Friday, June 3, 2011

The Worshiper: A Poem by Crocheron

The following beautiful little poem, Augusta Joyce Crocheron's "The Worshiper", is taken from Augusta Joyce Crocheron, Wild Flowers of Deseret: A Collection of Efforts in Verse (Salt Lake City, UT: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1881), 35-37:
Into the house of worship came
The earnest, crowding throng,
The gentle girl, the aged dame;
Through prayer, and praise, and sacred song,
To learn the path that led above
Earth's vales and wilds of wrong.

While prayer, full-toned, sweet, clear and high,
And worship-hymn like incense rolled,
A stranger, half as one in fear,
To vacant seat beside me stole,
Like one apart from all commune,
Save with her secret soul.

Her garments, worn with studious care
(The fashion of long years gone by),
The straying locks of once bright hair,
The pallid cheek, the drooping eye,
The prayer-bent head, the shrinking form,
Might wake a pitying sigh.

Yet, e'en as once in Eden dwelt,
One spirit dark, whose trail was blight,
There, where truth's seekers humbly knelt,
Vain worldlings, at the saddening sight
Blushless, within the sacred place
Their fine derision dealt.

Ah! how my soul within me burned
To shield the helpless from their sting,
When once her thin pale face she turned,
Then shrank like some poor hunted thing
Too weak and wounded to take flight,
Though shouts around her ring.

Ah! what hath been thy woe, poor heart?
What history of wrong and pain
Lie hid from reason's reach and smart?
And but the seal-ed lids remain.
Save one stray leaf thou connest o'er,
Thy heavenly home to gain.

When, low upon her dying bed,
The lonely worshiper was found,
Few friends kind ministrations fed,
Few mourners stood her grave around;
And the sealed lips their secret kept
Within them, 'neath the mound.

Then the bright angel, lifting forth
The poor clay from the trampled sod,
Found 'neath cankering dross of earth
(Where worldly feet indifferent trod),
Dim with tear-rust, a jewel bright,
Worthy the praise of God.

"Blessed thou art," the Master said,
"Because when worldlings sought not me,
Though with my richest bounties fed,
Thou, in thy depths of misery,
Friendless, distraught, one bright thought kept,
And loved, and worshiped me."

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