Oh, living were a bitter thing,
A riddle without reasons,
If each sat lonely, gathering
Within his own heart’s narrow ring
The hopes and fears encumbering
The flight of earthly seasons.
Thank God, that in life’s little day,
Between our dawn and setting,
We have kind deeds to give away,
Sad hearts for which our own may pray,
And strength, when we are wronged, to stay,
Forgiving and forgetting!
Thank God for other feet that be
By ours in life’s wayfaring;
For blessed Christian charity,
Believing good she cannot see,
Suffering her friend’s infirmity –
Enduring and forbearing!
We all are travellers, who throng
A thorny road together;
And if some pilgrim not so strong
As I, but sore-foot, does me wrong –
I’ll make excuse; the road is long,
And stormy is the weather.
What comfort will it yield the day
Whose light shall find us dying,
To know that once we had our way
Against a child of weaker clay,
And bought our triumph, in the fray
With purchase of his sighting?
Most like Our Lord are they who bear,
Like Him, long with the sinning;
The music of long-suffering prayer
Brings angels down God’s golden stair,
Like those through Olivet’s darkened air,
Who saw our life beginning.