Ada Cambridge (21 November 1844 – 19 July 1926 / St Gemans, Norfolk)
Seed-Time and Harvest
“Thou waterest her furrows, thou sendest rain into the little valleys
thereof; thou makest it soft with the drops of rain, and blessest the increase
Fret not thyself so sorely, heart of mine,
For that the pain hath roughly broke thy rest,—
That thy wild flowers lie dead upon thy breast,
Whereon the cloud-veiled sun hath ceased to shine.
Fret not that thou art seam'd and scarr'd and torn;
That clods are piled where tinted vetches were;
That long worms crawl to light, and brown rifts, bare
Of green and tender grasses, widely yawn.
God's hand is on the plough—so be thou still.
Thou canst not see Him, for thine eyes are dim;
But wait in patience, put thy trust in Him;
Give thanks for love, and leave thee to His will.
Ah! in due time the lowering clouds shall rain
Soft drops on my parch'd furrows; I shall sow
In tears and prayers, and green corn-blades will grow;
I shall not wish the wild flowers back again.
I shall be glad that I did work and weep—
Be glad, O God! my slumbering soul did wake—
Be glad my stubborn heart did heave and break
Beneath the plough—when angels come to reap.
Be glad, O Father! that my land was till'd
And sown and water'd, in the harvest-day
When Thou wilt cast the weeds and tares away,
And when with ripen'd fruit Thy barns are fill'd.
Keep me my faith, I pray. I cannot see,
And fear to intermeddle with Thy work.
Oh, though I wince and fret, I would not shirk
The discipline that is so good for me!
I know that Thou wilt make my grief to cease,
Wilt send the cool, soft drops of healing rain,
And make my scarred heart green with springing grain,
That after patient waiting cometh peace;
That after beautiful labour I shall rest,
And after weeping have my fill of joy.
Thou breakest down to build up, not destroy;
Thou doest right, O Lord! Thou knowest best.
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