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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Robert Jones Burdette (1844–1914)

[Born in Greensborough, Penn., 1844. Died in Pasadena, Cal., 1914.]

Luke xviii. 41.

I WOULD receive my sight; my clouded eyes

Miss the glad radiance of the morning sun,

The changing tints that glorify the skies

With roseate splendors when the day is done;

The shadows soft and gray, the pearly light

Of summer twilight deepening into night.

I cannot see to keep the narrow way,

And so I blindly wander here and there,

Groping amidst the tombs, or helpless stray

Through pathless, tangled deserts, bleak and bare;

Weeping I seek the way I cannot find—

Open my eyes, dear Lord, for I am blind.

And oft I laugh with some light, thoughtless jest,

Nor see how anguish lines some face most dear,

And write my mirth, a mocking palimpsest,

On blotted scrolls of human pain and fear;

And never see the heartache interlined—

Pity, O Son of David! I am blind.

I do not see the pain my light words give;

The quivering, shrinking heart I cannot see;

So, light of thought, midst hidden griefs I live,

And mock the cypressed tombs with sightless glee;

Open my eyes,—light, blessed ways to find:

Jesus, have mercy on me—I am blind.

My useless eyes are reservoirs of tears,

Doomed for their blind mistakes to overflow;

To weep for thoughtless ways of wandering years,

Because I could not see—I did not know.

These sightless eyes—than angriest glance less kind—

Light of the World, have pity! I am blind.