by Peter Hynd Sr.
(One of Mr. Hynd's last poems).
We shall do so much in the years to come,
But what have we done to-day?
We shall give our gold in a princely sum,
But what did we give to-day?
We shall lift the heart, and dry the tear,
We shall plant a hope in the place of fear,
We shall speak the words of love and cheer,
But what did we speak to-day?
We shall be so kind in the after-while,
But what have we been to-day?
We shall bring to each lonely life a smile,
But what have we brought to-day?
We shall give to truth a grander berth,
And to steadfast faith a deeper worth,
We shall feed the hungering souls of earth,
But whom have we fed to-day?
We shall reap such joys in the by-and-bye,
But what have we sown to-day?
We shall build a mansion in the sky,
But what have we built to-day?
'Tis sweet in idle dreams to bask,
But here, and now, do we do our task?
Yes, this is the thing our souls must ask,
What have we done to-day?
Have you any unkind thoughts?
Do not write them down;
Write no word that giveth pain----
Written words may long remain.
Have you heard some idle tale?
Do not write it down;
Gossips may repeat it o'er,
Adding to its bitter store.
Have you any idle jest?
Bury it and let it rest----
It may wound some loving breast.
Words of love and tenderness,
Words of truth and kindliness;
Words of comfort for the sad,
Words of gladness for the glad,
Words of counsel for the bad----
Wisely write them down.
Words, though small, are mighty things----
Pause before you write them;
Little words may glow and bloom
With bitter breath, or sweet perfume----
Pray before you write them.
The fragrance of Christ has filled my breast,
I adore Him for all He has done.
My breast is filled with a deep, deep rest,
While I sing of salvation won.
The pleasures of life may pass away,
And friends go one by one,
But the root of my joy shall ever remain
For 'tis found in God's own Son.
THE UPS AND DOWNS OF LIFE.
Life hath its barren years,
When blossoms fall untimely down,
When ripened fruitage fails to crown
The summer toil; when Nature's frown
Looks only on our tears.
Life hath its faithless days;
The golden promise of a morn,
That seemed for light and gladness born,
Meant only noontide wreck and scorn----
Hushed harps instead of praise.
Life hath its valleys, too,
Where we must walk with vain regret,
With mourning clothed, with wild rain wet,
Toward sunlight hopes that soon may set,
All quenched in pitying dew.
Life hath its harvest moons,
Its tasselled corn, and purple weighted vine,
Its gathered sheaves of grain, the blessed sign
Of plenteous reaping; bread and pure rich wine;
Full hearts for harvest times.
Life hath its hopes fulfilled,
Its glad fruitions, its blest answered prayer,
Sweeter for waiting long, whose holy air
Indrawn to silent souls breathes forth a rare
Grand speech, by joy distilled.
THE POWER OF THE TONGUE.
Ah me! these terrible tongues of ours;
Are we half aware of their mighty powers?
Do we even trouble our heads at all
Where the jest may strike or the hint may fall?
The latest chirp of that little bird
The spicy story you must have heard----
We jerk them away in our gossip rash,
And somebody's glass, of course, goes smash!
What names have been wasted and broken;
What pestilent sinks have stirred
By a word in lightness spoken----
By only an idle word!
A sneer, a story, a whisper low,
They are poisoned darts from an ambushed foe;
Shot by the coward, the fool, the knave,
They pierce the mail of the great and brave;
Vain is the buckler of wisdom and pride
To turn the pitiless point aside;
The lip may curl with a careless smile,
But the heart drips blood, drips blood the while.
Ah me! what hearts have been broken;
What rivers of blood have been stirred
By a word in malice spoken----
By only an bitter word!
A kindly heart and a tender tone,
To only God is their virtue known;
They can lift from the dust the abject head;
They can turn a foe to a friend instead;
The heart close barred with passion and pride
Will fling at their knock its portals wide;
And the hate that blights, and the scorn that sears,
Will meet in the fountain of child-like tears.
What ice-bound griefs have been broken;
What rivers of love have been stirred
By a word in kindness spoken----
By only a gentle word!
TO A SISTER IN AFFLICTION.
Hush, my wailing! Softly stealing
From the blessed, blessed shore
Comes a voice; its echo lingers
In my soul for evermore:
Courage, courage, dearest daughter!
Raise thy thoughts from but a clod!
I have peace to give: arouse thee!
All will change but Heaven and God.
I have trod the path thou treadest;
I have felt the scourge and scorn;
Every pang that thou hast suffered
I, the Sinless One, have borne.
Trust thyself to Me who saved thee;
Seek not rest nor home down here;
I have fairer mansions won thee----
There the sky is always clear.
From your eyes, long used to weeping,
I will wipe away the tear;
Then 'tis only what shall please thee,
And give joy, that thou wilt hear.
Loving Jesus, I'm rebuked;
Not a murmur, not a word
Should have fallen from my lips
In Thy holy presence, Lord.
Now my pulse is gladly thrilling,
Since Thy promise gleams in light;
Happy tears mine eyelids filling,
Fall in raptures at the sight.
If you have a friend worth loving,
Love him. Yes, and let him know
That you love him, e'er life's evening
Tinge his brow with sunset glow.
Why should good words ne'er be said
Of a friend till he is dead?
If you have a song that thrills you,
Sung by any child of song,
Praise it. Do not let the singer
Wait deserved praises long.
Why should one who thrills your heart
Lack the joy you may impart?
If you hear a prayer that moves you
By its humble pleading tone,
Join it. Do not let the seeker
Bow before his God alone.
Why should not your brother share
The strength of "two or three" in prayer?
If you see the hot tears falling
From a brother's weeping eyes,
Share them. And by kindly sharing
Own your kinship with the skies.
Why should anyone be glad
When a brother's heart is sad?
If a silvery laugh goes rippling
Through the sunshine on his face,
Share it. 'Tis the wise man's saying
For both grief and joy a place.
There's health and goodness in the mirth
In which an honest laugh has birth.
If your work is made more easy
By a friendly helping hand,
Say so. Speak out brave and truly
Ere the darkness veil the land.
Should a brother workman dear
Falter for a word of cheer?
Scatter then your seeds of kindness,
All enriching as they go;
Leave them. Trust the Harvest Giver
He will make each seed to grow.
So, until its happy end,
Your life shall never lack a friend.
Let us be patient with our brother man,
Let us not brood o'er wrongs which were not meant;
All is not hardness, did we closer scan,
Perchance the words that seemed of ill intent
Came from a heart with tenderness o'erflowing,
Spoken for good, not ill, but all without our knowing.
Let us be patient, we can never know
What lies beneath the surface in some hearts;
There are deep souls whose actions never show
Half of the love with which their bosom smarts
And oft-times those so cold to outward seeming,
Have depths within of which we are not dreaming.
Let us he patient with our faithful friend,
There is some good, some tender spot in each;
And if unlike, let us not then condemn,
But strive until the tender spot we reach.
The hardest heart we may in time subduing,
Soften to tenderness by patiently pursuing.
Let us be patient: God hath been with us;
Although unlike Him in His tender love,
Let us remember Him, and love them true,
So shall we soon their deepest feelings move;
And if they still should differ by concealing
Their inmost thoughts, we will not say they have no feeling.
We will be patient, then, with those called "friend;"
We will not brood o'er wrongs which were not meant
We will not heed them, but will closer scan,
And try to find beneath a true and kind intent.
All may not be alike, but we will be forbearing
With all who differ, who one hope are sharing.
It takes long days of golden sun,
And many a drop of rain,
To start one flower from winter blight;
To bud and bloom again.
If once from out a trusting eye
We cause a tear to steal,
A hundred words of warmest love
May not the anguish heal.
Then hurl no hasty, cruel shaft,
To give another pain;
Let gentle words, like rain drops, swell
Cold hearts to life again.
COUNT THE MERCIES.
Count the mercies, though the trials
Seem to number more each day;
Count the trials too as mercies,
Add them to the grand array.
Trials are God's richest blessings,
Sent to prompt our upward flight;
As the eaglets' nest all broken,
Makes them fly to loftier height.
In the crimson of the morning, in the whiteness of the noon,
In the amber glory of the day's retreat,
In the midnight, robed in darkness, or the gleaming of the moon----
I listen to the coming of His feet.
I have heard His weary footsteps on the sands of Galilee,
On the temple's marble pavement, on the street,
Worn with weight of sorrow, faltering up the slopes of Calvary----
The sorrow of the coming of His feet.
Down the minster aisles of splendour, from betwixt the cherubim,
Through the wondering throng, with motion strong and fleet,
Sounds His victor tread, approaching with a music far and dim----
The music of the coming of His feet.
Sandalled not with shoon of silver, girdled not with woven gold,
Weighted not with shimmering gems, and odour sweet;
But white-winged, and shod with glory, in the Tabor light of old----
The glory of the coming of His feet.
He is coming, O my spirit, with His everlasting peace,
With His blessedness immortal and complete;
He is coming, O my spirit, and His coming brings release----
I listen for the coming of His feet.
From: "Feed My Sheep" Memorials of Peter Hynd of Troon. 1904