Treasure Island

Ethelwyn Wetherald

(26 April 1857 - 9 March 1940 / Rockwood, Ontario)

Prodigal Yet


Muck of the sty, reek of the trough,
Blackened my brow where all might see,
Yet while I was a great way off
My Father ran with compassion for me.
He put on my hand a ring of gold,
(There's no escape from a ring, they say)
He put on my neck a chain to hold
My passionate spirit from breaking away.
He put on my feet the shoes that miss
No chance to tread in the narrow path;
He pressed on my lips the burning kiss
That scorches deeper than fires of wrath.
He filled my body with meat and wine,
He flooded my heart with love's white light;
Yet deep in the mire, with sensual swine,
I long–God help me!–to wallow to-night.
Muck of the sty, reek of the trough,
Blacken my soul where none may see.
Father, I yet am a long way off–
Come quickly, Lord! Have compassion on me!

Submitted: Thursday, September 16, 2010

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