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

By The Prisoner of Love (1904). V. God and the Harvest

Frederick William Orde Ward (1843–1922)

  • “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”
  • 1 Cor. iii. 6.

  • HAST thou, dear brother, toiled through many years

    And seen no fruits, though thou hast freely sown

    Thy life in labour and with watchful tears

    Watered the soil yet none the richer grown?

    Remember that the reaping is God’s own,

    And He can gather even of doubts and fears;

    We only plough and plant our little field—

    He is our Harvest, and His Love the yield.

    Be sure, no kindly word or work may fail

    To leave a blessing, if we know it not

    And our poor efforts often err and ail,

    While nothing that we do is without spot;

    Christ stands Yoke-fellow, in the lowliest lot;

    He is the light, and prayers at last prevail;

    And, should thy service seem a wasted part,

    It still shall blossom in some happier heart.

    Not ours to finish tasks or seek the sight

    Of precious increase and the praise of man,

    But just to scatter seed in nature’s night

    And leave with God the issue of His plan;

    He will complete what He in Grace began,

    And order even thine errors all aright.

    Thou wert well paid, whatever clouds do come,

    If thou hast helped one wandering sinner Home.