Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tender comfort for those who are under sorrow

I have known Sorrow; I have been acquainted
With her pale face; her voice, her footsteps known,
Oft uninvited she has crossed my threshold,
To speak with me alone.
I loved her not! I gave to her no welcome;
Asked not her errand, closed to her my heart;
With chilling words, and with a face averted,
I urged her to depart.
She went, but came again; as a dove flutters
Above some dear retreat, she oft returned;
I heard her wings but offered her no shelter,
Her coming flight I spurned.
At last, by my repelling frowns unwearied,
Again she ventured nigh, and thus she spake:
“I come from One thou lovest!” showed her tokens,
Grew welcome, for His sake.
Thenceforth she sat my guest, revered and honored
And her stern face unlovely ceased to be.
When life interpreting, she sat beside me,
Made Christ more dear to me.
And yet her presence drove from out my threshold,
The treasures that His hand in bounty gave;
Groans wrung she from me, as I knelt in anguish
At the relentless grave.
Upon the rock of sore suspense she laid me,
Not once, but often, tore me limb from limb;
And when I shrank, and wept, and cried for mercy,
She pointed but to Him.
And so by turns sore-smitten, soothed, instructed,
I sit at her dear feet, and smile on her,
Who came on wings of love to scourge and prove me-
Christ’s precious messenger!
Elizabeth Prentiss