THE world is full
of books, then why should I
Another add to its redundant store?
And give, when it perchance doth want no more?
Ah, well! I still must sing, I scarce know why,
Unless, as sun lights up the midday sky,
And silvery brooklets run, and song birds sing,
And flowers their glorious hues show forth, and fling
Their perfumes on the air unasked, all ply
Their parts and give their best without a sigh,
Because they must. With me 'tis even so:
The springs of song within me rise and flow,
I may not let their waters stagnant lie,
And woe betide me if I hoard in greed
The streams which thirsty souls around me need.
Not fame nor profit do I hope to gain,
Though, rightly won, such things are not amiss;
My dearest, inmost hope I feel is this:
That some sad hearts may find herein a strain
Or word of hope to ease their hidden pain,
Some thought of God to cheer their upward way,
Revive their flickering faith's expiring ray,
And help them life's best victories to attain.
Such ministry as this be mine, and then
I have my heart's most dear desire fulfilled,
All baser cravings in my soul are stilled,
That I may better serve my fellow men.
Lord, so let grace and love within me shine
That life and song may both alike be Thine.
Spring Grove, Greenfield, Yorks.
(Written in 1898).