The soil of earth is parched and cracked,
The dust of earth runs dry;
The sandstorms on the barren sands,
Unblocked, beat hard and sigh.
The souls of earth are parched and thin,
Blown fast with pains and fears,
And still run dry in barren lives
Not whole enough for tears.
For while we shun the beat of rain,
Our soil shall be dry,
Devoid of sweetness, life, and grace,
A desert made of our own place,
The poison in a sickened face
Not well enough to cry.
My heart, like dirt, is drenched from clouds
Of present falling pain,
That saturate my helpless soul
With tears like winter rain;
But though it drink this shower cold
Until its soil floats free,
And melts away beneath the flood,
Dissolves as in the sea,
I had rather die of precious loss—
Blest ill to perish of!—
Than die like those in deserts bare,
Not well enough to weep or care,
Who gave to life a mere blank stare
And never learned to love.
What sky shone bright for ever?
What field stayed e’er in bloom?
What house so noble, high and strong
That Time proved not its doom?
E’en should the house or field stand
As long as should the world,
That too must crumble, slip and fall,
Down Time’s swift river whirled.
So no love that we joy on earth
Can be had free of tears,
But ever anguish is the cost,
For all things must sometime be lost
That come with passing years.
But by the Love that burns through wounds
In hands and feet and side,
Why should our souls then die of thirst
Because we never cried?
On earth the souls that never weep
I envy nothing of;
These souls cannot keep all they know,
For everything must come and go;
Their looks of stone can only show
They never learned to love.
But I will cherish every grace
That finds me through the years,
And when it passes on again,
I’ll honor it with tears.
For we shed e’en our hottest tears
Not as those who lack hope,
But we climb through this toilsome life
As a man climbs up a rope.
Though it be steep, and hard to cling,
And too easy to fall,
Above the rope must yet be bound,
Which speaks to us of solid ground,
And in our hope that this be found,
We climb the cliffside’s wall.
What’s at the top, no man can see,
Nor heart nor mind conceive,
Wherefore some climbers have denied
A top at all, and dropped and died
All rather than believe.
But though my clinging hands may bleed,
I still climb up with hope,
For when I nearly fail, a balm
Comes down and heals each bloody palm
From up above the rope.
And when I hear the shrieking winds
That blast my rope about,
Beyond their wails I hear a Voice
That overspeaks my doubt:
“Though it be steep, and hard to cling,
And too easy to fall,
I made the way for all your kind
Your joy by tears in faith to find,
Leave then your unbelief behind—
With Me you find your all.”
And then I look up wondering,
My heart leaps—could it be?—
All that I’ve lost throughout the climb,
Could it be waiting all the time,
Up at the top for me?
“Them you will find, but seek Me first,
And closely heed My call,
The heart that’s given first to Me
Can love the rest most perfectly,
Now take My Hand, though you can’t see—
In Me you find your all.”
So in the storm of bloody tears,
His words our hearts defend,
For in that Voice we recognize
The presence of a Friend.