BETA

PENCIL MARKS IN A BOOK OF
DEVOTION.


It happened one day, about noon, I was exceedingly
surprised with the print of a man’s naked foot on the
shore, which was very plain to be seen on the sand.”
Strong words are these— “ O Lord ! I seek but Thee,1
Not Thine !  I ask not comfort, ask not rest ;2
Give what, and how, and when Thou wilt to me,3
I bless Thee—take all back—and be Thou blest.”4
Sweet words are these— O Lord ! it is Thy love,5
And not Thy gifts I seek ; yet am as one6
That loveth so, I prize the least above7
All other worth or sweetness under the sun.”8
And all these words are underscored, and here9
And there a tear hath been, and left a stain,10
The only record, haply, of a tear11
Long wiped from eyes no more to weep again.12
And as I gaze, a solemn joy comes o’er me13
By these deep footprints I can surely guess14
Some pilgrim, by the road that lies before me,15
Hath cross’d, long time ago, the wilderness.16
With feet oft bruised among its sharp flints, duly17
He turn’d aside to gather simples here,18
And lay up simples for his faintness—truly19
Now will I track his steps, and be of cheer.20
And, wearied, by this wayside fountain’s brink21
He sat to rest, and as it there befell,22
The stone was roll’d away, he stoop’d to drink23
The waters springing up from Life’s clear well.24
And oft upon his journey, faring sadly,25
He communed with this Teacher from on high ;26
And, meeting words of promise, meekly, gladly,27
Went on his way rejoicing—so will I.28