Ella Wheeler Wilcox (5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)
To J. J. H., Of Kentucky
Gathering brands from the burning,
Plucking them out of the fire,
Lifting the sheep that have wandered,
Out of the dust and the mire,
Bringing home sheaves from the harvest
To lay at the Master's feet-
Lord! all thy hosts of angels
Must smile on a life so sweet.
Speaking with fear of no man,
Speaking with love for all,
Warning the young and the thoughtless
From the wild beast-'Alcohol.'
Showing the snares that the tempter
Weaveth on every hand.
Lord! all thy dear, dear angels
Must smile on a life so grand.
Fighting the bloodless battle
With a heart that is true and bold;
Fighting it not for glory,
Fighting it not for gold,
But out of love for his neighbor,
And out of love for his Lord.
And I know that the hands of the angels
Will crown him with his reward.
For whoso works for the Master,
And whoso fights his fight,
The angels crown with a star-wreath,
And it glows with gems most bright.
They wear them for ever and ever,
The saints in that land of bliss,
And I know that heaven's best jewel
Is kept for a soul like this.
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