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The Preacher (Poem)

In his dreary room
On a lonely flat,
'Mid the twilight gloom,
Long the Preacher sat,
Thinking with a sigh
Of the days gone by.

He had started well;
Mind and soul on fire
God's vast love to tell.
Others to inspire;
But heart, hand, and brain,
All had toiled in vain.

Many far less learned
(Bitterly he mused)
Souls to God had turned,
Why was he refused
Sign of leaf or root
Pledging future fruit?

Were his words unwise?
Were his words untrue?
Did he ill-advise
That his seeds ne'er grew?
Oft, not once or twice,
Had he asked advice.

And one said, "Be stern,
Naught is strong as fear;"
Others cried—"Nay, spurn
All that is severe."
Each in turn he hailed
Each in turn had failed.

So he sat apart
In his dreary room,
With his tender heart
Breaking in the gloom.
Then from out his doze
Suddenly he rose.

And his heart was light,
And his smile was good,
And he proved his right
To God's Fatherhood;
And, though much he dared,
Ne'er again despaired.

Wouldst thou know the word,
Freighted with such power,
Which the Preacher heard
In his darkest hour?
Wouldst thou own its spell,
And succeed as well?

Listen! for this truth,
Precious is as brif,
And in age or youth
E'er will banish grief—
"With thine actions preach,
And all hearts thou'lt reach."

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Florence M. Solomon

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