Follow Me

A poem by Abram Joseph Ryan

The Master's voice was sweet:
"I gave My life for thee;
Bear thou this cross thro' pain and loss,
Arise and follow Me."
I clasped it in my hand --
O Thou! who diedst for me,
The day is bright, my step is light,
'Tis sweet to follow Thee!

Through the long Summer days
I followed lovingly;
'Twas bliss to hear His voice so near,
His glorious face to see.
Down where the lilies pale
Fringed the bright river's brim,
In pastures green His steps were seen --
'Twas sweet to follow Him!

Oh, sweet to follow Him!
Lord, let me here abide.
The flowers were fair; I lingered there;
I laid His cross aside --
I saw His face no more
By the bright river's brim;
Before me lay the desert way --
'Twas hard to follow Him!

Yes! hard to follow Him
Into that dreary land!
I was alone; His cross had grown
Too heavy for my hand.
I heard His voice afar
Sound thro' the night air chill;
My weary feet refused to meet
His coming o'er the hill.

The Master's voice was sad:
"I gave My life for thee;
I bore the cross thro' pain and loss,
Thou hast not followed Me."
So fair the lilies' banks,
So bleak the desert way:
The night was dark, I could not mark
Where His blessed footsteps lay.

Fairer the lilied banks
Softer the grassy lea;
"The endless bliss of those who best
Have learned to follow Me!
Canst thou not follow Me?
Hath patient love a power no more
To move thy faithless heart?
Wilt thou not follow Me?
These weary feet of Mine
Have stained, and red the pathway dread
In search of thee and thine."

O Lord! O Love divine!
Once more I follow Thee!
Let me abide so near Thy side
That I Thy face may see.
I clasp Thy pierced hand,
O Thou who diedst for me!
I'll bear Thy cross thro' pain and loss,
So let me cling to Thee.

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