Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ONE STEP AT A TIME, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: There's a mine of comfort for you and me
Last Line: A single step at a time.
Alternate Author Name(s): Van Deth, Gerrit, Mrs.
Subject(s): Faith; Pilgrimages & Pilgrims; Prayer; Roads; Travel; Belief; Creed; Paths; Trails; Journeys; Trips

THERE'S a mine of comfort for you and me
In a homely bit of truth
We were tenderly taught, at the mother's knee,
In the happy days of youth.
It is, what though the road be long and steep,
And we too weak to climb,
Or, what though the darkness gather deep,
We take one step at a time.

A single step and again a step,
Until, by safe degrees,
The mile-stones past, we win at last
Home when the King shall please.
And the strangest thing is often this:
That the briery, tangled spots
Which cumber our feet are thick and sweet
With our Lord's forget-me-nots.

It matters little the pace we take
If we journey sturdily on,
With the burden bearer's steady gait,
Till the day's last hour is gone,
Or if with the dancing foot of the child,
Or the halting step of age,
We keep the goal in the eye of the soul
Through the years of our pilgrimage.

And yet in the tramp of appointed days
This thing must sometimes be,
That we falter and pause and bewildered gaze,
For the road has led to the sea.
And the foeman's tread is on our track,
As once on the booming coast
Where the children of Israel, looking back,
Saw Pharaoh's threatening host.

Then clear from the skies our Leader's voice,
"Go forward," bids us dare
Whatever we meet with fearless feet
And the might of trustful prayer.
So, ever advancing day by day,
In the Master's strength sublime,
Even the lame shall take the prey,
Marching a step at a time.

And what of the hours when hand and foot
We are bound and laid aside,
With the fevered vein, and the throbbing pain,
And the world at its low ebb-tide?
And what of our day of the broken heart,
When all that our eyes can see
Is the vacant space, where the vanished face
Of our darling used to be?

Then, waiting and watching, and almost spent,
Comes peace from the Lord's own hand,
In His blessed will, if we rest content,
Though we cannot understand.
And we gather anew our courage and hope
For the road so rough to climb;—
With trial and peril we well may cope,
A single step at a time.

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