A Blessing

A poem by Abram Joseph Ryan

Be you near, or be you far,
Let my blessing, like a star,
Shine upon you everywhere!
And in each lone evening hour,
When the twilight folds the flower,
I will fold thy name in prayer.

In the dark and in the day,
To my heart you know the way,
Sorrow's pale hand keeps the key;
In your sorrow or your sin
You may always enter in;
I will keep a place for thee.

If God's blessing pass away
From your spirit; if you stray
From his presence, do not wait.
Come to my heart, for I keep
For the hearts that wail and weep,
Ever opened wide -- a gate.

In your joys to others go,
When your feet walk ways of woe
Only then come back to me;
I will give you tear for tear,
And our tears shall more endear
Thee to me and me to thee.

For I make my heart the home
Of all hearts in grief that come
Seeking refuge and a rest.
Do not fear me, for you know,
Be your footsteps e'er so low,
I know yours, of all, the best.

Once you came; and you brought sin;
Did not my hand lead you in --
Into God's heart, thro' my own?
Did not my voice speak a word
You, for years, had never heard --
Mystic word in Mercy's tone?

And a grace fell on your brow,
And I heard your murmured vow,
When I whispered: "Go in peace."
"Go in peace, and sin no more,"
Did you not touch Mercy's shore,
Did not sin's wild tempest cease?

Go! then: thou art good and pure!
If thou e'er shouldst fall, be sure,
Back to me thy footsteps trace!
In my heart for year and year,
Be thou far away or near,
I shall keep for thee a place.

Yes! I bless you -- near or far --
And my blessing, like a star,
Shall shine on you everywhere;
And in many a holy hour,
As the sunshine folds the flower,
I will fold thy heart in prayer.

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