by Henry Alford
Speak thou the truth. Let others fence,
And trim their words for pay:
In pleasant sunshine of pretence
Guard thou the fact: though clouds of night
Down on thy watch--tower stoop:
Though thou shouldst see thine heart's delight
Borne from thee by their swoop.
Face thou the wind. Though safer seem
In shelter to abide:
We were not made to sit and dream:
The safe, must first be tried.
Where God hath set His thorns about,
Cry not, ``The way is plain:''
His path within for those without
Is paved with toil and pain.
One fragment of His blessed Word,
Into thy spirit burned,
Is better than the whole, half--heard,
And by thine interest turned.
Show thou thy light. If conscience gleam,
Set not thy bushel down:
The smallest spark may send his beam
O'er hamlet, tower, and town.
Woe, woe to him, on safety bent,
Who creeps to age from youth,
Failing to grasp his life's intent,
Because he fears the truth.
Be true to every inmost thought,
And as thy thought, thy speech:
What thou hast not by suffering bought,
Presume thou not to teach.
Hold on, hold on--thou hast the rock,
The foes are on the sand:
The first world--tempest's ruthless shock
Scatters their shifting strand:
While each wild gust the mist shall clear
We now see darkly through,
And justified at last appear
The true, in Him that's True.
Last updated January 14, 2019