Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, YOUR MISSION, by ELLEN M. HUNTINGTON GATES

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YOUR MISSION, by            
First Line: If you cannot on the ocean
Last Line: You can find it anywhere.
Subject(s): Missionaries & Missions

If you cannot on the ocean
Sail among the swiftest fleet,
Rocking on the highest billow,
Laughing at the storms you meet,
You can stand among the sailors
Anchored yet within the bay,
You can lend a hand to help them
As they launch their boats away.

If you are too weak to journey
Up the mountain steep and high,
You can stand within the valley,
Where the multitudes go by.
You can chant in happy measure,
As they slowly pass along;
Though they may forget the singer,
They will not forget the song.

If you cannot, in the harvest,
Gather up the richest sheaves, --
Many a grain both ripe and golden
Oft the careless reaper leaves, --
Go and glean among the briars
Growing rank against the wall,
For it may be that their shadow
Hides the heaviest wheat of all.

If you have not gold and silver
Ever ready to command,
If you cannot toward the needy
Reach an ever-open hand,
You can visit the afflicted,
O'er the erring you can weep;
With the Saviour's true disciples
You a patient watch may keep.

If you cannot in the conflict
Prove yourself a soldier true,
If, where fire and smoke are thickest,
There's no work for you to do,
When the battle-field is silent
You can go with careful tread,
You can bear away the wounded,
You can cover up the dead.

Do not, then, stand idly waiting
For some greater work to do;
Fortune is a lazy goddess,
She will never come to you.
Go and toil in any vineyard;
Do not fear to do or dare;
If you want a field of labor
You can find it anywhere.

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