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ENCOURAGEMENT TO FAITHFULNESS AND PROGRESS
“Rouse up, O heart, brooding o’er earth’s broken friendships,
Mistakes and griefs. Retrospection truly brings
Relief at times; but to scan too oft life’s pages
Brings weariness, sapping strength thou need’st for progress.
The past forget! As a mighty vessel swings
To right her course, while the skies, serene and fogless,
And calming seas, tell no tale of tempests’ rages,
So thou, O heart, whilst her pennant Mercy flings,
Retrieve the past; and returning calm and sun
Shall not condemn—only speed thine onward journey,
Forgiving and forgiv’n.
“Fret not, O heart!—not because of evil-doers.
They soon shall cease. When their cup of crime is full
To overflow, then the great and just Avenger,
With girded loins, sword unsheathed and wrath enkindled,
Will tread the press, and his blood-stained hand annul
Their ill kept lease, and shall vanquish all the tinseled
Recruits of sin. But, O heart, heed thy great danger.
Besetting sins, and fair vanities which lull
To fancied safety the listless, thou must fear,
Lest that dread sword thee mark also for its victim,
A reprobate despised.
“Awake, O heart! Hurriedly from drowsy slumbers
Arise, arise! Night is sleeping time, not day.
Press nobly on, heeding not the faithless numbers!
The mid-day glare tempts to quietness and shadow;
Suave lethargy, friendly false, persuades the way
Is soon retraced from the cooling brook and meadow;
But he who turns from the strife and glare, and cumbers
Himself with pleasure’s delights, will ne’er essay
The path again; and yet thou, O pilgrim weary,
Foregoing rest, shalt be strengthened with all might:
Thy faith, sore tried, shall develop eagles’ sight,
And penetrate, past environment, to glory
Unspeakable, where in Heaven’s effulgent light,
Thy glorious Leader dwells.”
— January 15, 1899 —