"Comfort ye, my people!"
Saith your God,--
"And be ye comforted!
Roughly my plough did plough you,
Sharp were my strokes, and sore,
But nothing less could bow you,
Nothing less could your souls restore
To the depths and the heights of my longing,
To the strength you had known before.
For--you were falling, falling,
Even the best of you,
Falling from your high calling;
And this, My test of you,
Has been for your souls' redemption
From the little things of earth,
What seemed to you death's agony
Was but a greater birth.
And now you shall have gladness
For the years you have seen ill;
Give up to Me your sadness,
And I your cup will fill.