Worry—a petty madness, weak and crude;
A treason to the universal love;
A passion for the nethermost; a rude,
Sullen defiance of the God above!
A torturing woe that is not worth a name;
A bitter grief that never wins a tear;
A misery that hides behind a shame;
A blasphemy that calls itself a fear!
A passion more intense than all but hate;
A sin uncensured in our clumsy creeds;
A dread disease forlorn and desolate
That sorely some benign physician needs.
How shall we conquer thee, thou empty shape?
With what austerest weapon on thee full
And pierce thy filmy folds of horrid crape,
And find thy life, that hast no heart at all?
Father of Love and Light, to Thee we turn!
Beset by powers of gloom, we turn to Thee!
With souls that faint, with souls that weakly yearn,
With souls that drag their chains and would be free!
Yea, Father, we are like a frightened child
Waked in the night and groping for a hand;
So lay Thy touch upon our terrors wild,
And, in all darkness, we shall understand.