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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

Hopefully Waiting

By Anson Davies Fitz Randolph (1820–1896)

[Born in Woodbridge, N. J., 1820. Died, 1896. Verses, by Anson D. F. Randolph. 1855.]

NOT as you meant, O learned man and good,

Do I accept thy words of hope and rest;

God, knowing all, knows what for me is best,

And gives me what I need, not what He could,

Nor always as I would!

I shall go to the Father’s House and see

Him and the Elder Brother face to face,—

What day or hour I know not. Let me be

Steadfast in work, and earnest in the race,

Not as a homesick child, who all day long

Whines at its play, and seldom speaks in song.

If for a time some loved one goes away

And leaves us our appointed work to do,

Can we to him or to ourselves be true,

In mourning his departure day by day,

And so our work delay?

Nay, if we love and honor, we shall make

The absence brief by doing well our task,—

Not for ourselves, but for the dear one’s sake;

And at his coming only of him ask

Approval of the work, which most was done,

Not for ourselves, but our beloved one!

Our Father’s House, I know, is broad and grand;

In it how many, many mansions are!

And far beyond the light of sun or star

Four little ones of mine through that fair land

Are walking hand in hand!

Think you I love not, or that I forget

These of my loins? Still this world is fair,

And I am singing while my eyes are wet

With weeping in this balmy summer air;

I am not homesick, and the children here

Have need of me, and so my way is clear!

I would be joyful as my days go by,

Counting God’s mercies to me. He who bore

Life’s heaviest Cross is mine for evermore;

And I, who wait His coming, shall not I

On His sure word rely?

So if sometimes the way be rough, and sleep

Be heavy for the grief He sends to me,

Or at my waking I would only weep,—

Let me be mindful that these things must be,

To work His blessed will until He come

And take my hand and lead me safely home.