jesus, hold my hand;
    Give me grace to trials withstand.

    Humiliation surely calls;
    Unless You hold me I will fall.
    You were upheld by a cross;
    Your dignity, a total loss.

    May my mission honor You,
    Help me walk in love and truth.
    This path is painful, but I know
    You are with me e’er I go.

  46. The One Talent

    by William Cutter

    Hide not thy talent in the earth,
    However small it be,
    Its faithful use, its utmost worth,
    He will require of thee.

    The humblest service rendered here
    He will as truly own,
    As Paul's, in his exalted sphere,
    Or Gabriel's, near the throne.

    The cup of water kindly given,
    The widow's cheerful mites,
    Are worthier, in the eye of Heaven,
    Than pride's most costly rites.

    His own, which he hath lent on trust,
    He asks of thee again;
    Little or much, the claim is just,
    And thine excuses vain.

    Go, then, and strive to do thy part—
    Though humble it may be,
    The ready hand, the willing heart,
    Are all Heaven asks of thee.

  47. A Gingerbread Story

    by Lottie Brown Allen

    I love to note a baby’s way
    The grace of childhood is so sweet.
    I gave a tiny friend, one day,
    A piece of gingerbread to eat,
    And I, much pleasure gained the while
    To see the happy little smile.
    Then straightway I forgot the act
    As usually I do, in fact.

    A few days more, the same wee tot
    Tapped softly at my kitchen door.
    Some ripe tomatoes he had brought
    As he had often done before.
    I chatted as I took his pan
    While through my brain the question ran,
    If there was anything I had
    With which to please the little lad.

    I asked if he liked honey, sweet,
    Knowing some children prize the treat.
    "Not wery well," he shyly said,
    Then boldly raised his little head,
    While bravely forth his wee voice rings,
    "But I like gingerbread and things."

    Was ever baby tact more sweet?
    Swiftly I ran with flying feet,
    Almost afraid to lift the lid
    For fear no gingerbread it hid.
    That baby faith, I must not shake—
    Oh joy, there’s one small piece of cake!

  48. Faith

    by Frances Anne Kemble

    Better trust all, and be deceived,
    And weep that trust, and that deceiving;
    Than doubt one heart, that, if believed,
    Had blessed one's life with true believing.

    Oh, in this mocking world, too fast
    The doubting fiend o'ertakes our youth!
    Better be cheated to the last,
    Than lose the blessèd hope of truth.

  49. Faith, Hope, Charity

    by David Barker

    Distrust not every form without, Than live through life such living death,
    In the betraying fiend of Doubt Have Faith.

    Though through a blind-man's-buff we're led. Or though in dusky paths we grope,
    In a blest something, just ahead, Have Hope.

    The treacherous blocks we may not see O'er which our stumbling brothers fall,
    So then have God-like Charity For all.

    With these—the three—we may be blest, And leave behind us when we go,
    Around Life's sunset in the west, A glow.

    Then onward press, though for the grave, And calmly meet the closing strife,—
    Death is the only proof we have Of life.

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