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Song # 21673

the prodigal son

here feast i at my father’s board
who starved among the swine;
for me must every foot be fleet
and every lamp must shine;
for me the merry music sounds,
the dancers dip and twine.

my heart beats fast against my robe,
the best robe, soft and red;
with sobbing breath and tightening throat
and tears in rapture shed,
i feel his ring upon my hand,
his blessings on my head.

ah, bitter was the way, and oft
my blood my path would trace;
and guilt and grief and stabbing shame
with all my steps kept pace;
and yet i famished not for bread
so sore as for his face.

the road seemed endless. on i fared,
wresting each mile from death;
then such an awe upon me fell
i scarce could draw my breath;
my spirit felt his coming as
of one that succoreth.

blind, fainting, to his mighty breast
he caught and held me fast;
i knew the fortress of his arms
about my weakness cast;
and, when he kissed my traitor cheek,
i guessed his heart at last.

the piteous words i oft had conned
i trembling strove to say;
but sudden glory round me poured
a brighter, richer day.
in wonderment i lifted up
my head that drooping lay.

the glory streamed from out his eyes,
as from all beauty’s throne.
o depths of love unthinkable
that in that splendor shone!
o pain of love that travaileth
and bleedeth for its own.

o gleam of wisdom hoar with eld
ere sang the stars of morn!
o shifting, blending, dazzling lights
that thrilled my hope forlorn
to undreamed miracles of joy
and surge of life reborn!

he brought me home, and here i sit,
even in my boyhood’s place;
and on my very soul is stamped
each largess of his grace;
but still transfiguring all i see
that radiance of his face!

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