To L. W.

A poem by Wilfred S. Skeats

When the path of my life
Lay through trouble and strife,
And temptation encompassed me round,
As a light in the shade
Thou wast sent to mine aid;
And a harbour of refuge was found.

I beheld in thine eye,
As a beam from on high,
The ray of compassion revealed;
And I turned in relief
From the Valley of Grief;
I turned to be strengthened and healed.

In the words that you breathed
All my sorrow was sheathed,
And peace, like a dove, settled down.
And the calm of your presence,
Like mercy's pure essence,
Recaptured the faith that had flown.

Since then, if perplexed,
If harassed or vexed,
If tempted, afflicted or tried,
I have sought thee to cheer,
Thou hast ever been near
To comfort, to soothe and to guide.

Thus a thrill of affection
Must greet the reflection
That thou hast considered my needs;
And my heart can but move
With a reverent love
As I ponder thy merciful deeds.

Though feeble and weak
Are the words that I speak,
Such gratitude wells in my soul,
That I dare not express
What I fain would confess,
Lest my pen should escape my control.

Yet these measures restrained
Will have surely attained
The purpose that caused them to be,
If of all that I feel
They should chance to reveal
But a hint, in a whisper, to thee.

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