Graphic from the book for the top of even-numbered pages

The Hands That Cling

The hands that cling and will not let you go
      Your sweet, untroubled way;
The hands that cling, because they love you so,
      And bid you stay;
Sometimes that press upon your eyes to hide
      From you the Blessed Vision of your King;
Sometimes that stay your lips lest you should chide,
      The hands that cling.
 
Such weak, frail hands for helping! Yet how near
      Their duty lies, forgot!
It is their very weakness holds you, dear,
      As strength could not.
The hands that would their last crust give, not share,
      And every treasure to your feet would bring;
The hands that should be strong to lift and bear,
      Yet only cling.
 
The hands that cling, yet will not be denied
      Some service for love's sake,
And in its doing are as glorified;
      The hands that take
No weight from your sad cross. O lighter far
      It were but for the burdens that they bring;
God only knows what hindering things they are-
      The hands that cling.
 
The hands that cling today and hold you fast
      Because they love you so,
I know, my sweet, must loose their hold at last
      And let you go.
Then, bruised and bleeding, lifted pleading toward
      The Heaven that bends above them, pitying,
O take them, hold them fast in Thine, Christ- Lord
      The hands that cling!
___Esther M. Clark
 
Sunflowers, A Book of Kansas Poems
Selected by Willard Wattles
pages 77-78
(Chicago: A. C. McClurg. 1916)
 
November 4, 2001 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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