Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
Religious Poems
The Healer
To a Young Physician, with Doré’s Picture of Christ Healing the Sick

SO stood of old the holy Christ
  Amidst the suffering throng;
With whom His lightest touch sufficed
  To make the weakest strong.
That healing gift He lends to them        5
  Who use it in His name;
The power that filled His garment’s hem
  Is evermore the same.
For lo! in human hearts unseen
  The Healer dwelleth still,        10
And they who make His temples clear
  The best subserve His will.
The holiest task by Heaven decreed,
  An errand all divine,
The burden of our common need        15
  To render less is thine.
The paths of pain are thine. Go forth
  With patience, trust, and hope;
The sufferings of a sin-sick earth
  Shall give thee ample scope.        20
Beside the unveiled mysteries
  Of life and death go stand,
With guarded lips and reverent eyes
  And pure of heart and hand.
So shalt thou be with power endued        25
  From Him who went about
The Syrian hillsides doing good,
  And casting demons out.
That Good Physician liveth yet
  Thy friend and guide to be;        30
The Healer by Gennesaret
  Shall walk the rounds with thee.

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