By Amos Russel Wells

My soul is shipwrecked in the night
Upon a black and vacant shore;
A flood of murky air before,
Of surging air to left and right.

The waves roll in, the waves roll in,
And each a sombre spectre bears,
The writhing forms of many cares,
The coiling forms of many a sin;

Neglected tasks that frown austere,
Glimpses of old friends angry, gleams
Of dead delights and drifting dreams
And gibbering ghosts of empty fear

Out on the flood, the faces pale
Of drowning hopes, so fair, so fair;
Or, tossing here and floating there,
The tattered rags of fortune’s sail;

And, wrenched from out that midnight grave,
The white corpse of a passion sweet,
Rolled by the darkness to my feet,
And then snatched back into the wave.

My eyes are straining through the deep,
This surging night that has no end;
Make haste, O pitying Christ, and send
Thy blessed rescue bark of sleep!

* * *

The ship came not but, in its stead
Its Master stood upon the shore;
And lo! the waves were black no more;
And lo! a gleam from overhead.

He touched my hot and throbbing eyes,
The Master, with His loving hand,
And softly on that midnight strand
There grew the light of paradise.

Those hateful forms of sin and care
Flung at me by that ghostly sea,—
I know not if they ceased to be,—
I saw them not, for Christ was there.

Still sleepless stretched the night away,
But joyfully, for Christ and I
Together read the opening sky,
And watched the dawning of the day.

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