NAY, Lord, I pray thee call not me to fight!
I have crept out of day to bless the night.
Hush, Son, and gather courage for the light!
But see, I weary ere I have begun !
Give thou the battle to some worthier one !
When have I offered thee to choose, my Son ?
Look how my eyes with loneliness are wet!
But give me once warm arms and lips close met.
Into the desert, Son, thy way is set!
Nay, then, thou leanest on a broken reed !
Music and mirth and fire and friends I need.
They walk alone whom I have called to lead!
How shall I lead who only know to stray ?
Am I to shepherd them, who lose the way ?
Yet I require them, of thee in that day !
What if I will not ? Let me be as these
That laugh and breed and die and have good ease!
Nay, Son, the eye once bared forever sees !
This only, Lord : what shall my gladness be
Who fight disheartened in life’s phantom sea?
To make the bridge whereon they cross to me!
What am I, Lord, that I should strive with fate ?
Bring on the dawn, before it be too late !
My Son, the dawn shall come, and thou wilt wait!
Yea, Lord, and I lie broken in thy hand.
Heat me white hot to forge as thou hast planned.
Fear not, my Son, but I shall understand !
Melt out my yielded soul in one red stream,
Perchance through thy white furnace hope may gleam —
My Son, a rest thou hast not dared to dream!
Josephine Dodge Daskam.