OUT OF THE DEPTHS

Out of the midnight, rayless and starless,
  Into the morning's golden light;
Out of the clutches of wrong and ruin,
  Into the arms of truth and right;
Out of the ways that are ways of sorrow;
  Out of the paths that are paths of pain--
Yea! out of the depths has a soul arisen,
  And "one that is lost is found again!"

Lost in the sands of an awful desert!
  Lost in a region of imps accursed,
With bones of a victim to mark his pathway,
  And burning lava to quench his thirst.
Lost in the darkness, astray in the shadows--
  Father above, do we pray in vain?
Hark! on the winds come gleeful tidings:
  Lo, "he that was lost is found again."

Found! and the sunlight of God's great mercy
  Dispels the shadows and brings the morn;
Found! and the hosts of the dear Redeemer
  Are shouting aloud o'er a soul re-born.
Plucked, like a brand from the conflagration;
  Cleansed, like a garment free from stain;
Saved--pray God--for now and forever--
  Lost for a season, but found again.

"Out of the depths," by the grace of heaven,
  Out of the depths of woe and shame.
And he strikes his name from the roll of drunkards,
  To carve it again on the heights of fame,
"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging"--
  Glory to God, he has snapped the chain
That bound him with fetters of steel and iron;
  And "he that was lost is found again."

Down with the cup, though it gleams like rubies!
  Down with the glass, though it sparkle and shine!
"It bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder"--
  There is shame, and sorrow, and woe in wine.
Keen though the sword be, and deadly its mission,
  Three times its number the wine cup has slain.
God, send thy grace upon these it has fettered;
  God grant the lost may be found again.

Poems of reflection. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Chicago, M.A. Donohue & company [c1905].


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