Tell us now [poem by Agnes Neale]

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

Tell us now.

Lord, we, at Thy footstool bending,
Breathe our humble prayer to Thee,
Asking Thee, in love and mercy,
All our countless needs to see.
Grant the wants which Thou canst grant.
Give the good for which we pant!

All our hearts are filled with longings,
Longings that we cannot tell;
Yearnings, passionate and painful,
Deep within our spirits dwell:
All the seething, wild unrest
Of the ocean’s troubled breast,

Are we Thine? our sad lips question,
Hardly daring to believe;
Have we missed the way, unknowing? —
Lord, Thou only canst relieve;
Thou alone canst let us know
Whether we are Thine, or no.

Send us down a living answer,
Bend in mercy from Thy throne!
Lord, we will accept that answer
From Thy lips, and Thine alone.
Lo, for light we wait and pray!
Send us not unblessed away.

If our hopes are all unfounded,
If we are not Thine, indeed;
Lo, in Thine own name, we pray Thee,
By Thy sufferings, Lord, we plead.
As we at Thy footstool bow,
Tell us, Jesus, tell us now!

Send us not away uncertain,
Speak Thy answer to our call;
Thine own lips have bid us seek Thee,
By that word we stand or fall.
By the thorns that crowned Thy brow,
Tell us, Jesus, tell us now.

But if we indeed have found Thee,
If our hands have grasped the rock
Whose foundation, sure and steadfast,
Dares defy hell’s fiercest shock,
Let Thy answer through each soul
Like celestial music roll.

Let the glory of the knowledge
Lie about us, like the light;
Let rare glimpses of Thy glory
Burst upon our ravished sight;
O’er the tempests of our will
Speak Thy magic, “Peace, be still!”

Tell us by the flowers that blossom,
Tell us by the stars of night,
Bid us read it in the darkness,
Bid us find it in the light;
As we at Thy footstool bow,
Tell us, Jesus, tell us now!

Touch our lips with holy incense,
Make our hearts Thy lovely shrine;
Speak the word that leaves us stainless,
Every wish subdued to Thine;
Every thought conformed to Thee,
Thine alone, eternally!

Agnes Neale, Shadows and Sunbeams, Adelaide: Burden & Bonython, 1890, pages 29-31

Editor’s notes:
o’er = over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)

Old spelling in the original text:
canst (can)
thee (you)
thine (yours)
thou (you)
thy (your)

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