The Old Coin’s Teaching.

I had a coin, so old and so defaced1
The likeness of its king could not be traced2
By all my gazing :  so my steps I sped3
To an old man of learning, and I said,4
You study coins, sir ;  tell me, if you can,5
The worth, the date of this.’ And he began6
To feel it, for his eyes were growing dim ;7
His fingers o’er it passed and round the rim8
A moment wandered, then he told the date,9
And all I asked. My wonderment was great.10
A deeper lesson on my conscious heart11
I found was thus engraved ;  it made me start12
To think how blindly I had looked on man,13
How foolishly misjudged the heavenly plan ;14
Because through ignorance I failed to trace15
The likeness of the God who made our race16
In His own image, worn away through time,17
Yet coin most true of empire all sublime.18
For if those loving souls who study men19
Can find resemblance still, why surely, then,20
God, who is Love, will recognise His own,21
And by the Maker will the coin be known.22
Alas !  O Lord, in me the metal’s worn,23
The superscription lost, the rim is torn ;24
And yet Thou madest me. In love Divine,25
In Thine hand take me ;  say that I am Thine.26