O Lord, if on the wind, at cool of day,
I heard one whispered word of mighty grace;
If through the darkness, as in bed I lay,
But once had come a hand upon my face;
If but one sign that might not be mistook
Had ever been, since first thy face I sought,
I should not now be doubting o’er a book,
But serving thee with burning heart and thought.
So dreams that heart. But to my heart I say,
Turning my face to front the dark and wind:
Such signs had only barred anew his way
Into thee, longing heart, thee, wildered mind.
They asked the very Way, where lies the way?
The very Son, where is the Father’s face?
How he could show himself, if not in clay,
Who was the lord of spirit, form, and space!
My being, Lord, will nevermore be whole
Until thou come behind mine ears and eyes,
Enter and fill the temple of my soul
With perfect contact–such a sweet surprise,
Such presence as, before it met the view,
The prophet-fancy could not once foresee,
Though every corner of the temple knew
By very emptiness its need of thee.
When I keep all thy words, no favoured some,
Heedless of worldly winds or judgment’s tide,
Then, Jesus, thou wilt with thy father come–
Oh, ended prayers!–and in my soul abide.
Ah, long delay! ah, cunning, creeping sin!
I shall but fail, and cease at length to try:
O Jesus, though thou wilt not yet come in,
Knock at my window as thou passest by!