Lawrence, what though the world be growing dark,
And twilight cool thy potent day inclose!
The sun, beneath the round earth sunk, still glows
All the night through, sleepless and young and stark.
Oh, be thy spirit faithful as the lark,
More daring: in the midnight of thy woes,
Dart through them, higher than earth’s shadow goes,
Into the Light of which thou art a spark!
Be willing to be blind—that, in thy night,
The Lord may bring his Father to thy door,
And enter in, and feast thy soul with light.
Then shall thou dream of darksome ways no more,
Forget the gloom that round thy windows lies,
And shine, God’s house, all radiant in our eyes.
Say thou, his will be done who is the good!
His will be borne who knoweth how to bear!
Who also in the night had need of prayer,
Both when awoke divinely longing mood,
And when the power of darkness him withstood.
For what is coming take no jot of care:
Behind, before, around thee as the air,
He o’er thee like thy mother’s heart will brood.
And when thou hast wearied thy wings of prayer,
Then fold them, and drop gently to thy nest,
Which is thy faith; and make thy people blest
With what thou bring’st from that ethereal height,
Which whoso looks on thee will straightway share:
He needs no eyes who is a shining light!