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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Hymns and Meditations. IV. The Cry of the Lost Answered

Anna Lætitia Waring (1820–1910)

THAT was the Shepherd of the flock; He knew

The distant voice of one poor sheep astray;

It had forsaken Him, but He was true,

And listened for its bleating night and day.

Lost in a pitfall, yet alive it lay,

To breathe the faint sad call that He would know;

But now the slighted fold was far away,

And no approaching footstep soothed its woe.

A thing of life and nurture from above

Sunk under earth where all was cold and dim,

With nothing in it to console His love,

Only the miserable cry for Him.

His was the wounded heart, the bleeding limb

That safe and sound He would have joy’d to keep;

And still, amidst the flock at home with Him,

He was the Shepherd of that one lost sheep.

Oh! would He now but come and claim His own,

How more than precious His restoring care!

How sweet the pasture of His choice alone,

How bright the dullest path if He were there!

How well the pain of rescue it could bear,

Held in the shelter of His strong embrace!

With Him it would find herbage anywhere,

And springs of endless life in every place.

And so He came and raised it from the clay,

While evil beasts went disappointed by.

He bore it home along the fearful way

In the soft light of His rejoicing eye.

And thou fallen soul, afraid to live or die

In the deep pit that will not set thee free,

Lift up to Him the helpless homeward cry,

For all that tender love is seeking thee.