I prayed to God to lake the burden from me,
The burning memory of my illspent years,
That sins and errors might be all forgotten,
That I might not remember all my fears.
Oh foolish prayer! Thank God it was not answered;
For surely all my sins were steps to be
But gropings which would lead me thro’ the darkness,
Else how could I have found my way to Thee?
And thus it is that sin is but a by-road;
Its sorrows soon or late will make us learn
That God within ourselves alone will bring us
The pence for which our hearzs still vainly yearn.
Then profit by the memory that is waking;
Remembrance of the past will make thee strong;
Let not its errors cause thy spirit sadness;
The good will overcome the past ere long.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes