Give Me Thy Heart by Adelaide Anne Procter

With echoing steps the worshippersDeparted one by one;The organ’s pealing voice was stilled,The vesper hymn was done;The shadows fell from roof and arch,Dim was the incen …

With echoing steps the worshippers
Departed one by one;
The organ’s pealing voice was stilled,
The vesper hymn was done;
The shadows fell from roof and arch,
Dim was the incensed air,
One lamp alone with trembling ray,
Told of the Presence there!

In the dark church she knelt alone;
Her tears were falling fast;
“Help, Lord,” she cried, “the shades of death
Upon my soul are cast!
Have I not shunned the path of sin,
And chosen the better part?”
What voice came through the sacred air?–
“My child, give me thy Heart!”

“Have I not laid before Thy shrine
My wealth, oh Lord?” she cried;
“Have I kept aught of gems or gold,
To minister to pride?
Have I not bade youth’s joys retire,
And vain delights depart?”–
But sad and tender was the voice–
“My child, give me thy Heart!”

“Have I not, Lord, gone day by day
Where Thy poor children dwell;
And carried help, and gold, and food?
Oh Lord, Thou knowest it well!
From many a house, from many a soul,
My hand bids care depart:”–
More sad, more tender, was the voice–
“My child, give me thy Heart!”

“Have I not worn my strength away
With fast and penance sore?
Have I not watched and wept?” she cried;
“Did Thy dear Saints do more?
Have I not gained Thy grace, oh Lord,
And won in Heaven my part?”–
It echoed louder in her soul–
“My child, give me thy Heart!”

“For I have loved thee with a love
No mortal heart can show;
A love so deep, my Saints in heaven
Its depths can never know:
When pierced and wounded on the Cross,
Man’s sin and doom were mine,
I loved thee with undying love,
Immortal and divine!

“I love thee ere the skies were spread;
My soul bears all thy pains;
To gain thy love my sacred Heart
In earthly shrines remains:
Vain are thy offerings, vain thy sighs,
Without one gift divine,
Give it, my child, thy Heart to me,
And it shall rest in mine!”

In awe she listened, and the shade
Passed from her soul away;
In low and trembling voice she cried–
“Lord, help me to obey!
Break Thou the chains of earth, oh Lord,
That bind and hold my heart;
Let it be Thine, and Thine alone,
Let none with Thee have part.

“Send down, oh Lord, Thy sacred fire!
Consume and cleanse the sin
That lingers still within its depths:
Let heavenly love begin.
That sacred flame Thy Saints have known,
Kindle, oh Lord, in me,
Thou above all the rest for ever,
And all the rest in Thee.”

The blessing fell upon her soul;
Her angel by her side
Knew that the hour of peace was come;
Her soul was purified:
The shadows fell from roof and arch,
Dim was the incensed air–
But Peace went with her as she left
The sacred Presence there!

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