Sweet be Thy words of sternest truth,
My risen Lord to me!
Hid in the secret of my heart
Their deepest treasure be;
That I may comprehend the joy
Of sacrifice for Thee.
And, softly let the light of life,
Before Thy servant shine,
That through the gloom with steadfast will,
My soul may follow Thine —
Calm in the depth of one desire,
And strong in one design.
But never let me think I see
Thy heavenly things aright,
Unless the single eye of love
Fill my whole mind with light,
And to be like Thee in Thy death
Seems glorious in my sight.
That willing sacrifice of Thine
My meditation make,
Till to the true delight of life
My soul with songs awake, —
And all that spoils me of myself
Be treasure for Thy sake.
The tenderest heart Thy hands have made
Beneath Thy rule may rest;
For He who made it for Himself
Knows what will shield it best, —
The feeblest lover of Thy law,
Dwells safely in Thy breast.
Now through, a strait and painful way
My weary feet must press;
But what shall hurt the struggling soul
Which Thou hast died to bless,
Or prompt a spirit to complain
That knows its blessedness!
Nor seems it strange to one who weighs
The joy of liberty,
This death of suffering to himself,
This life of love to Thee,
Which gives the lowly power to reign
And makes the servant free.
O let no timid faithless thought
Prevail my bonds to spare!
Lord, I can drink Thy bitter cup,
Thy fiery trial share, —
I can deny myself for Thee,
And for Thy glory care.
Only the unction of Thy love,
With every cross be mine —
Till these Thy words — so firm to gird,
So searching to refine —
Be sweet unto Thy servant's soul
Even as they are to Thine.
Hymns and Meditations, 1873