Judd Mortimer Lewis
Sometimes I wake from dreams and wonder where
I am for just a moment; a lisp
Comes trembling to me; “Papa, are you there ?”
Just those four words in just the faintest wisp
Of a wee voice, a wee and frightened tone;
And I make haste to answer: “Yes, dear, why?”
And then she says: ” Me finked me was a lone—”
Her voice trails off into a drowsy sigh.
Poor little girl! she sees no light or spark,
And feels strange, shapeless forms around her creep;
But when her father’s voice comes through the dark
She knows that she is safe, and sinks to sleep;
And though the dark-time dangers are as real
And dreadful, too, as aught on earth could be,
She hears her father’s voice and seems to feel
That all that threatened now is bound to flee.
Our Father! who art with us in the dark
And in the light, whose presence wraps us round;
Though darkness shuts us in and no faint spark
Doth guide our feet; and wither we are bound,
Or whence we come, is hidden from our sight
So that we merely grope our way along,
We feel Thy presence guiding us aright,
And paths, erstwhile all dark, break into song.
And when life’s bedtime becks us to rest
We falter at the dark that threats us then;
Like frightened children we do our best
To stay awake and open our eyes again;
And in fear’s perfect ecstasy we shriek:
” Our Father! Oh , our Father! Are You there?”
And calmly through the dark Your accents speak,
And so we bid farewell to every care.
So , oh, my little girl, on your old dad
You lean, and go to sleep in sweet content;
And dad knows how you feel for he had had
The self same feeling; his own strength all spent,
He oft bowed him down in bitter woe,
When all seemed dark and life was just a spell
Of bitterness-and then- God’s voice! and, lo!
Life’s darkness turned to light! ans all was well.
That dad is so impotent, Marjorie,
Does give him greater grief than he has known!
Ah, life and all, dear child, he’d give for thee!
Would God that dad could make your pains his own.