BUT stay, O Sorrow, stay,
Nor think because I weep I bid thee hence away,
So pale-faced though thou art,
Though shrunk thine eye, though tear-worn is thy cheek;
Thy foot falls gently, and thy smile is passing meek—
O stay, we must not part.
Thy robe is darkly drear,
And yet I love thee well; to me thou art most dear,
Dearer than earth-born friend—
A faithful friend, a monitor most true;
For thou hast taught to me, what erst I never knew,
In lowliness to bend.
Upon the mystic signs,
The dark handwriting on the wall, thy taper shines,
And I interpret all.
Pale almoner of heaven, thou bringest gifts,
Though oft invisible, until Faith’s arm uplifts
The boon from ‘neath the pall.
My soul, to erring prone,
Dares not, O Sorrow, walk through life’s dark road alone,
She may forgetful prove.
No more upraised thy warning finger, prest
To check the murmuring sigh or thought ere yet exprest,
I may not heed thy love.
O, then, till death abide;
Then we must part, for thence beyond, my faithful guide,
No step of thine may stray:
Back to my God me brought, will be thy mission o’er.
For He hath said, from that bright land, that sinless shore,
Sorrow shall flee away.
© Caroline W. Leakey