The Three Rulers
I saw a Ruler take his stand
And trample on a mighty land;
The People crouched before his beck,
His iron heel was on their neck,
His name shone bright through blood and pain,
His sword flashed back their praise again.
I saw another Ruler rise—
His words were noble, good, and wise;
With the calm sceptre of his pen
He ruled the minds and thoughts of men:
Some scoffed, some praised—while many heard,
Only a few obeyed his word.
Another Ruler then I saw—
Love and sweet Pity were his law:
The greatest and the least had part
(Yet most the unhappy) in his heart—
The People, in a might band,
Rose up, and drove him from the land!
The tempest rages wild and high,
The waves lift up their voices and cry
Fierce answers to the angry sky,—
Through the black night and the driving rain,
A ship is struggling, all in vain
To live upon the stormy main;—
The thunders roar, the lightings glare,
Vain is it now to strive or dare;
A cry goes up of great despair,—
The stormy voices of the main,
The moaning wind, and pelting rain
Beat on the nursery window pane:—
Warm curtained was the little bed,
Soft pillowed was the little head;
“The storm will wake the child,” they said:—
Cowering among his pillow while
He prays, his blue eyes dim with fright,
“Father, save those at sea to-night!”—
The morning shone all clear and gay,
On a ship at anchor in the bay,
And on a little child at play,—
Gloria tibi Domine.
If Thou Couldst Know
I think if thou couldst know,
Oh soul that will complain,
What lies concealed below
Our burden and our pain;
How just our anguish brings
Nearer those longed-for things
We seek for now in vain,—
I think thou wouldst rejoice, and not complain.
I think if thou couldst see,
With thy dim mortal sight,
How meanings, dark to thee,
Are shadows hiding light;
Truth’s efforts crossed and vexed,
Life’s purpose all perplexed,—
If thou couldst see them right,
I think that they would seem all clear, and wise, and bright.
And yet thou canst not know,
And yet thou canst not see;
Wisdom and sight are slow In poor humanity.
If thou couldst trust, poor soul,
In Him who rules the whole,
Thou wouldst find peace and rest:
Wisdom and sight are well, but Trust is best.