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

By The Prisoner of Love (1904). VI. Our Open Cage

Frederick William Orde Ward (1843–1922)

  • “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth.”
  • Ps. xxv. 10.

  • BY different paths, O Lord, from many lands

    We come, we come unconscious of Thy will,

    And the eternal Patience of those Hands

    Guiding us still;

    For all the roads of knowledge and of faith,

    Descents of man, ascents Divine and free,

    Through joy or sorrow and by life or death

    Lead unto Thee.

    There is one Goal to these our many cares,

    While blindly we pursue mere selfish ends,

    And but one way at last if unawares

    It upward tends.

    We think the track is moulded by our pains,

    We hew us idols, raise the temple dome,

    To reach by altars dead and broken chains

    Somehow our Home.

    We choose or seem to choose the daily deed,

    The apportioned task and triumph for an hour,

    But Thine was ever the immortal seed

    And Thine the flower;

    We strive against Thee with our idle strength,

    As in an open cage a foolish dove,

    Until we find our liberty at length

    Within Thy Love.