Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1327. The Lamp
By Sarah Pratt McLean Greene
HAST thou a lamp, a little lamp,
  Put in that hand of thine?
And did He say, who gave it thee,
The world hath need this light should be,
  Now, therefore, let it shine?        5
And dost thou say, with bated breath,
  It is a little flame;
I ’ll let the lamps of broader wick
Seek out the lost and cheer the sick,
  While I seek wealth and fame?        10
But on the shore where thy small house
  Stands dark, stands dark, this night,
Full many a wanderer, thither tossed,
Is driven on that rock and lost,
  Where thou hast hid thy light.        15
Though but a candle thou didst have,
  Its trimmed and glowing ray
Is infinite. With God, no light
Is great or small, but only bright,
  As is his perfect day.        20
The world hath sorrow, nothing more,
  To give or keep for thee;
Duty is in that hidden flame,
And soaring joy: then rise for shame
  That thou so dark shouldst be.        25
Rise, trim thy lamp; the feeble past
  Behind thee put and spurn.
With God it is not soon or late,
So that thy light, now flaming great,
  Doth ever fiercer burn,—        30
Fierce with its love, and flaming great
  In its humility;
Shunning no soul in sinful need,
Fearing no path where He may lead,
  Glowing consumingly.        35
Thou shalt not want for light enough,
  When earthly moons grow dim;
The dawn is but begun for thee,
When thou shalt hand, so tremblingly,
  Thy empty lamp to Him.        40


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