Mrs. S. A. Collins




by Mrs. S. A. Collins 

I saw a man with fever wasted,

      Stagger in so weak and wan;

Stranger, though to me that mortal,

      Eagerly I listened on;

While he told of all his sickness,

How he lingered day by day,

'Twixt life and death with just one motive

      To baffle fate without delay.

I heard a land and cheerful voice

      Speaking to him words of cheer,

Wondering if that heart would soften,

As he wiped away a tear.

Then I heard responses uttered,

Which to me seem strange indeed,

And as I thought of his past history,

      Again I heard that kind voice plead.

Gently then she bade him listen,

      While she told him of the love

Borne to poor unfortunate mortals,

      From that passport up above.

Then there came so plain an answer,

Doubting I if such could be,

That a frame so worn and shattered.

      Dare to answer such as he.    '

"God to him in years now past,

      Had been so cruel and unkind.."

But hark! again I hear a sound,

      A different tone upon the wind.

That voice still near him gently warned him

      Told him plainer than before

Of the cause and why the sorrow,

      Borne by him in days of yore.

After words of kind advisement

      Loving words of hope and cheer,

A promise gained from that inebriate

      To live aright the coming years.