Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward


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Lord, are there any stones upon the way,
That tear Thy bleeding feet?
If our weak hands can move them from Thy path,
Give us that duty sweet.

Is there, O patient and pathetic Face!
One thorn upon Thy brow
That we can pluck from out Thy cruel crown?
For we would do it now.

Is there a deed so difficult for us
That none but Thou canst ask?
Thine asking be our answering. Lo! swift
Be ours that happy task.

Lord, hast Thou left Thy hungry in the world
For us to find, to feed?
Sharper the hungers of the soul. Give us
Nutrition for that need.

And hast Thou prisoners unvisited,
Whose woes our care should tell?
There is a deeper prison of the heart;
Help us to find that cell.

Is there a mourner dear to Thee, whom we
Have left uncomforted?
Yet still through lonelier loneliness, the heart
Bereft of Thee, is led.

O world of common, human cries! and calls
Of souls in direst need!
To meet ye, mighty were the love that sought
To take the Master's speed.

Give us that love, dear God, who gave to us
To bear His loving name.
Give us that sacred speed to keep the step
That strikes with His the same.

Waves of one tide, this people be! and flow
Straight shoreward to Thy will.
White as a dove, upon them, now descend
Thy Spirit, strong and still.

Thy blessings on their future rest and brood,
--The brightest, lip can tell,--
In home and heart, in faith and fact, O best
Of daily mercy! dwell.

With those who summon--trusting it to lead
Their feet to walk Christ's way--
The voice of him on whose bowed head, I call
The grace of God to-day.

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Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward