Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Affliction Brings Man Home

Thomas Washbourne, The Poems of Thomas Washbourne, pp. 100-101:

Affliction Brings Man Home

"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept Thy word." -- Psalm 119.67

Man like a silly sheep doth often stray,
Not knowing of his way,
Blind deserts and the wilderness of sin
He daily travels in;
There's nothing will reduce him sooner than
Afflictions to his pen.
He wanders in the sunshine, but in rain
And stormy weather hastens home again.

Thou, the great Shepherd of my soul, O keep
Me, my unworthy sheep
From gadding: or if fair means will not do it,
Let foul, then, bring me to it.
Rather then I should perish in my error,
Lord bring me back with terror;
Better I be chastised with thy rod
And Shepherd's staff, than stray from thee, my God.

Though for the present stripes do grieve me sore,
At last they profit more,
And make me to observe thy word, which I
Neglected formerly;
Let me come home rather by weeping cross
Than still be at a loss.
For health I would rather take a bitter pill,
Than eating sweet meats to be always ill.

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