If once the Lord’s plough you hold sure
If once the Lord’s plough you hold sure,
Cast not a glance behind you!
The world’s enchanted wood ignore,
Ne’er Sodom’s plague let bind you;
But plough your furrow, sow God’s seed!
And if the earth’s too dry, then weep!
Though tears your voice may thicken,
The golden harvest beckons!
And should you cast a backward glance,
Through frailty all forsaking,
Think of your calling, hold your stance,
No rearward step be taking!
For one life only you have breath,
Each scuttling move’s the path of death!
If haste hard falls has brought you,
May patience it have taught you!
Then onward go in Jesu’s name,
Though sticks and stones impede you!
And pause not, e’en embraced by flames
That boulder-like now meet you!
We walk on coals where’er we go
Whate’er the ground might falsely show,
’Tis not the fire where really
We’ll one day see things clearly!
But briefly will our life here last,
Our days are few in number,
A merest nap and death is past
As if ’twere earthly slumber,
The peace in rest that we enjoyed
Is sweeter than the toil employed;
Our pious wish diurnal:
Were but our joy eternal!
It will be such before we know
If we keep faith till dying,
While sighs and tears that ever grow
Are wages for the hireling!
The treasure is amazing great,
For us stands open Heaven’s gate,
And he whose spring can cure us
Through fire and flames goes for us!