by: Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914)

      ord take Thine ease within my heart,
      Rest here and count Thyself at home
      Do as Thou wilt; rise, set, depart;
      My Master, not my guest, Thou art
      Come as Thou wilt, but come, Lord, come.

      Do Thine own pleasure. Surely, Lord,
      Thou art full free to come and go,
      To lift my sorrow by a word,
      Or pierce me with a sudden sword,
      And leave me sobbing in my woe.

      Come in broad day, for good or ill,
      In time of business or of prayer;
      Come in disguise, if so Thy Will
      Be better served, that I may still
      Wait on my Lord, though unaware.

      Come with the dawn, shine in on me
      And wake my soul with welcome light;
      Or let the twilight herald Thee,
      And falling dusk Thy shelter be
      To shroud Thy coming from my sight.

      Come by the way beneath the trees
      Where whispering heath and bracken stir
      There, where my spirit takes her ease,
      Let that pure scented evening breeze
      Waft me the aloes and the myrrh.

      Come, tender Lover, still and bright;
      Rose crowned and framed in gracious form
      Or come with terror, and by night,
      Thundrous and girt with vivid light,
      A giant striding with the storm.

      Come through the Cloister, past the lawn
      And laurels where the thin jet plays
      Where, from the wrangling world withdrawn,
      Waking to silence dawn by dawn,
      My soul comes forth to studious days.

      Come through the carven door, and bring
      A burst of Music through to me;
      One chord of organ-thundering
      And measured song of those that sing,
      Dear Saviour, to the praise of Thee.

      Or come by some forgotten way
      Untrodden long and overgrown;
      And on a sudden on a day
      Burst in; snap web and ivy spray
      That claim the entrance for their own.

      So many doors, and all divine,
      And every latch is loose to Thee;
      So many paths, and all are Thine
      That bring Thee to this heart of mine,
      And all are therefore dear to me!

"The Invitation" is reprinted from Poems. Robert Hugh Benson. New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1914.




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