Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
By Robert Jones Burdette (1844–1914)
[Born in Greensborough, Penn., 1844. Died in Pasadena, Cal., 1914.]

Luke xviii. 41.

I WOULD receive my sight; my clouded eyes
  Miss the glad radiance of the morning sun,
The changing tints that glorify the skies
  With roseate splendors when the day is done;
The shadows soft and gray, the pearly light        5
Of summer twilight deepening into night.
I cannot see to keep the narrow way,
  And so I blindly wander here and there,
Groping amidst the tombs, or helpless stray
  Through pathless, tangled deserts, bleak and bare;        10
Weeping I seek the way I cannot find—
Open my eyes, dear Lord, for I am blind.
And oft I laugh with some light, thoughtless jest,
  Nor see how anguish lines some face most dear,
And write my mirth, a mocking palimpsest,        15
  On blotted scrolls of human pain and fear;
And never see the heartache interlined—
Pity, O Son of David! I am blind.
I do not see the pain my light words give;
  The quivering, shrinking heart I cannot see;        20
So, light of thought, midst hidden griefs I live,
  And mock the cypressed tombs with sightless glee;
Open my eyes,—light, blessed ways to find:
Jesus, have mercy on me—I am blind.
My useless eyes are reservoirs of tears,        25
  Doomed for their blind mistakes to overflow;
To weep for thoughtless ways of wandering years,
  Because I could not see—I did not know.
These sightless eyes—than angriest glance less kind—
Light of the World, have pity! I am blind.        30

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