A little stream had lost its way
Amid the grass and fern;
A passing stranger scooped a well,
Where weary men might turn;
He walled it in and hung with care
A ladle at the brink;
He thought not of the deed he did,
But judged that all might drink.
He passed again, and lo! the well,
By summer never dried,
Had cooled ten thousand parching tongues,
And saved a life beside.
from A Deed and A Word by Charles Mackay.
Here, O our Lord, we see you face to face.
Here would we touch and handle things unseen,
here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,
and all our weariness upon you lean.
Here would we feed upon the bread of God,
here drink with you the royal cup of heaven;
here would we lay aside each earthly load,
and taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven.
That ocean you have late survey’d,
Those rocks I too have seen;
But I, afflicted and dismay’d,
You, tranquil and serene.
You from the flood-controlling steep
Saw stretch’d before your view,
With conscious joy, the threatening deep,
No longer such to you.
To me the waves, that ceaseless broke
Upon the dangerous coast,
Hoarsely and ominously spoke
Of all my treasure lost.
Your sea of troubles you have past,
And found the peaceful shore;
I, tempest-toss’d, and wreck’d at last,
Come home to port no more.
William Cowper – October 1780