The Empty Chair

A poem by William Arthur Dunkerley

Wherever is an empty chair--
Lord, be Thou there!
And fill it--like an answered prayer--
With grace of fragrant thought, and rare
Sweet memories of him whose place
Thou takest for a little space!--
--With thought of that heroical
Great heart that sprang to Duty's call;
--With thought of all the best in him,
That Time shall have no power to dim;
--With thought of Duty nobly done,
And High Eternal Welfare won.

Think! Would you wish that he had stayed,
When all the rest The Call obeyed?
--That thought of self had held in thrall
His soul, and shrunk it mean and small?

Nay, rather thank the Lord that he
Rose to such height of chivalry;
--That, with the need, his loyal soul
Swung like a needle to its pole;
--That, setting duty first, he went
At once, as to a sacrament.

So, Lord, we thank Thee for Thy Grace,
And pray Thee fill his vacant place!

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