Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Favorite Christian Poems


Seek not afar for beauty. Lo! it glows

In dew-wet grasses all about thy feet;

In birds, in sunshine, childish faces sweet,

In stars, and mountain summits topped with snows.

Go not abroad for happiness. For see!

It is a flower that blossoms by thy door.

Bring love and justice home; and then, no more,

Thou'lt wonder in what dwelling joy may be.

Dream not of noble service elsewhere wrought:

The simple duty that awaits thy hand

Is God's voice uttering a divine command;

Life's common deeds build all that saints have thought.

In wonder-workings, or some bush aflame,

Men look for God, and fancy him concealed.

But in earth's common things he stands revealed;

While grass and flowers and stars spell out his name.

The paradise men seek, the city bright

That gleams beyond the stars for longing eyes,

Is only human goodness in the skies.

Earth's deeds, well done, glow into heavenly light.



All things bright and beautiful,

All creatures great and small,

All things wise and wonderful,

The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,

Each little bird that sings,

He made their glowing colors,

He made their tiny wings.

The rich man in his castle,

The poor man at his gate,

God made them high and lowly,

And ordered their estate.

The purple headed mountain,

The river running by,

The sunset and the morning,

That brightens up the sky;−

The cold wind in the winter,

The pleasant summer sun,

The ripe fruits in the garden,−

He made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,

The meadows where we play,

The rushes by the water,

We gather every day;−

He gave us eyes to see them,

And lips that we might tell

How great is God Almighty,

Who hath made all things well.


THE TIDE WILL WIN by Priscilla Leonard

On the far reef the breakers recoil in shattered foam,

While still the sea behind them urges its forces home.

Its song of triumph surges o’er all the thunderous din:

The wave may break in failure, But, the tide is sure to win!

The reef is strong and cruel upon its jagged wall.

One wave, a score, a hundred, broken and beaten, fall.

Yet in defeat they conquer, the sea comes flooding in,

Wave upon wave is routed, But, the tide is sure to win!

Oh! Mighty sea, thy message in clanging spray is cast.

Within God’s plan of progress it matters not at last

How wide the shores of evil, How strong the reefs of sin.

The wave may be defeated, But, the tide is sure to win!


MIRACE by Edith Daley

We muse on miracles who look

But lightly on a rose.

Who gives it fragrance or the glint

Of glory that it shows?

Who holds it here between the sky

And earth's rain-softened sod?

The miracle of one pale rose

Is proof enough of God.


A PRIMROSE BY THE WAYSIDE by Anna Bunston de Bary

Close to the road’s impurity

It knows of nothing base

So meekly and so trustfully

It lifts its lovely face.

So innocent, and yet with art

Incomparably sweet

It leaned up and caressed my heart

While lying at my feet.

Can anything so fair and free

Be fashioned out of clay?

They God may yet cull flowers from me

Some holy summer day.


LEADING by Mary Carolyn Davies

Forests are made for weary men,

That they may find their soul again.

And little leaves are hung on trees

To whisper of old memories.

And trails with cedar shadows black

Are placed there just to lead men back

Past all the pitfalls of success

To boyhood's faith and happiness.

Far from the city's craft and fraud,

O Forest, lead me back to God.


EVENTIDE by Caroline Atherton Mason

At cool of day, with God I walk

My garden's grateful shade;

I hear His voice among the trees,

And I am not afraid.

He speaks to me in every wind,

He smiles from every star;

He is not deaf to me, nor blind,

Nor absent, nor afar.

His hand that shuts the flowers to sleep,

Each in its dewy fold,

Is strong my feeble life to keep,

And competent to hold.

The powers below and powers above,

Are subject to His care —

I cannot wander from His love

Who loves me everywhere.

Thus dowered, and guarded thus, with Him

I walk this peaceful shade;

I hear His voice among the trees,

And I am not afraid.



The little cares that fretted me,

I lost them yesterday,

Among the fields above the sea,

Among the winds at play,

Among the lowing of the herds,

The rustling of the trees,

Among the singing of the birds,

The humming of the bees.

The foolish fears of what might pass

I cast them all away

Among the clover-scented grass

Among the new-mown hay,

Among the rustling of the corn

Where drowsy poppies nod,

Where ill thoughts die and good are born —

Out in the fields with God!


JUDGMENT AND MERCY by Dorothy L. Sayers

From "The Devil to Pay"

All things God can do, but this thing He will not:

Unbind the chain of cause and consequence,

Or speed time's arrow backward. When man chose

To know like God, he also chose to be

Judged by God's values. Adam sinned, indeed,

And with him all mankind; and from that sin

God wrought a nobler virtue out for Adam,

And with him, all mankind. No soul can 'scape

That universal kinship and remain

Human — no man; not even God made man.

He, when He hung upon the fatal tree,

Felt all the passion of the world pierce through Him,

Nor shirked one moment of the ineluctable

Load of the years; but from the griefs of time

Wrought out the splendour of His eternity.

There is no waste with God; He cancels nothing

But redeems all.


GOD'S MERCY From the Persian; tr. by Robert Southey

There's a wideness in God's mercy,

Like the wideness of the sea;

There's a kindness in His justice

Which is more than liberty.

There is no place where earth's sorrows

Are more felt than up in heaven;

There is no place where earth's failings

Have such kindly judgment given.

For the love of God is broader

Than the measure of man's mind,

And the heart of the Eternal

Is most wonderfully kind.

If our love were but more simple,

We should take Him at His word,

And our lives would be all sunshine

In the sweetness of our Lord.

Lord, who art merciful as well as just,

Incline Thine ear, to me, a child of dust.

Not what I would, O Lord, I offer Thee,

Alas! but what I can.

Father Almighty, who hast made me man,

And bade me look to heav'n, for Thou art there,

Accept my sacrifice and humble prayer:

Four things, which are in Thy treasury,

I lay before Thee, Lord, with this petition:

My nothingness, my wants, my sin, and my contrition.


From THE CRY OF THE HUMAN by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"There is no God," the foolish saith,

But none "There is no sorrow,"

And nature oft the cry of faith

In bitter need will borrow:

Eyes, which the preacher could not school,

By wayside graves are raised,

And lips say, "God be pitiful,"

Who ne'er said, "God be praised."


THE SEEKERS by Victor Starbucky

One asked a sign from God; and day by day 
The sun arose in pearl, in scarlet set, 
Each night the stars appeared in bright array, 
Each morn the thirsting grass with dew was wet. 
The corn failed not its harvest, nor the vine. 
And yet he saw no sign, 
One longed to hear a prophet; and he strayed 
Through crowded streets, and by the open sea. 
He saw men send their ships for distant trade, 
And build for generations yet to be. 
He saw the farmer sow his acres wide, 
But went unsatisfied. 
One prayed a sight of heaven; and erewhile 
He saw a workman at his noontime rest. 
He saw one dare for honor, and the smile 
Of one who held a babe upon her breast; 
At dusk two lovers walking hand in hand; 
But did not understand. 

THE POET CONSIDERS PERFECTION by Elizabeth Virginia Raplcey

I sat, and held the book upon my knees, 
And turned the pages idly, one by one, 
Musing on many a splendid sonnet, done 
With greater skill than mine. And thought: 
now these — 
Seemingly perfected with careless ease — 
Have been with utmost care and effort spun; 
From inspiration's thread of gold begun, 
And brought to matchless beauty by degrees. 
Perfection thus emerges from the sod: 
This stately tree, which shelters us today, 
Came from how small a seed; this lovely rose 
Was once a tight-closed bud. So each thing grows 
By gradual steps to loveliness. That way 
The soul has come on its long search for God. 

I SOUGHT THE LORD, Author Unknown

I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew

He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me ;

It was not I that found, O Saviour true,

No, I was found of Thee.

Thou didst reach forth Thy hand and mine enfold;

I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea,

Twas not so much that I on Thee took hold,

As Thou, dear Lord, on me.

I find, I walk, I love, but, O the whole

Of love is but my answer, Lord, to Thee;

For Thou were long beforehand with my soul,

Always Thou lovedst me.



Whoso draws night to God one step

Through doubtings dim

God will advance a mile,

In blazing light to him.


THE LISTENERS by Walter de La Mare

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,

 Knocking on the moonlit door;

And his horse in the silence champed the grasses

 Of the forest’s ferny floor:

And a bird flew up out of the turret,

 Above the Traveller’s head:

And he smote upon the door again a second time;

 ‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.

But no one descended to the Traveller;

 No head from the leaf-fringed sill

Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,

 Where he stood perplexed and still.

But only a host of phantom listeners

 That dwelt in the lone house then

Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight

 To that voice from the world of men:

Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,

 That goes down to the empty hall,

Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken

 By the lonely Traveller’s call.

And he felt in his heart their strangeness,

 Their stillness answering his cry,

While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,

 ’Neath the starred and leafy sky;

For he suddenly smote on the door, even

 Louder, and lifted his head:—

‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,

 That I kept my word,’ he said.

Never the least stir made the listeners,

 Though every word he spake

Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house

 From the one man left awake:

Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,

 And the sound of iron on stone,

And how the silence surged softly backward,

 When the plunging hoofs were gone.


CONSCIENCE by Charles William Stubbs

I sat alone with my conscience

In a place where time had ceased,

And we talked of my former living

In the land where the years increased;

And I felt I should have to answer

The question it put to me,

And to face the answer and questions

Through all eternity.

The ghosts of forgotten actions

Came floating before my sight,

And things that I thought were dead things

Were alive with terrible might.

And the vision of all my past life

Was an awful thing to face,

Alone with my conscience sitting

In that solemnly silent place.

And I thought of a faraway warning,

Of a sorrow that was to be mine,

In a land that was then the future,

But now is the present time.

And I thought of my former thinking

Of the judgment day to be;

But sitting alone with my conscience

Seemed judgment enough for me.

And I wondered if there was a future

To this land beyond the grave;

But no one gave me an answer,

And no one came to save.

Then I felt that the future was present,

And the present would never go by,

For it was but the thought of my past life

Growing into eternity.

Then I woke from my timely dreaming,

And the vision passed away,

And I knew that the far-off seeming

Was a warning of yesterday;

And I pray that I may not forget it,

In this land before the grave,

That I may not cry in the future

And no one come to save.

And so I have learned a lesson

Which I ought to have known before,

And which, though I learned it dreaming,

I hope to forget no more.

So I sit alone with my conscience

In the place where the years increase,

And I try to remember the future

In the land where time will cease.

And I know of the future Judgment,

How dreadful soe'er it be,

That to sit alone with my conscience

Will be judgment enough for me.



Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea!

Jehovah has triumph'd -- His people are free!

Sing -- for the pride of the tyrant is broken,

His chariots, his horsemen, all splendid and brave,

How vain was their boasting! -- the Lord hath but spoken,

And chariots and horsemen are sunk in the wave.

Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea!

Jehovah has triumph'd -- His people are free!

Praise to the Conqueror, praise to the Lord!

His word was our arrow, His breath was our sword.

Who shall return to tell Egypt the story

Of those she sent forth in the hour of her pride?

For the Lord hath look'd out from His pillar of glory,

And all her brave thousands are dash'd in the tide.

Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea!

Jehovah has triumph'd -- His people are free!


THE LITTLE GATE TO GOD by Walter Rauschenbusch

In the castle of my soul

Is a postern gate,

Whereat, when I enter,

I am in the presence of God.

In a moment, in the turning of a thought,

I am where God is,

This is a fact…

With God is a great silence.

But that silence is a melody

Sweet as the contentment of love,

Thrilling as a touch of flame…

In this world my days are few

And full of trouble.

I strive and have not;

I seek and find not;

I ask and learn not…

When I enter into God,

All life has meaning.

Without asking, I know;

My desires are even now fulfilled,

My fever is gone.

In the great quiet of God

My troubles are but pebbles on the road,

My joys are like the everlasting hills…

So it is when I step through the gate of prayer

From time into eternity.

When I am in the consciousness of God,

My fellowmen are not far-off and forgotten,

But close and strangely dear.

They shine, as if a light were glowing within them.

Even those who frown on me

And love me not

Seem part of the great scheme of God…

So it is when my soul steps through the postern gate

Into the presence of God.

Big things become small, and small things become great.

The near becomes far, and the future is near,

The lowly and despised are shot through with glory…

God is the substance of all revolutions;

When I am in him, I am in the Kingdom of God

And in the Fatherland of my Soul.


PAX by D. H. Lawrence

All that matters is to be at one with You, the living God;

to be a creature in Your house, O God of Life!

Like a cat asleep on a chair

at peace, in peace

at home, at home in the house of the living,

sleeping on the hearth, and yawning before the fire.

Sleeping on the hearth of the living world,

yawning at home before the fire of life

feeling the presence of You, the living God

like a great reassurance

a deep calm in the heart

a presence

as of a master, a mistress sitting on the board

in their own and greater being,

in the house of life.


PUT OUT MY EYES by Rainer Maria Rilke

Put out my eyes, and I can see you still,

Slam my ears to, and I can hear you yet;

And without any feet can go to you;

And tongueless, I can conjure you at will.

Break off my arms, I shall take hold of you

And grasp you with my heart as with a hand;

Arrest my heart, my brain will beat as true;

And if you set this brain of mine afire,

Then on my blood-stream I yet will carry you.


THE VOYAGE by Caroline Atherton Briggs 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.

And so I do not dare to pray

For winds to waft me on my way,

But 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 sheltering heaven at last.

Then, whatsoever wind doth blow,

My heart is glad to have it so;

And blow it east or blow it west,

The wind that blows, that wind is best.



There is nothing new to be written of tears and man's shuddering breath;

Nothing new to be said of his loving, or sinning, or death;

Nothing new to be thought of his loneliness under the sky —

But something is new in the knowledge that soon it will have to be I

Who will give over weeping and breathing, relinquish my love and my load,

And lie in the dark and the quiet that waits at the end of the road.

There is nothing new to be whispered of blossoms breaking the sod,

But something is new in my asking — "Take care of me, God!1'


GOD'S WAYS, Author Unknown

I asked for grace to lift me high

Above the world's depressing cares;

God sent me sorrows, — with a sigh

I said, "He has not heard my prayers."

I asked for light, that I might see

My path along life's thorny road;

But clouds and darkness shadowed me

When I expected light from God.

I asked for peace, that I might rest

To think my sacred duties o'er,

When, lo! such horrors filled my breast

As I had never felt before.

"And, oh," I cried, "can this be prayer

Whose plaints the steadfast mountains move?

Can this be Heaven's prevailing care?

And, O my God, is this Thy love?"

But soon I found that sorrow, worn

As Duty's garment, strength supplies,

And out of darkness meekly borne

Unto the righteous light doth rise.

And soon I found that fears which stirred

My startled soul God's will to do,

On me more lasting peace conferred

Than in life's calm I ever knew. . . .



Sunshine let it be or frost,

Storm or calm, as Thou shalt choose;

Though Thine every gift were lost,

Thee Thyself we could not lose.



I hoped that with the brave and strong,

My portioned task might lie;

To toil amid the busy throng,

With purpose pure and high;

But God has fixed another part,

And he has fixed it well,

I said so with my breaking heart,

When first this trouble fell.

These weary hours will not be lost,

These days of misery,

These nights of darkness, anguish-tossed,

Can I but turn to Thee:

With secret labour to sustain

In patience every blow

To gather fortitude from pain,

And holiness from woe.

If Thou shouldst bring me back to life,

More humble I should be,

More wise, more strengthened for the strife,

More apt to lean on Thee;

Should death be standing at the gate,

Thus should I keep my vow;

But, Lord, whatever be my fate,

O let me serve Thee now!


GOD OUR REFUGE by Richard Chenevix Trench

If there had anywhere appeared in space

Another place of refuge' where to flee,

Our hearts had taken refuge in that place.

And not with Thee.

For we against creation's bars had beat

Like prisoned eagles, through great worlds had sought

Though but a foot of ground to plant our feet,

Where Thou wert not.

And only when we found in earth and air,

In heaven or hell, that such might nowhere be—-

That we could not flee from Thee anywhere,

We fled to Thee.



Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,

Bow down before Him, His glory proclaim;

Gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness,

Kneel and adore Him, — the Lord is His name.

Low at His feet lay thy burden of carefulness,

High on His heart He will bear it for thee,

Comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,

Guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.

Truth in its beauty, and love in its tenderness,

These are the offerings we lay on His shrine;

These, though we bring them in trembling and fearfulness,

He will accept in the Name all divine.


OUR PRAYER by George Herbert

Thou that hast given so much to me,

Give one thing more — a grateful heart;

Not thankful when it pleaseth me,

As if Thy blessings had spare days;

But such a heart, whose pulse may be

Thy praise.


THANKFULNESS by Adelaide Anne Procter

My God, I thank Thee who hast made

The earth so bright;

So full of splendor and of joy,

Beauty and light;

So many glorious things are here,

Noble and right!

I thank Thee, too, that Thou hast made

Joy to abound;

So many gentle thoughts and deeds

Circling us round,

That in the darkest spot of earth

Some love is found.

I thank Thee more that all our joy

Is touched with pain;

That shadows fall on brightest hours;

That thorns remain;

So that earths bliss may be our guide,

And not our chain.

I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou hast kept

The best in store;

We have enough, yet not too much

To long for more:

A yearning for a deeper peace,

Not known before.

I thank Thee, Lord, that here our souls,

Though amply blest,

Can never find, although they seek,

A perfect rest, —

Nor ever shall, until they lean

On Jesus' breast!



I thank Thee, Lord, for strength of arm

To win my bread,

And that, beyond my need is meat

For friend unfed:

I thank Thee much for bread to live,

I thank Thee more for bread to give.

I thank Thee for my quiet home,

'Mid cold and storm,

And that, beyond my need, is room

For friend forlorn:

I thank Thee much for place to rest,

But more for shelter for my guest.

I thank Thee, Lord, for lavish love

On me bestowed,

Enough to share with loveless folk

To ease their load:

Thy love to me I ill could spare,

Yet dearer is Thy love I share.



This day relenting God

Hath placed within my hand

A wondrous thing; and God

Be praised. At His command,

Seeking His secret deeds

With tears and toiling breath,

I find thy cunning seeds,

O million-murdering Death.

I know this little thing

A myriad men will save.

O Death, where is thy sting?

Thy victory, O Grave?



Lord, speak to me, that I may speak

In living echoes of Thy tone;

As Thou hast sought, so let me seek

Thy erring children lost and lone.

O teach me, Lord, that I may teach

The precious things Thou dost impart;

And wing my words, that they may reach

The hidden depths of many a heart.

O fill me with Thy fullness, Lord,

Until my very heart o'erflow

In kindling thought and glowing word,

Thy love to tell, Thy praise to show.

O use me, Lord, use even me,

Just as Thou wilt, and when and where;

Until Thy blessed face I see,

Thy rest, Thy joy, Thy glory share.


ST. FRANCISPRAYER by Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.

Where there is hate, may I bring love;

Where offense, may I bring pardon ;

May I bring union in place of discord;

Truth, replacing error;

Faith, where once there was doubt;

Hope, for despair;

Light, where was darkness;

Joy to replace sadness.

Make me not to so crave to be loved as to love.

Help me to learn that in giving I may receive;

In forgetting self, I may find life eternal.


IN THINE OWN HEART by Angelus Silesius

Though Christ a thousand times

In Bethlehem be born,

If He's not born in thee

Thy soul is still forlorn.

The cross on Golgotha

Will never save thy soul,

The cross in thine own heart

Alone can make thee whole.



Wise men seeking Jesus

Traveled from afar,

Guided on their journey

By a beauteous star.

But if we desire Him,

He is close at hand;

For our native country

Is our Holy Land.

Prayerful souls may find Him

By our quiet lakes,

Meet Him on our hillsides

Where the morning breaks.

In our fertile cornfields,

While the sheaves are bound,

In our busy markets

Jesus may be found.

Every peaceful village

In our land might be,

Made by Jesus' presence

Like sweet Bethany.

He is more than near us,

If we love Him well;

For He seeketh ever

In our hearts to dwell.



Today in Bethlehem hear I

Sweet angel voices singing:

All glory be to God on high,

Who peace on earth is bringing.

The Virgin Mary holdeth more

Than highest heaven most holy:

Light shines on what was dark before,

And lifteth up the lowly.

God wills that peace shall be on earth,

And holy exultation:

Sweet Babe, I greet Thy spotless birth

And wondrous Incarnation.

Today in Bethlehem hear I

Even the lowly singing:

With angel- words they pierce the sky;

All earth with joy is ringing.


CHRISTMAS AT BABBITT'S by Henry Hallam Tweedy

On Christmas eve they filled the house, some fifty guests all told,

(O little Lord of Christmas, were you left out in the cold?)

And ate and sang, played cards and danced till early morning light.

(O little Lord of Christmas, did they think of you that night?)

Next morning came the presents on a glittering Christmas tree.

(O little Lord of Christmas, was there any gift for thee?)

The dinner was a Roman feast, and how those guests did eatl

(O little Lord of Christmas, were you hungry in the street?)

Then came some teas, a movie, and at night the last revue.

(O little Lord of Christmas, what had these to do with you?)

By midnight all were tired and cross and tumbled into bed.

(O little Lord of Christmas, did they think that you were dead?)

They all woke up with headaches and no joy in work or play.

(O little Lord of Christmas, did they mark your birth that day?)

The love, the joy were good, no doubt; the rest a pagan spree.

(O little Lord of Christmas, let us keep the day with Thee!)


A LEGEND Tr. by Nathan Haskell Dole

Christ, when a Child, a garden made,

And many roses flourished there.

He watered them three times a day

To make a garland for His hair.

And when in time the roses bloomed,

He called the children in to share.

They tore the flowers from every stem,

And left the garden stript and bare.

"How wilt Thou weave Thyself a crown

Now that Thy roses are all dead?"

"Ye have forgotten that the thorns

Are left for Me," the Christ-child said.

They plaited then a crown of thorns

And laid it rudely on His head;

A garland for His forehead made;

For roses: drops of blood instead!


THE GREAT PHYSICIAN by Charles Kingsley

From Thee all skill and science flow,

All pity, care, and love,

All calm and courage, faith and hope;

O pour them from above.

And part them, Lord, to each and all,

As each and all shall need,

To rise like incense, each to Thee,

In noble thought and deed.

And hasten, Lord, that perfect day

When pain and death shall cease,

And Thy just rule shall fill the earth

With health and light and peace.



At even, when the sun was set,

The sick, O Lord, around Thee lay;

O in what divers pains they met!

O with what joy they went away!

Once more 'tis eventide, and we,

Oppressed with various ills, draw near;

What if Thy form we cannot see,

We know and feel that Thou art here.

O Saviour Christ, our woes dispel;

For some are sick, and some are sad,

And some have never loved Thee well,

And some have lost the love they had;

And some are pressed with worldly care,

And some are tried with sinful doubt;

And some such grievous passions tear,

That only Thou canst cast them out;

And some have found the world is vain,

Yet from the world they break not free;

And some have friends who give them pain,

Yet have not sought a Friend in Thee;

And none, O Lord, have perfect rest,

For none are wholly free from sin;

And they who fain would serve Thee best

Are conscious most of wrong within.

O Saviour Christ, Thou too art Man;

Thou hast been troubled, tempted, tried;

Thy kind but searching glance can scan

The very wounds that shame would hide;

Thy touch has still its ancient power;

No word from Thee can fruitless fall;

Hear, in this solemn evening hour,

And in Thy mercy heal us all.


DE SHEEPFOL' by Sarah Pratt McLean Green

Po' lil' brack sheep dat strayed away,

Done los' in de win' an’ de rain —

An' de Shepherd He say, "O hirelin',

Go fin’ my sheep again."

An' de hirelin' say, "O Shepherd,

Dat sheep am brack an’ bad,"

But de Shepherd He smile, like dat lil’ brack sheep

Wuz de onliest lamb He had.

An’ de Shepherd go out in de darkness

Where de night wuz col' an' bleak,

An' dat lil’ brack sheep, He fin' it,

An' lay it agains' His cheek.

An’ de hirelin' frown; "O Shepherd,

Don' bring dat sheep to me!"

But de Shepherd He smile, an' He hoi' it close.

An' — dat lil' brack sheep — was—me!


GOOD FRIDAY by Christina Rosseffi

Am I a stone, and not a sheep,

That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,

To number drop by drop Thy Blood's slow loss,

And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved

Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;

Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;

Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon

Which hid their faces in a starless sky.

A horror of great darkness at broad noon —

I, only I.

Yet give not o'er

But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;

Greater than Moses, turn and look once more

And smite a rock.


NEAR THE CROSS translated from Latin by Louis F. Benson

Near the Cross her vigil keeping,

Stood the mother, worn with weeping,

Where He hung, the dying Lord:

Through her soul, in anguish groaning,

Bowed in sorrow, sighing, moaning,

Passed the sharp and piercing sword.

O the weight of her affliction!

Hers, who won God's benediction,

Hers, who bore God's Holy One:

O that speechless, ceaseless yearning!

O those dim eyes never turning

From her wondrous, suffering Son!

Who upon that mother gazing,

In her trouble so amazing,

Born of woman, would not weep?

Who of Christ's dear mother thinking,

While her Son that cup is drinking,

Would not share her sorrow deep?

For His people's sin chastised

She beheld her Son despised,

Bound and bleeding 'neath the rod;

Saw the Lord's Anointed taken,

Dying desolate, forsaken,

Heard Him yield His soul to God.

Near Thy Cross, O Christ, abiding,

Grief and love my heart dividing,

I with her would take my place:

By Thy guardian Cross uphold me,

In Thy dying, Christ, enfold me

With the deathless arms of grace.


JESUS OF NAZARETH Ernest Cadman Colwelt

Would you see the marks of the Roman scourge,

And the pits where the nails were driven?

They are all hidden under fresh wounds.

Much more than forty lashes have I borne since Calvary;

Blows aimed at striking labor have bruised my body sore;

I've known the torture of my kinsmen by the gentile mob;

My back is raw from lashings by heroes, masked, at night.

Wherever man was beaten, I was whipped.

You see this scar?

'Twas a bayonet in Flanders.

You see this bruise?

A slave's chain pinched me there.

My shoulders stoop?

Under the heavy load of labor.

You would see the marks of the Roman scourge,

And the pits where the nails were driven?

They are all hidden under fresh wounds.



When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss,

And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast

Save in the cross of Christ my God;

All the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,

Sorrow and love flow mingled down;

Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were an present far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.


IN EVIL LONG I TOOK DELIGHT by John Newton, 1725-1807

In evil long I took delight,

Unawed by shame or fear,

Till a new object struck my sight,

And stopp'd my wild career:

I saw One hanging on a Tree

In agonies and blood,

Who fix'd His languid eyes on me,

As near His Cross I stood.

Sure never till my latest breath

Can I forget that look:

It seem'd to charge me with His death,

Though not a word He spoke:

My conscience felt and own'd the guilt,

And plunged me in despair:

I saw my sins His Blood had spilt,

And help'd to nail Him there.

Alas! I knew not what I did!

But now my tears are vain :

Where shall my trembling soul be hid?

For I the Lord have slain!

— A second look He gave, which said,

"I freely all forgive;

This blood is for thy ransom paid;

I die that thou may'st live."

Thus, while His death my sin displays

In all its blackest hue,

Such is the mystery of grace,

It seals my pardon too.

With pleasing grief, and mournful joy,

My spirit now is fuTd,

That I should such a life destroy, —

Yet live by Him I kill'd!


INDIFFERENCE by G. A. Studdert-Kennedy

When Jesus came to Golgotha they hanged Him on a tree,

They drave great nails through hands and feet, and made a Calvary;

They crowned Him with a crown of thorns, red were His wounds and deep,

For those were crude and cruel days, the human flesh was cheap.

When Jesus came to Birmingham, they simply passed Him by,

They never hurt a hair of Him, they only let Him die;

For men had grown more tender, and they would not give Him pain,

They only just passed down the street, and left Him in the rain.

Still Jesus cried, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do,"

And still it rained the winter rain that drenched Him through and through;

The crowds went home and left the streets without a soul to see,

And Jesus crouched against a wall and cried for Calvary.


EASTER HYMN by Charles Wesley

Christ the Lord is risen to-day,

Sons of men and angels say :

Raise your joys and triumphs high,

Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply.

Love's redeeming work is done,

Fought the fight, the battle won;

Lo! our Sun's eclipse is o'er;

Lo' He sets in blood no more.

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal;

Christ hath burst the gates of hell!

Death in vain forbids His rise;

Christ hath opened Paradise!

Lives again our glorious King:

Where, O Death, is now thy sting?

Once He died, our souls to save:

Where thy victory, O Grave?



Easter must be redeemed

From revelry that marks the end of Lent,

And worshippers who yearly are content

To journey to God's house, and then forget

That Christ still lives when Easter's sun has set.

The vision fades, the power soon is lost

If Easter does not lead to Pentecost.

Easter must be reclaimed.

Too long the world has missed the Easter glow,

Claimed by the glitter of a fashion show;

A dress parade; a gala holiday,

With church-bound manikins upon display.

The faith of Easter never will be caught

By making Christ a fleeting afterthought.


THE NAIL-TORN GOD by Edwin Markham

Here in life's chaos make no foolish boast

That there is any God omnipotent,

Seated serenely in the firmament,

And looking down on men as on a host

Of grasshoppers blown on a windy coast,

Damned by disasters, maimed by mortal ill,

Yet who could end it with one blast of Will.

This God is all a man-created ghost.

But there is a God who struggles with the All,

And sounds across the world his danger-call:

He is the builder of roads, the breaker of bars,

The One forever hurling back the Curse —

The nail-torn Christus pressing toward the stars,

The Hero of the battling universe.


THE GREATEST by Marion Brown Shelton

When Jesus walked upon the earth

He didn't talk with kings,

He talked with simple people

Of doing friendly things.

He didn't praise the conquerors

And all their hero host,

He said the very greatest

Were those who loved the most.

He didn't speak of mighty deeds

And victories. He spoke

Of feeding hungry people

And cheering lonely folk.

I'm glad his words were simple words

Just meant for me and you,

The things he asked were simple things

That even I can do!


THE SONG OF A HEATHEN by Richard Watson Gilder

(Sojourning m Galilee, A.D. 32)

If Jesus Christ is a man —

And only a man, — 1 say

That of all mankind I cleave to him,

And to him will I cleave alway.

If Jesus Christ is a God —

And the only God, — I swear

I will follow him through heaven and hell,

The earth, the sea, the air!


OUR CHRIST by Harry Webb Farrington

I know not how that Bethlehem's Babe

Could in the God-head be;

I only know the Manger Child

Has brought God's life to me.

I know not how that Calvary's cross

A world from sin could free:

I only know its matchless love

Has brought God’s love to me.

I know not how that Joseph's tomb

Could solve death's mystery:

I only know a living Christ,

Our immortality.


LOVE DIVINE by Charles Wesley

Love Divine, all loves excelling,

Joy of heaven, to earth come down,

Fix in us Thy humble dwelling,

All Thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesus, Thou art all compassion;

Pure, unbounded love Thou art;

Visit us with Thy salvation,

Enter every trembling heart.

Come, Almighty to deliver;

Let us all Thy grace receive;

Suddenly return, and never,

Never more Thy temples leave.

Thee we would be always blessing,

Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,

Pray, and praise Thee, without ceasing,

Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation;

Pure and spotless let us be;

Let us see Thy great salvation,

Perfectly restored in Thee,

Changed from glory into glory,

Till in heaven we take our place,

Till we cast our crowns before Thee,

Lost in wonder, love, and praise.


OUT OF BOUNDS by Louis F. Benson

A little Boy of heavenly birth,

But far from home to-day,

Comes down to find His ball, the earth,

That sin has cast away,

O comrades, let us one and all

Join in to get Him back His ball!

John Banister Tabb^ 1845-1909


The light of God is falling

Upon life's common way;

Trie Master's voice still calling,

"Come, walk with Me to-day";

No duty can seem lowly

To him who lives with Thee,

And all of life grows holy,

O Christ of Galilee!

Who shares his life's pure pleasures,

And walks the honest road,

Who trades with heaping measures,

And lifts his brother's load,

Who turns the wrong down bluntly,

And lends the right a hand,

He dwells in God's own country,

He tills the Holy Land.

Where human lives are thronging

In toil and pain and sin,

While cloistered hearts are longing

To bring the Kingdom in,

O Christ, the Elder Brother

Of proud and beaten men,

When they have found each other,

Thy Kingdom will come then!

Thy ransomed host in glory,

All souls that sin and pray,

Turn toward the cross that bore Thee;

"Behold the Man!" they say:

And while Thy Church is pleading

For all who would do good,

We hear Thy true voice leading

Our song of brotherhood.


O LOVE, THAT WILT NOT LET ME GO by George Matheson

0 Love, that wilt not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in Thee;

1 give Thee back the life I owe,

That in Thine ocean depth its flow

May richer, fuller be.

O Light, that followest all my way,

I yield my flickering torch to Thee;

My heart restores its borrowed ray,

That in Thy sunshine's blaze its day

May brighter, fairer be.

0 Joy, that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to Thee;

1 trace the rainbow through the rain,

And feel the promise is not vain,

That morn shall tearless be.

0 Cross, that liftest up my head,

I dare not ask to fly from Thee;

1 lay in dust life's glory dead,

And from the ground there blossoms red

Life that shall endless be.


MY GOD, I LOVE THEE Francis Xavier

My God, I love Thee; not because

I hope for heaven thereby,

Nor yet because who love Thee not

Are lost eternally.

Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me

Upon the cross embrace;

For me didst bear the nails, and spear,

And manifold disgrace,

And griefs and torments numberless,

And sweat of agony;

Yea, death itself; and all for me

Who was thine enemy.

Then why, O blessed Jesu Christ,

Should I not love Thee well?

Not for the sake of winning heaven,

Nor of escaping hell;

Not from the hope of gaining aught,

Not seeking a reward;

But as Thyself hast loved me,

O ever-loving Lord.

So would I love Thee, dearest Lord,

And in Thy praise will sing;

Solely because Thou art my God,

And my most loving King.

Spanish sonnet ascribed to



How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,

Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!

What more can He say than to you He hath said,

To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

"Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,

For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid:

I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,

Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

"When through the deep waters I call thee to

go, The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;

For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,

And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,

My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;

The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design

Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

"E'en down to old age all My people shall prove

My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;

And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,

Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,

I will not, I will not desert to his foes;

That soul, though all hell should endeavor to Shake,

I'll never, no, never, no, never forsake."


LOYALTY HYMN by Edith Lovejoy Pierce

While nations rage, while empires rock and fall,

While hatred burns, and greed and war increase,

With heart and voice we dedicate our all

Once more to Thee, O mighty Prince of Peace.

Fast grow abysmal rifts in every land,

O'er creed and class, o'er wealth and soil and blood.

Through all the earth, made one in Thee, we stand —

Thy Church in its transcendent brotherhood.

Into the soon forgotten past they die,

False gods that rise and flourish for a day.

Not so Thy Cross, firm rooted in the sky;

Thy words, O Christ, shall never pass away.

While nations rage, while empires rock and fall,

While hatred burns, and greed and war increase,

With heart and voice we dedicate our all

Once more to Thee, O mighty Prince of Peace.


LORD OF US ALL by Donald Hankey

Lord of the strong, when earth you trod,

You calmly faced the angry sea,

The fierce unmasked hypocrisy,

The traitor's kiss, the rabble's hiss,

The awful death upon the tree:

All glory be to God.

Lord of the weak, when earth you trod,

Oppressors writhed beneath your scorn;

The weak, despised, depraved, forlorn,

You taught to hope and know the scope

Of love divine for all who mourn:

All glory be to God.

Lord of the rich, when earth you trod,

To Mammon's power you never bowed,

But taught how men with wealth endowed

In meekness' school might learn to rule

The demon that enslaves the proud:

All glory be to God.

Lord of the poor, when earth you trod,

The lot you chose was hard and poor;

You taught us hardness to endure,

And so to gain through hurt and pain

The wealth that lasts for evermore:

All glory be to God.

Lord of us all, when earth you trod,

The life you led was perfect, free,

Defiant of all tyranny:

Now give us grace that we may face

Our foes with like temerity,

And glory give to God.


A BALLAD OF WONDER by Eleanor Slater

My Lord came to me once a King.

A crown was on His hair.

I never knew that anything

Could be so regal fair.

My Lord came to me once a King.

I stopped my dream to stare.

My Lord came to me once a Child.

His eyes were dark and wide.

He was so sweet and small and mild

I dreamed I could have cried,

But when He looked at me, He smiled,

And all my tears were dried.

My Lord came once — (Shall it be said

I did but dream He came?) —

A crown of thorns was on His head,

But in His heart a flame,

He came alone, unheralded,

And signed me with His name.

I am no more the same.


THE MAN OF SORROWS, Author Unknown

Christ claims our help in many a strange disguise;

Now, fever-ridden, on a bed He lies;

Homeless He wanders now beneath the stars;

Now counts the number of His prison bars;

Now bends beside us, crowned with hoary hairs.

No need have we to climb the heavenly stairs,

And press our kisses on His feet and hands;

In every man that suffers, He, the Man of

Sorrows, stands!


NO DISTANT LORD by Mahbie D Babcock

No distant Lord have I,

Loving afar to be.

Made flesh for me He cannot rest

Until He rests in me.

I need not journey far

This dearest friend to see.

Companionship is always mine;

He makes His home with me.

1 envy not the twelve.

Nearer to me is He.

The life He once lived here on earth .

He lives again in me.

Ascended now to God

My witness there to be,

His witness here am I because

His Spirit dwells in me.

0 glorious Son of God,

Incarnate Deity,

I shall forever be with Thee

Because Thou art with me.



I cannot put the Presence by, of Him, the Crucified,

Who moves men's spirits with His Love as doth the moon the tide;

Again I see the Life He lived, the godlike Death He died.

Again I see upon the cross that great Soul-battle fought,

Into the texture of the world the tale of which is wrought

Until it hath become the woof of human deed and thought, —

And, joining with the cadenced bells that all the morning fill,

His cry of agony doth yet my inmost being thrill,

Like some fresh grief from yesterday that tears the heart-strings still.

I cannot put His Presence by, I meet Him everywhere;

I meet Him in the country town, the busy market-square;

The Mansion and the Tenement attest His Presence there.

Upon the funneled ships at sea He sets His shining feet;

The Distant Ends of Empire not in vain His Name repeat, —

And, like the presence of a rose, He makes the whole world sweet.

He comes to break the barriers down raised up by barren creeds;

About the globe from zone to zone like sunlight He proceeds;

He comes to give the World's starved heart the perfect love it needs,

The Christ, whose friends have played Him false, whom Dogmas have belied,

Still speaking to the hearts of men — though shamed and crucified,

The Master of the Centuries who will not be denied!


THE MAKING OF MAN by Priscilla Leonard

Flame of the spirit, and dust of the earth,

This is the making of man,

This is his problem of birth;

Born to all holiness, born to all crime,

Heir of both worlds, on the long slope of time

Climbing the path of God's plan;

Dust of the earth in his error and fear,

Weakness and malice and lust;

Yet, quivering up from the dust,

Flame of the spirit, unleaping and clear,

Yearning to God, since from God is its birth —

This is man's portion, to shape as he can,

Flame of the spirit, and dust of the earth –

This is the making of man.


NO GREAT, NO SMALL by Ralph Waldo Emerson

From "History"

There is no great and no small

To the Soul that maketh all:

And where it cometh, all things are;

And it cometh everywhere.

I am owner of the sphere,

Of the seven stars and the solar year,

Of Caesar's hand, and Plato's brain,

Of Lord Christ's heart, and Shakespeare's strain.


SONNET by Francis Lyman Windolph

Upon our fullness smiles the dawning day,

Our superdreadnaughts dominate the main,

The whirring of the infant aeroplane

Threatens with chains the breezes at their play;

Our towers rise; we prosper while we may,

Grown drunken with the wine of loss and gain,

Nor fearful lest we haply rear in vain

A brazen idol upon feet of clay.

The ages are not mocked; the years that fleet

Are harsh or gentle as it seemeth well,

The victors in Thermopylae's defeat

Are weaker than the Spartan few who fell;

And still above the turmoil of the street

Smiles the Madonna of a Raphael.



I know my soul hath power to know all things,

Yet is she blind and ignorant in all:

1 know I'm one of Nature's little kings,

Yet to the least and vilest things am thrall.

I know my life's a pain, and but a span;

I know my sense is mock'd in ev'ry thing:

And to conclude, I know myself a man,

Which is a proud, and yet a wretched thing.


KNOW THEN THYSELF by Alexander Pope

From "Essay on Man"

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,

The proper study of mankind is man.

Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,

A being darkly wise, and rudely great;

With too much knowledge for the skeptic side,

With too much weakness for the stoic's pride,

He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest:

In doubt to deem himself a god or beast;

In doubt his mind or body to prefer;

Born but to die, and reasoning but to err;

Alike in ignorance, his reason such,

Whether he thinks too little or too much:

Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;

Still by himself abused or disabused;

Created half to rise, and half to fall;

Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;

Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled;

The glory, jest and riddle of the world!


MY KINGDOM by Louisa May Alcott

I do not ask for any crown

But that which all may win;

Nor try to conquer any world

Except the one within.

Be Thou my guide until I find

Led by a tender hand,

The happy kingdom in myself

And dare to take command.



Remember three things come not back:

The arrow sent upon its track —

It will not swerve, it will not stay

Its speed; it flies to wound, or slay

The spoken word so soon forgot

By thee; but it has perished not;

In other hearts 'tis living still

And doing work for good or ill.

And the lost opportunity

That cometh back no more to thee,

In vain thou weepest, in vain dost yearn,

Those three will nevermore return.


MY TASK by Robert Louis Stevenson

To be honest, to be kind;

To earn a little and to spend a little less;

To make upon the whole a family happier for his presence;

To renounce when that shall be necessary and not to be embittered;

To keep a few friends, but those without capitulation,—

Above all, on the same grim conditions, to keep friends with himself—

Here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy.


IF by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;

If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!’'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run —

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And — which is more — you'll be a Man, my son'


LET ME LIVE OUT MY YEARS by John G. Neihardt

Let me live out my years in heat of blood!

Let me die drunken with the dreamer's wine!

Let me not see this soul-house built of mud

Go toppling to the dust — a vacant shrine!

Let me go quickly like a candle light

Snuffed out just at the heyday of its glow!

Give me high noon — and let it then be night!

Thus would I go.

And grant me, when I face the grisly Thing,

One haughty cry to pierce the gray Perhaps!

O let me be a tune-swept fiddlestring

That feels the Master Melody — and snaps!


HE HAD HIS DREAM by Paul Laurence Dunbar

He had his dream, and all through life,

Worked up to it through toil and strife.

Afloat fore'er before his eyes,

It colored for him all his skies:

The storm-cloud dark

Above his bark,

The calm and listless vault of blue

Took on its hopeful hue,

It tinctured every passing beam —

He had his dream.

He labored hard and failed at last,

His sails too weak to bear the blast,

The raging tempests tore away

And sent his beating bark astray.

But what cared he

For wind or sea!

He said, "The tempest will be short,

My bark will come to port."

He saw through every cloud a gleam —

He had his dream.


VICTORY by Aline Kilmer

I sheath my sword. In mercy go.

Turn back from me your hopeless eyes,

For in them all my anger dies:

I cannot face a beaten foe.

My cause was just, the fight was sweet.

Go from me, O mine enemy,

Before, in shame of victory,

You find me kneeling at your feet.


OPPORTUNITY by Walter Malone

They do me wrong who say I come no more

When once I knock and fail to find you in,

For every day I stand outside your door

And bid you wake, and rise to fight and win.

Wail not for precious chances passed away,

Weep not for golden ages on the wane!

Each night I burn the records of the day;

At sunrise every soul is born again.

Laugh like a boy at splendors that have sped,

To vanished joys be blind and deaf and dumb;

My judgments seal the dead past with its dead,

But never bind a moment yet to come.

Tho’ deep in mire, wring not your hands and weep;

I lend my arm to all who say, "I can!"

No shamefaced outcast ever sank so deep

But yet might rise and be again a man.

Dost thou behold thy lost youth all aghast?

Dost reel from righteous retribution's blow?

Then turn from blotted archives of the past

And find the future's pages white as snow.

Art thou a mourner? Rouse thee from thy spell;

Art thou a sinner? Sins may be forgiven;

Each morning gives thee wings to flee from hell,

Each night a star to guide thy feet to Heaven.


BETRAYAL by Hester H. Cholmondeley

Still as of old

Men by themselves are priced —

For thirty pieces Judas sold

Himself, not Christ.


WINGS by Victor Hugo

Be like the bird

That, pausing in her flight

Awhile on boughs too slight,

Feels them give way

Beneath her and yet sings,

Knowing that she hath wings.



Take what God gives, O heart of mine,

And build your house of happiness.

Perchance some have been given more;

But many have been given less.

The treasure lying at your feet,

Whose value you but faintly guess,

Another builder, looking on,

Would barter heaven to possess,

Have you found work that you can do?

Is there a heart that loves you best?

Is there a spot somewhere called home

Where, spent and worn, your soul may rest?

A friendly tree? A book? A song?

A dog that loves your hand's caress?

A store of health to meet life's needs?

Oh, build your house of happiness!

Trust not tomorrow's dawn to bring

The dreamed-of joy for which you wait;

You have enough of pleasant things

To house your soul in goodly state;

Tomorrow Time's relentless stream

May bear what now you have away;

Take what God gives, O heart, and build

Your house of happiness today!


A BAG OF TOOLS by R. L. Sharpe

Isn't it strange

That princes and kings,

And clowns that caper

In sawdust rings,

And common people

Like you and me

Are builders for eternity?

Each is given a bag of tools,

A shapeless mass,

A book of rules;

And each must make,

Ere life is flown,

A stumbling-block

Or a stepping-stone.


CARRY ON! by Robert Service

It's easy to fight when everything's right,

And you're mad with the thrill and the glory;

It's easy to cheer when victory's near,

And wallow in fields that are gory.

It's a different song when everything's wrong,

When you're feeling infernally mortal;

When it's ten against one, and hope there is none,

Buck up, little soldier, and chortle:

Carry on! Carry on!

There isn't much punch in your blow.

You're glaring and staring and hitting out blind;

You're muddy and bloody, but never you mind.

Carry on! Carry on!

You haven't the ghost of a show.

It's looking like death, but while you've a breath,

Carry on, my son! Carry on!

And so in the strife of the battle of life

It's easy to fight when you're winning;

It's easy to slave, and starve and be brave,

When the dawn of success is beginning.

But the man who can meet despair and defeat

With a cheer, there's the man of God's choosing;

The man who can fight to Heaven's own height

Is the man who can fight when he's losing.

Carry on! Carry on!

Things never were looming so black.

But show that you haven't a cowardly streak,

And though you're unlucky you never are weak.

Carry on! Carry on!

Brace up for another attack.

courage after being stricken with infantile paralysis.

It's looking like hell, but — you never can tell:

Carry on, old man! Carry on!

There are some who drift out in the deserts of doubt,

And some who in brutishness wallow;

There are others, I know, who in piety go

Because of a Heaven to follow.

But to labor with zest, and to give of your best,

For the sweetness and joy of the giving;

To help folks along with a hand and a song;

Why, there's the real sunshine of living.

Carry on! Carry on!

Fight the good fight and true;

Believe in your mission, greet life with a cheer;

There's big work to do, and that's why you are here.

Carry on! Carry on!

Let the world be the better for you;

And at last when you die, let this be your cry :

Carry on, my soul! Carry on!


BE STRONG! by Maltbie D. Babcock

Be strong!

We are not here to play, to dream, to drift,

We have hard work to do, and loads to lift.

Shun not the struggle, face it, 'tis God's gift.

Be strong!

Say not the days are evil — who's to blame!

And fold the hands and acquiesce — O shame!

Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in God's name.

Be strong!

It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,

How hard the battle goes, the day, how long;

Faint not, fight on! To-morrow comes the song.


ONWARD AND UPWARD by John Charles Earle

I pass the vale I breast the steep.

I bear the cross: the cross bears me

Light leads me on to light. I weep

For joy at what I hope to see

When, scaled at last the arduous height,

For every painful step I trod

l traverse worlds on worlds of light,

And pierce some deeper depth of God-


RESPICE FINEM by Francis Quarles

MY soul, sit thou a patient looker-on;

Judge not the play before the play is done:

Her plot hath many changes; every day

Speaks a new scene; the last act crowns the play.


TRUE LOVE by James Russell Lowell

True love is but a humble, low-born thing,

And hath its food served up in earthenware;

It is a thing to walk with, hand in hand,

Through the everydayness of this work-day world,

Baring its tender feet to every roughness,

Yet letting not one heart-beat go astray

From beauty's law of plainness and content —

A simple, fireside thing, whose quiet smile

Can warm earth's poorest hovel to a home.



The voice that breathed o'er Eden,

That earliest wedding-day,

The primal marriage blessing,

It hath not passed away.

Still in the pure espousal

Of Christian man and maid,

The holy Three are with us,

The threefold grace is said.

For dower of blessed children,

For love and faith's sweet sake,

For high mysterious union,

Which naught on earth may break.

Be present, awful Father,

To give away this bride,

As Eve thou gav'st to Adam

Out of his own pierced side :

Be present, Son of Mary,

To join their loving hands,

As thou didst bind two natures

In thine eternal bands:

Be present, Holiest Spirit,

To bless them as they kneel,

As thou for Christ, the Bridegroom,

The heavenly Spouse dost seal.

Oh, spread thy pure wing o'er them,

Let no ill power find place,

When onward to thine altar

The hallowed path they trace,

To cast their crowns before thee

In perfect sacrifice,

Till to the home of gladness

With Christ's own Bride they rise.


A DREAM by Stephen Phillips

My dear love came to me, and said:

"God gives me one hour's rest

To spend with thee on earth again :

How shall we spend it best?"

"Why, as of old," I said; and so

We quarreled, as of old:

But when I turned to make my peace,

That one short hour was told.


THE CUP OF HAPPINESS by Gilbert Thomas

Lord God, how full our cup of happiness!

We drink and drink — and yet it grows not less;

But every morn the newly risen sun

Finds it replenished, sparkling, over-run!

Hast Thou not given us raiment, warmth, and meat,

And in due season all earth's fruits to eat? —

Work for our hands and rainbows for our eyes,

And for our souls the wings of butterflies? —

A father's smile, a mother's fond embrace,

The tender light upon a lover's face? —

The talk of friends, the twinkling eye of mirth,

The whispering silence of the good green earth? —

Hope for our youth, and memories for age,

And psalms upon the heavens' moving page?

And dost Thou not of pain a mingling pour,

To make the cup but overflow the more?


THE DAY'S DEMAND by Josiah Gilbert Holland

God give us men! A time like this demands

Strong minds, great hearts^ true faith and ready hands;

Men whom the lust of office does not kill;

Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;

Men who possess opinions and a will;

Men who have honor — men who will not lie;

Men who can stand before a demagogue

And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking;

Tall men, sun-crownedy who live above the fog

In public duty and in private thinking;

For while the rabble^ with their thumb-worn creeds >

Their large professions and their little deeds,

Mingle in selfish strife^ lo! Freedom weeps,

Wrong rules the land^ and waiting Justice sleeps.


RISE UP, O MEN OF GOD by William Pierson Merrill

Rise up, O men of God '

Have done with lesser things,

Give heart and soul and mind and strength

To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O men of God!

His kingdom tarries long.

Bring in the day of brotherhood

And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!

The church for you doth wait,

Her strength unequal to her task;

Rise up, and make her great!

Lift high the cross of Christ!

Tread where His feet have trod;

As brothers of the Son of Man

Rise up, O men of God!


MY PURPOSE by Thomas Dekker

To awaken each morning with a smile brightening my face;

To greet the day with reverence for the opportunities it contains;

To approach my work with a clean mind;

To hold ever before me, even in the doing of little things, the Ultimate Purpose toward which

I am working;

To meet men and women with laughter on my lips and love in my heart;

To be gentle, kind, and courteous through all the hours;

To approach the night with weariness that ever woos sleep, and the joy that comes from

work well done —

This is how I desire to waste wisely my days.


CHRIST AND WE by Annie Johnson Flint

Christ has no hands but our hands

To do His work today;

He has no feet but our feet

To lead men in His way;

He has no tongue but our tongues

To tell men how He died;

He has no help but our help

To bring them to His side.

We are the only Bible

The careless world will read;

We are the sinner's gospel,

We are the scoffer's creed;

We are the Lord's last message

Given in deed and word —

What if the line is crooked?

What if the type is blurred?

What if our hands are busy

With other work than His?

What if our feet are walking

Where sin's allurement is?

What if our tongues are speaking

Of things His lips would spurn?

How can we hope to help Him

Unless from Him we learn?


MY CREED by Edgar A. Guest

To live as gently as I can;

To be, no matter where, a man;

To take what comes of good or ill

And cling to faith and honor still;

To do my best, and let that stand

The record of my brain and hand;

And then, should failure come to me,

Still work and hope for victory.

To have no secret place wherein

I stoop unseen to shame or sin ;

To be the same when I'm alone

As when my every deed is known;

To live undaunted, unafraid

Of any step that I have made;

To be without pretense or sham

Exactly what men think I am.

To leave some simple mark behind

To keep my having lived in mind;

If enmity to aught I show,

To be an honest, generous foe,

To play my little part, nor whine

That greater honors are not mine.

This, I believe, is all I need

For my philosophy and creed.


GOD'S WAY by Horatius Bonar

Thy way, not mine, O Lord!

However dark it be;

Lead me by Thine own hand,

Choose out the path for me.

Smooth let it be, or rough,

It will be still the best;

Winding or straight it matters not,

It leads me to Thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot,

I would not, if I might;

Choose Thou for me, O God!

So shall I walk aright.

The kingdom that I seek

Is Thine; so let the way

That leads to it be Thine;

Else I must surely stray.

Take Thou my cup, and it

With joy or sorrow fill;

As best to Thee may seem;

Choose Thou my good or ill.

Not mine, not mine the choice

In things or great or small;

Be Thou my guide, my strength,

My wisdom and my all.


I AM NOT BOUND TO WIN by Abraham Lincoln

I am not bound to win,

But I am bound to be true.

I am not bound to succeed,

But I am bound to live up to what light I have.

I must stand with anybody that stands right;

Stand with him while he is right,

And part with him when he goes wrong.


GIVING by William F. Kirk

To give a little from a shining store,

Is that to give? To give and feel no loss,

Is that to give as Christ gave on the Cross?

To share the crumbs of happiness we gain

With those who weep apart, to give our best

Of healing sympathy to hearts in pain,

To give our labor when we fain would rest,

This is the chanty men knew when He

First breathed that word by starlit Galilee!


OPPORTUNITY by Edward Rowland Sill

This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream: —

There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;

And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged

A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords

Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner

Wavered, then staggered backward’ hemmed by foes,

A craven hung along the battle's edge,

And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel —

That blue blade that the king's son bears, — but this

Blunt thing!’' he snapped and flung it from his hand,

And lowering crept away and left the field.

Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,

And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,

Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,

And ran and snatched it, and with battle- shout

Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,

And saved a great cause that heroic day.


UNBELIEF by Elizabeth York Case

There is no unbelief;

Whoever plants a seed beneath the sod

And waits to see it push away the clod,

He trusts in God,

Whoever says when clouds are in the sky,

"Be patient, heart ; light breaketh by and by,"

Trusts the Most High.

Whoever sees 'neath winter's field of snow,

The silent harvest of the future grow,

God's power must know.

Whoever lies down on his couch to sleep,

Content to lock each sense in slumber deep,

Knows God will keep.

Whoever says "To-morrow," "The unknown,"

'The future,' trusts that Power alone He dares disown. ,

The heart that looks on when the eye-lids close,

And dares to live when life has only woes,

God's comfort knows.

There is no unbelief;

For thus by day and night unconsciously

The heart lives by the faith the lips deny.

God knoweth why!


FAITH by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea

Come drifting home with broken masts and sails;

I shall believe the Hand which never fails,

From seeming evil worketh good to me;

And, though I weep because those sails are battered,

Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered,

"I trust in Thee."

I will not doubt, though all my prayers return

Unanswered from the still, white realm above;

I shall believe it is an all-wise Love

Which has refused those things for which I yearn;

And though, at times, I cannot keep from grieving,

Yet the pure ardor of my fixed believing

Undimmed shall burn.

I will not doubt, though sorrows fall like rain,

And troubles swarm like bees about a hive;

I shall believe the heights for which I strive,

Are only reached by anguish and by pain;

And, though I groan and tremble with my crosses,

I yet shall see, through my severest losses,

The greater gain.

I will not doubt; well anchored in the faith,

Like some stanch ship, my soul braves every gale,

So strong its courage that it will not fail

To breast the mighty, unknown sea of death.

Oh, may I cry when body parts with spirit,

"I do not doubt," so listening worlds may hear it

With my last breath.


FAITH by William Dean Howells

If I lay waste and wither up with doubt

The blessed fields of heaven where once my faith

Possessed itself serenely safe from death;

If I deny the things past finding out;

Or if I orphan my own soul of One

That seemed a Father, and make void the place

Within me where He dwelt in power and grace,

What do I gain by that I have undone?


CLOSING THE DOORS by Irene Pettit McKeehan

I have closed the door on Doubt.

I will go by what light I can find,

And hold up my hands and reach them out

To the glimmer of God in the dark, and call,

“I am Thine, though I grope and stumble and fall.

I serve, and Thy service is kind.”

I have closed the door on Fear.

He has lived with me far too long.

If he were to break forth and reappear,

I would lift my eyes and look at the sky,

And sing aloud and run lightly by;

He will never follow a song.

I have closed the door on Gloom.

His house has too narrow a view.

I must seek for my soul a wider room,

With windows to open and let in the sun,

And radiant lamps when the day is done,

And the breeze of the world blowing through.


THREE GATES from the Arabian

If you are tempted to reveal

A tale to you someone has told

About another, make it pass,

Before you speak, three gates of gold.

These narrow gates: First, "Is it true?"

Then, "Is it needful?" In your mind

Give truthful answer. And the next

Is last and narrowest, "Is it kind?"

And if to reach your lips at last

It passes through these gateways three,

Then you may tell the tale, nor fear

What the result of speech may be.


PASS IT ON by Henry Burton

Have you had a kindness shown?

Pass it on.

'Twas not given for thee alone,

Pass it on.

Let it travel down the years,

Let it wipe another's tears,

'Till in heav'n the deed appears —

Pass it on.

Did you hear the loving word?

Pass it on —

Like the singing of a bird?

Pass it on.

Let its music live and grow,

Let it cheer another's woe;

You have reaped what others sow —

Pass it on.

'Twas the sunshine of a smile —

Pass it on.

Staying but a little while!

Pass it on.

April beam a little thing,

Still it wakes the flowers of spring,

Makes the silent birds to sing —

Pass it on.

Have you found the heavenly light?

Pass it on.

Souls are groping in the night,

Daylight gone —

Hold thy lighted lamp on high,

Be a star in someone's sky,

He may live who else would die —

Pass it on.

Be not selfish in thy greed,

Pass it on.

Look upon thy brother's need,

Pass it on.

Live for self, you live in vain;

Live for Christ, you live again;

Live for Him, with Him you reign —

Pass it on.


TELL HIM SO by J A. Egerton

If you have a word of cheer

That may light the pathway drear,

Of a brother pilgrim here,

Let him know.

Show him you appreciate

What he does, and do not wait

Till the heavy hand of fate

Lays him low.

If your heart contains a thought

That will brighter make his lot,

Then, in mercy, hide it not;

Tell him so.

Wait not till your friend is dead

Ere your compliments are said;

For the spirit that has fled,

If it know,

Does not need to speed it on

Our poor praise; where it has gone

Love's eternal, golden dawn

Is aglow.

But unto our brother here

That poor praise is very dear;

If you've any word of cheer

Tell him so.


OUTWITTED by Edwin Markham

He drew a circle that shut me out —

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But Love and I had the wit to win:

We drew a circle that took him in!


WHAT IS PRAYER? by James Montgomery

Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,

Uttered or unexpressed;

The motion of a hidden fire,

That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,

The falling of a tear;

The upward glancing of an eye,

When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech

That infant lips can try;

Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach

The Majesty on high.

Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,

Returning from his ways;

While angels in their songs rejoice,

And cry, "Behold! He prays!"

Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,

The Christian's native air;

His watchword at the gate of death —

He enters heaven with prayer.

The saints in prayer appear as one

In word and deed and mind;

Where with the Father and the Son

Sweet fellowship they find.

Nor prayer is made by man alone:

The Holy Spirit pleads;

And Jesus, on the eternal Throne,

For sinners intercedes.

O Thou by whom we come to God —

The Life, the Truth, the Way!

The path of prayer Thyself hast trod;

Lord, teach us how to pray!


REST AND WORK by Anne Whitney

The camel, at the close of day,

Kneels down upon the sandy plain

To have his burden lifted off,

And rest to gain.

My soul, thou too, shouldst to thy knees

When daylight draweth to a close,

And let thy Master lift thy load

And grant repose.

Else how canst thou tomorrow meet,

With all tomorrow's work to do,

If thou thy burden all the night

Dost carry through?

The camel kneels at break of day

To have his guide replace his load,

Then rises up anew to take

The desert road.

So thou shouldst kneel at morning dawn,

That God may give thee daily care,

Assured that He no load too great

Will make thee bear.


From THE VISION SPLENDID! by John Oxenham

'Mid all the traffic of the ways,

Turmoils without, within,

Make in my heart a quiet place,

And come and dwell therein :

A little shrine of quietness,

All sacred to Thyself,

Where Thou shalt all my soul possess,

And I may find myself:

A little shelter from life's stress,

Where I may lay me prone,

And bare my soul in loneliness,

And know as I am known:

A little place of mystic grace,

Of self and sin swept bare,

Where I may look upon Thy face,

And talk with Thee in prayer.



I thank Thee, Lord, for mine unanswered prayers,

Unanswered, save Thy quiet, kindly "Nay,"

Yet it seemed hard among my heavy cares

That bitter day.

I wanted joy: but Thou didst know for me

That sorrow was the lift I needed most,

And in its mystic depths I learned to see

The Holy Ghost.

I wanted health; but Thou didst bid me sound

The secret treasuries of pain,

And in the moans and groans my heart oft found

Thy Christ again.

I wanted wealth; 'twas not the better part;

There is a wealth with poverty oft given,

And Thou didst teach me of the gold of heart,

Best gift of Heaven.

I thank Thee, Lord, for these unanswered prayers,

And for Thy word, the quiet, kindly "Nay."

'Twas Thy withholding lightened all my cares

That blessed day.


A PRAYER by Max Ehrmann

Let me do my work each day;

And if the darkened hours of despair overcome me,

May I not forget the strength that comforted me

In the desolation of other times.

May I still remember the bright hours that found me

Walking over the silent hills of my childhood,

Or dreaming on the margin of the quiet river,

When a light glowed within me,

And I promised my early God to have courage

Amid the tempests of the changing years.

Spare me from bitterness

And from the sharp passions of unguarded moments.

May I not forget that poverty and riches are of the spirit.

Though the world know me not,

May my thoughts and actions be such

As shall keep me friendly with myself.

Lift my eyes from the earth,

And let me not forget the uses of the stars.

Forbid that I should judge others,

Lest I condemn myself.

Let me not follow the clamor of the world,

But walk calmly in my path.

Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am;

And keep ever burning before my vagrant steps

The kindly light of hope.

And though age and infirmity overtake me,

And I come not within sight of the castle of my dreams,

Teach me still to be thankful for life,

And for time's olden memories that are good and sweet;

And may the evening's twilight find me gentle still.


MYSTIC'S PRAYER, from the Fourteenth Century

If my feeble prayer can reach Thee,

O, my Saviour, 1 beseech Thee,

Even as Thou hast died for me

More sincerely

Let me follow where Thou leadest,

Let me bleeding as Thou bleedest,

Die, if dying I may give

Life to one who asks to live;

And more nearly

Dying thus, resemble Thee.


A HUNDRED NOBLE WISHES by Charles Francis Richardson

A hundred noble wishes fill my heart:

I long to help each soul in need of aid :

In all good works my zeal would have a part,

Before no weight of toil it stands afraid.

But noble wishes are not noble deeds,

And he does least who seeks to do the whole :

Who works the best, his simplest duties heeds;

Who moves the world, first moves a single soul.


MAN-MAKING by Edwin Markham

We are all blind, until we see

That in the human plan

Nothing is worth the making if

It does not make the man.

Why build these cities glorious

If man unbuilded goes?

In vain we build the work, unless

The builder also grows.


THE SIN OF OMISSION by Margaret E. Sangster

It isn't the thing you do;

It's the thing you leave undone,

Which gives you a bit of heartache

At the setting of the sun.

The tender word forgotten,

The letter you did not write,

The flower you might have sent,

Are your haunting ghosts at night.

The stone you might have lifted

Out of a brother's way,

The bit of heartsome counsel

You were hurried too much to say;

The loving touch of the hand,

The gentle and winsome tone,

That you had no time or thought for

With troubles enough of your own.

The little acts of kindness,

So easily out of mind;

Those chances to be helpful

Which everyone may find —

No, it's not the thing you do,

It's the thing you leave undone,

Which gives you the bit of heartache

At the setting of the sun.


BIGOT by Eleanor Slater

Though you be scholarly, beware

The bigotry of doubt.

Some people take a strange delight

In blowing candles out.



Lord, it belongs not to my care,

Whether I die or live;

To love and serve Thee is my share,

And this Thy grace must give.

If life be long I will be glad,

That I may long obey;

If short — yet why should I be sad

To soar to endless day?

Christ leads me through no darker rooms

Than He went through before;

He that unto God's kingdom comes,

Must enter by this door.

Come, Lord, when grace has made me meet

Thy blessed face to see;

For if Thy work on earth be sweet,

What will Thy glory be!

Then I shall end my sad complaints,

And weary, sinful days;

And join with the triumphant saints,

To sing Jehovah's praise.

My knowledge of that life is small,

The eye of faith is dim;

But 'tis enough that Christ knows all,

And I shall be with Him.


HONEST DOUBT by Robert Weston

I say unto you: Cherish your doubts,

For doubt is the handmaiden of truth.