By Egbert Martin

I have scattered songs in numbers,
    Songs of joy and songs of pain,
And my heart hath often whispered,
        “Wilt thou find them once again?”

Anxious thoughts, with cruel voices,
        Questioned wisely, “Is it well
To indulge these moods and fancies,
        To be captive to their spell?”

Often have I paused and faltered,
        By these dreary dreams opprest,
Asking meekly, craving answer,
        Of the pathway that is best.

But I found they came unbidden,
        Like first speech in childhood’s day,
Came like tears at touch of sorrow
        And would not be put away.

So, all fresh with indecision,
        Here and there I flung them by,
Hoping that their simple music
        Might repress a tear or sigh.

After much of contradiction,
        Eager longing and distress,
With a holy consolation,
        I behold them come to bless.

For the seed that I have scattered,
        I am gath’ring, one by one,
Flowers of fresh and grateful odours,
        And I know them mine alone.

I am finding out the guerdon
        Ling’ring patience gives to those
Who have steadily kept onward
        Through the ranks of mighty foes;

And to those whose hands have sent me
        Kindly cheer and greeting strong;
And to those whose words have lent me
        Extra purpose for my song;

Gratitude and trust I render
        As a twofold off’ring rare;
Gratitude for past assistance,
        Trust for still a future share.


This poem is in the public domain.