Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OVER-PAYMENT, by PHOEBE CARY

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OVER-PAYMENT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I took a little good seed in my hand
Last Line: Encompassed me with love on every side!
Subject(s): Religion

I TOOK a little good seed in my hand,
And cast it tearfully upon the land;
Saying, of this the fowls of heaven shall eat,
Or the sun scorch it with his burning heat.

Yet I, who sowed, oppressed by doubts and fears,
Rejoicing gathered in the ripened ears;
For when the harvest turned the fields to gold,
Mine yielded back to me a thousandfold.

A little child begged humbly at my door;
Small was the gift I gave her, being poor,
But let my heart go with it: therefore we
Were both made richer by that charity.

My soul with grief was darkened, I was bowed
Beneath the shadow of an awful cloud;
When one, whose sky was wholly overspread,
Came to me asking to be comforted.

It roused me from my weak and selfish fears;
It dried my own to dry another's tears;
The bow, to which I pointed in his skies,
Set all my cloud with sweetest promises.

Once, seeing the inevitable way
My feet must tread, through difficult places lay;
I cannot go alone, I cried, dismayed, --
I faint, I fail, I perish, without aid!

Yet, when I looked to see if help were nigh,
A creature weaker, wretcheder than I,
One on whose head life's fiercest storms had beat,
Clung to my garments, falling at my feet.

I saw, I paused no more: my courage found,
I stooped and raised her gently from the ground:
Through every peril safe I passed at length,
For she who leaned upon me gave me strength.

Once, when I hid my wretched self from Him,
My Father's brightness seemed withdrawn and dim:
But when I lifted up mine eyes I learned
His face to those who seek is always turned.

A half-unwilling sacrifice I made:
Ten thousand blessings on my head were laid:
I asked a comforting spirit to descend:
God made Himself my comforter and friend.

I sought his mercy in a faltering prayer,
And lo! his infinite tenderness and care,
Like a great sea, that hath no ebbing tide,
Encompassed me with love on every side!

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