I lay and dreamed. The master came
In his old woven dress;
I stood in joy, and yet in shame,
Oppressed with earthliness.
He stretched his arms, and gently sought
To clasp me to his soul;
I shrunk away, because I thought
He did not know the whole.
I did not love him as I would,
Embraces were not meet;
I sank before him where he stood,
And held and kissed his feet.
Ten years have passed away since then,
Oft hast thou come to me;
The question scarce will rise again,
Whether I care for thee.
To every doubt, in thee my heart
An answer hopes to find;
In every gladness, Lord, thou art,
The deeper joy behind.
And yet in other realms of life,
Unknown temptations rise,
Unknown perplexities and strife,
New questions and replies.
And every lesson learnt, anew,
The vain assurance lends
That now I know, and now can do,
And now should see thy ends.
So I forget I am a child,
And act as if a man;
Who through the dark and tempest wild
Will go, because he can.
And so, O Lord, not yet I dare
To clasp thee to my breast;
Though well I know that only there
Is hid the secret rest.
And yet I shrink not, as at first:
Be thou the judge of guilt;
Thou knowest all my best and worst,
Do with me as thou wilt.
Spread thou once more thine arms abroad,
Lay bare thy bosom’s beat;
Thou shalt embrace me, O my God,
And I will kiss thy feet.
I stood before my childhood’s home,
Outside the belt of trees;
All round, my dreaming glances roam
On well-known hills and leas.
When sudden, from the westward, rushed
A wide array of waves;
Over the subject fields they gushed
From far-off, unknown caves.
And up the hill they clomb and came,
On flowing like a sea:
I saw, and watched them like a game;
No terror woke in me.
For just the belting trees within,
I saw my father wait;
And should the waves the summit win,
I would go through the gate.
For by his side all doubt was dumb,
And terror ceased to foam;
No great sea-billows dared to come,
And tread the holy home.
Two days passed by. With restless toss,
The red flood brake its doors;
Prostrate I lay, and looked across
To the eternal shores.
The world was fair, and hope was nigh,
Some men and women true;
And I was strong, and Death and I
Would have a hard ado.
And so I shrank. But sweet and good
The dream came to my aid;
Within the trees my father stood,
I must not be dismayed.
My grief was his, not mine alone;
The waves that burst in fears,
He heard not only with his own,
But heard them with my ears.
My life and death belong to thee,
For I am thine, O God;
Thy hands have made and fashioned me,
‘Tis thine to bear the load.
And thou shalt bear it. I will try
To be a peaceful child,
Whom in thy arms right tenderly
Thou carriest through the wild.
The rich man mourns his little loss,
And knits the brow of care;
The poor man tries to bear the cross,
And seeks relief in prayer.
Some gold had vanished from my purse,
Which I had watched but ill;
I feared a lack, but feared yet worse
Regret returning still.
And so I knelt and prayed my prayer
To Him who maketh strong,
That no returning thoughts of care
Should do my spirit wrong.