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

‘I will arise and go to my Father’

Walter Chalmers Smith (1824–1908)

LUKE XV. 18.

I WAS friendless, homeless, lonely,

Sad as sinful heart could be;

Drifting helpless, without anchor,

Far upon a stormy sea,

To the dark shores and the shipwreck,

Plainly that awaited me.

Father’s home I had forsaken,

Breaking all its loving ties,

And the swine’s husk I had eaten

That no spirit satisfies;

I had hewed out broken cisterns,

Fled to refuges of lies.

Then I thought that men were liars,

Friends were fickle and unkind,

Youth like sheep among the briars,

Which the briars have entwined

But to rob the tender fleeces,

And to close the path behind.

And I thought that God in anger,

Had no pity for His child,

That He cared no more for sinners

Suffering, sorrowing and beguiled;

And my heart grew hard, despairing;

And my way was more defiled.

Then I heard a voice proclaiming,

“Come and I will give you rest;”

And I rose, and went desponding,

And my sinful ways confessed;

And the Father I had slighted

Drew me fondly to His breast.

O to think of angels singing,

“Now the lost is found again!”

O the wonder and the gladness

Overcoming like a pain!

Let Thy faithful love, O Father,

My faithless fainting heart sustain.