I cried, ‘Dear Angel, lead me to the heights,
And spur me to the top.’
The Angel answered, ‘Stop
And set thy house in order; make it fair
For absent ones who may be speeding there.
Then will we talk of heights.’
I put my house in order. ‘Now lead on!’
The Angel said, ‘Not yet;
Thy garden is beset
By thorns and tares; go weed it, so all those
Who come to gaze may find the unvexed rose;
Then will we journey on.’
I weeded well my garden. ‘All is done.’
The Angel shook his head.
‘A beggar stands,’ he said,
‘Outside thy gates; till thou hast given heed
And soothed his sorrow, and supplied his need,
Say not that all is done.’
The beggar left me singing. ‘Now at last –
At last the path is clear.’
‘Nay, there is one draws near
Who seeks, like thee, the difficult highway.
He lacks thy courage; cheer him through the day
Then will we cry, “At last!”‘
I helped my weaker brother. ‘Now the heights;
Oh, Guide me, Angel, guide!’
The Presence at my side,
With radiant face, said, ‘Look, where are we now?’
And lo! we stood upon the mountain’s brow –
The heights, the shining heights!