The Gift of Perseverance
John Henry Newman
ONCE, as I brooded o’er my guilty state,
A fever seized me, duties to devise,
To buy me interest in my Saviour’s eyes;
Not that His love I would extenuate,
But scourge and penance, masterful self-hate,
Or gift of cost, served by an artifice
To quell my restless thoughts and envious sighs
And doubts, which fain heaven’s peace would antedate.
Thus as I tossed, He said:—’E’en holiest deeds
Shroud not the soul from God, nor soothe its needs;
Deny thee thine own fears, and wait the end!’
Stern lesson! Let me con it day by day,
And learn to kneel before the Omniscient Ray,
Nor shrink, when Truth’s avenging shafts descend!