Tarry Ye Here [poem by Agnes Neale]

[Editor: This poem by Agnes Neale was published in Shadows and Sunbeams (1890).]

Tarry Ye Here.

Tarry ye here, for darkly round me gathers
The storm my soul has hardly strength to meet;
Tarry ye here and watch, while I go yonder.
Power to endure and conquer, to entreat;
Tarry ye here; into my night of anguish
No soul can enter with me; I must be
Alone with God, alone to fight this battle,
Whose awful rage and conflict none may see:
My soul is sorrowful, exceeding so,
Even to death; and yet I needs must go.

Tarry ye here and watch. I lay not on you
A burden which your weakness cannot bear;
Tarry ye here and watch, ’tis all I ask you,
But one short hour while I am pleading there.
Tarry ye here, while on my shrinking spirit
Are poured the vials of the wrath Divine;
What is the agony of all the ages
In its deep pain to this one hour of mine?
What is the sorrow of all time to this,
From which I wring a world redeeming bliss!

Ye are my friends; through these last blessed seasons,
Ye have been with me ever, day and night;
My pity for the suffering ye have witnessed,
All that I did was done within your sight,
The works I did have not been done in darkness,
But in the light and blaze of open day,
And ye have seen how at my touch and bidding,
Pain, sin, and sorrow, all have fled away.
Your eyes have seen the dawn of glorious light
That yet shall banish every shade of night.

Think not, because the skies with clouds are hidden,
That my life’s sun has really set in gloom;
Think not because my mortal flesh may fail me
That my life’s work has ended in the tomb.
Think not that failure stamps my glorious mission,
That God denies the justice of my claim;
I am, in very truth, God’s well-beloved,
From all to all eternity the same.
And God shall vindicate most gloriously
My every word, as ye shall one day see.

Ye are my witnesses; to you are given
The keys of heaven, unlock them and fling wide
The pearly gates, that all who will may enter
And learn that for all men a God has died.
Unlock the gates of heaven, through the power
Of that one word, to all who will believe,
Send the glad message pealing round creation,
For all who come to me I will receive.
And ye the truth, triumphant, yet shall see
Sweep o’er the world, unchecked, resistlessly.

Ye shall behold me all victorious, worshipped
As Lord and king of all beneath the skies;
To me, from every tongue in every nation,
Anthems of praise shall ceaselessly arise.
The offering of a world’s devoted homage
Shall rise as costly incense pure and sweet;
Crowns and dominions shall be gladly tendered
A willing sacrifice before my feet.
I — I shall reign, the universe my realm,
And righteousness all evil shall o’erwhelm.

But now, the thunders of God’s awful anger
Crash fiercely round me; in this darkest hour
The forces of all evil whelm my spirit;
’Tis Satan’s hour of triumph and of power,
And I must drink it to its bitter drainings
The brimming winecup of the wrath of God.
This the supremest of the woes uncounted,
That crowd the path my weary feet have trod.
One only can excel this hour of pain,
Then death itself shall by my death be slain!

But now my soul is sorrowful and stricken,
The bitterness of death is at my lips;
Failure seems written over all my mission,
My life is shrouded in a black eclipse.
Exceeding sorrowful! no human spirit
Such sorrow as I drink could bear to taste;
My soul seems banished from all other beings,
Driven by the spirit in a boundless waste —
A desert waste, where every thought is anguish,
Where moans of pain are borne on every breath;
Sunk in a soundless sea of woe most bitter —
Exceeding sorrowful, e’en unto death.
My failing soul longs for love’s sympathy,
Tarry ye here and watch one hour with me.

Agnes Neale, Shadows and Sunbeams, Adelaide: Burden & Bonython, 1890, pages 20-23

Editor’s notes:
whelm = overwhelm; engulf, submerge (may also mean: bury, cover, especially to turn something upside down so as to put a cover over something else; or: to well up, surge)

Old spelling in the original text:
ye (you)

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