Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MEN TOLD ME, LORD, by DAVID STARR JORDAN



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MEN TOLD ME, LORD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Men told me, lord, it was a vale of tears
Last Line: I could no more through all eternity!
Subject(s): Religion; Theology


Men told me, Lord, it was a vale of tears
Where Thou hadst placed me; wickedness and woe
My twain companions whereso I might go;
That I through ten and three score weary years
Should stumble on, beset by pains and fears,
Fierce conflict round me, passions hot within,
Enjoyment brief and fatal, but in sin.
When all was ended then I should demand
Full compensation from Thine austere hand:
For 'tis Thy pleasure, all temptation past,
To be not just but generous at last.

Lord, here am I, my three score years and ten
Are counted to the full; I've fought Thy fight,
Crossed Thy dark valleys, scaled Thy rocks' harsh height,
Borne all the burdens Thou dost lay on men
With hand unsparing, three score years and ten.
Before Thee now I make my claim, O Lord!
What shall I pay Thee as a meet reward?

I ask for nothing! Let the balance fall!
All that I am or know, or may confess
But swells the weight of my indebtedness;
Burdens and sorrows stand transfigured all;
Thy hand's rude buffet turns to a caress,
For Love, with all the rest, Thou gavest me here,
And Love is heaven's very atmosphere.
Lo, I have dwelt with Thee, Lord! Let me die:
I could no more through all eternity!





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