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

Have Mercy on Me, O Lord, Thou Son of David

Alan Brodrick

WITHIN the cool Quadrangle’s welcome shade,

Beneath the linen awning, Jesus sought

A moment’s quiet, while the fountain played

Her pleasant interlude to weary thought.

Through the porch gleamed the rose-red sunset snows

Of the wild crags of northern Galilee:

What awful Life is in the God-Repose,

That with the Past and Present welds Futurity!

Up the benched gateway thrills a Woman’s cry,

As if the swollen torrent of deep care

Had torn down silence in its agony

To fling Grief’s secret on the trembling air!

The loneliness of one unuttered woe,

The silent tears when every Hope had fled,

The sacred Love, which Mothers best may know,

When sickness glooms around a first-born’s bed.

The weary hours beside her little Child,

The patient sadness of her darling’s eye,

As with unselfish love she feebly smiled,

All, all, came sobbing on that bitter cry—

O Lord, thou Son of David, pity me!

So mid the wreck, bareheaded, ’gainst the spray,

A drowning Man might shriek across the sea.

When hope of human help had passed away.

O Lord, Thou Son of David, pity me!

While ghastly doubt stung her sin-laden breast,

If for the guilt done by her secretly,

God’s Curse had fallen on what she loved the best.

He did not answer her one single word,

Yet Love was speaking in His ev’ry Look:

When earth is silent, then may Heaven be heard,

In sorrow’s gloom Faith best reads God’s own Book.

Think’st thou He hears not, when for many a day

Thy knees are worn with fasting and with prayer?

Think’st thou He turns from any love away,

Because thou see’st no Angel on the air?

Tempter, away! each throb of pain He knows;

I will kneel on, and wait His blessed Time;

Up the steep staircase of Life’s darksome woes

I’ll climb and sing, till overhead God’s chime

Break with one roar of an eternal Sea;

And lo! if I have prayed He giveth more;

I stagger down, half-blind with victory,

Whispering the Chant from out the opening Door.