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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.


Thomas Toke Lynch (1818–1871)

WHEN Dorcas worked to clothe the poor,

A neighbour or a friend

Sometimes came tapping at the door,

A little help to lend;

Then Dorcas said, “Come in, my dear;

All willing hands are welcome here.”

A friendly light was in her eyes,

And pity on her tongue,

Her words were mild as well as wise;

And round her room there hung

Nice things to make the children glad,

And warm ones for the old and sad.

And everybody in the town

Knew Dorcas, as she went,

In any weather up and down,

On doing good intent;

And blest her for her cheerful face,

The kindest woman in the place.

But tender-hearted Dorcas died;

New tears the widows shed;

For, “Who such garments can provide,

Now she is gone?” they said;

Dorcas who by the pleasant sea

Had spent her life so usefully.

She died: they bore her as was meet,

With many a heavy sigh,

A little further from the street

And nearer to the sky:

Now in a spacious upper room

She waits the low and narrow tomb.

“O Peter, can she live again?

This is a grievous day.”

Said he, “Submit, and not complain;

But I will kneel and pray:

‘Lord, on thy sorrowing people smile;

Give Dorcas back a little while.’”

She came! “But not for long,” she said;

“For God will others raise

Whose loving-kindness, in my stead,

His gracious name shall praise

I heard a voice in Paradise

Say, ‘Loving-kindness never dies.’”

And Dorcas in her daughters lives

Industrious and kind;

For help her good example gives

To willing hand and mind.

Lord, in our hearts her spirit stir;

She followed Thee; we follow her.