I should have been too glad, I see,
Too lifted for the scant degree
Of life’s penurious round;
My little circuit would have shamed
This new circumference, have blamed
The homelier time behind.
I should have been too saved, I see,
Too rescued; fear too dim to me
That I could spell the prayer
I knew so perfect yesterday,—
That scalding one, “Sabachthani,”
Recited fluent here.
Earth would have been too much, I see,
And heaven not enough for me;
I should have had the joy
Without the fear to justify,—
The palm without the Calvary;
So, Saviour, crucify.
Defeat whets victory, they say;
The reefs in old Gethsemane
Endear the shore beyond.
’Tis beggars banquets best define;
’Tis thirsting vitalizes wine,—
Faith faints to understand.