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"If Thou Sayest, Behold, We Knew It Not"
by [?]

–Proverbs xxiv. 11, 12.


I have done I know not what,–what have I done?
My brother’s blood, my brother’s soul, doth cry:
And I find no defence, find no reply,
No courage more to run this race I run
Not knowing what I have done, have left undone;
Ah me, these awful unknown hours that fly
Fruitless it may be, fleeting fruitless by
Rank with death-savor underneath the sun.
For what avails it that I did not know
The deed I did? what profits me the plea
That had I known I had not wronged him so?
Lord Jesus Christ, my God, him pity Thou;
Lord, if it may be, pity also me:
In judgment pity, and in death, and now.


Thou Who hast borne all burdens, bear our load,
Bear Thou our load whatever load it be;
Our guilt, our shame, our helpless misery,
Bear Thou Who only canst, O God my God.
Seek us and find us, for we cannot Thee
Or seek or find or hold or cleave unto:
We cannot do or undo; Lord, undo
Our self-undoing, for Thine is the key
Of all we are not though we might have been.
Dear Lord, if ever mercy moved Thy mind,
If so be love of us can move Thee yet,
If still the nail-prints in Thy Hands are seen,
Remember us,–yea, how shouldst Thou forget?
Remember us for good, and seek, and find.


Each soul I might have succored, may have slain,
All souls shall face me at the last Appeal,
That great last moment poised for woe or weal,
That final moment for man’s bliss or bane.
Vanity of vanities, yea all is vain
Which then will not avail or help or heal:
Disfeatured faces, worn-out knees that kneel,
Will more avail than strength or beauty then.
Lord, by Thy Passion,–when Thy Face was marred
In sight of earth and hell tumultuous,
And Thy heart failed in Thee like melting wax,
And Thy Blood dropped more precious than the nard,–
Lord, for Thy sake, not ours, supply our lacks,
For Thine own sake, not ours, Christ, pity us.