This lesion on my conscience festers so,
and the moral riddle in my soul is unsolved,
for howe'er His promise I may trust and trow,
a touch of guilt yet haunts me feeling unabsolved.
A host of friends and fellows hailÚd well,
earnest make hortation and their pious plea,
entreating that but faith more strained would sure quell
my shattered peace and make all demons flee.
What answer can I feebly give,
save still I see the stain though all removed,
and strong resolve to yet by promise live,
as coaxed by grace and love behooved?
Time, that artifacts does lose as much as keep,
enters in its ledgers, logs, and every book,
days where misbehavior took the place of sleep,
and every venal bargain made for pleasure cheap.
So preach and by the elemental graces grant,
that mercy does more plenty than my sin abound,
so I may confident when willing won't and strength just can't,
find beset by grief I'm still with benediction crowned.