Saint Peter

A poem by George MacDonald

O Peter, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Indeed the spray flew fast about,
But he was there whose walking foot
Could make the wandering hills take root;
And he had said, "Come down to me,"
Else hadst thou not set foot on sea!
Christ did not call thee to thy grave!
Was it the boat that made thee brave?

"Easy for thee who wast not there
To think thou more than I couldst dare!
It hardly fits thee though to mock
Scared as thou wast that railway shock!
Who saidst this morn, 'Wife, we must go--
The plague will soon be here, I know!'
Who, when thy child slept--not to death--
Saidst, 'Life is now not worth a breath!'"

Saint Peter, thou rebukest well!
It needs no tempest me to quell,
Not even a spent lash of its spray!
Things far too little to affray
Will wake the doubt that's worst of all--
Is there a God to hear me call?
But if he be, I never think
That he will hear and let me sink!

Lord of my little faith, my Lord,
Help me to fear nor fire nor sword;
Let not the cross itself appall
Which bore thee, Life and Lord of all;
Let reeling brain nor fainting heart
Wipe out the soreness that thou art;
Dwell farther in than doubt can go,
And make I hope become I know.
Then, sure, if thou should please to say,
"Come to my side," some stormy way,
My feet, atoning to thy will,
Shall, heaved and tossed, walk toward thee still;
No heart of lead shall sink me where
Prudence lies crowned with cold despair,
But I shall reach and clasp thy hand,
And on the sea forget the land!

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