1. Is thy cruse of comfort failing?
Rise and share it with another,
And thro' all the years of famine
It shall serve thee and thy brother;
Love divine will fill thy store-house,
Or thy handful still renew;
Scanty fare for one will often
Make a royal feast for two.
2. For the heart grows rich in giving;
All its wealth is living grain;
Seeds which mildew in the garner,
Scattered, fill with gold the plain.
Is thy burden hard and heavy?
Do thy steps drag wearily?
Help to bear thy brother's burden,
God will bear both it and thee.
3. Numb and weary on the mountain,
Wouldst thou sleep amidst the snow?
Chafe that frozen form beside thee,
And together both shall glow.
Art thou stricken in life's battle?
Many wounded round thee moan;
Lavish on their wounds thy balsams,
And that balm shall heal thine own.
4. Is the heart a well left empty?
None but God its void can fill;
Nothing but a ceaseless Fountain
Can its ceaseless longings still.
Is the heart a living power?
Self-entwined, its strength sinks low;
It can only live in loving,
And by serving love will grow.
Charles, Elizabeth, née Rundle, is the author of numerous and very popular works intended to popularize the history of early Christian life in Great Britain; of Luther and his times; of Wesley and his work; the struggles of English civil wars; and kindred subjects as embodied in the Chronicles of the Schönherg-Cotta Family, the Diary of Kitty Trevelyan, &c, was born at Tavistock, Devonshire, Her father was John Bundle, M.P., and her husband, Andrew Paton Charles, Barrister-at-Law. Mrs. Charles has made some valuable contributions to hymnology, including original hymns and translations from the Latin and German. These were given in her:—
(1) The Voice of Christian Life in Song; or, Hymns and Hymn-writers of Many Lands and Ages, 1858; (2… Go to person page >
Is the [thy] cruse of comfort wasting. Elizabeth Charles. [The Cruse of Oil.] Appeared in her Three Wakings, 1859, and repeated in the Hymnal Companion, revised edition, 1876, and appointed for "Almsgiving." It is also in several other collections, and sometimes as "Is thy cruse," &c.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)