Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  The Lost Sheep

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Elizabeth Cecilia Clephane 1830–69

The Lost Sheep

THERE were ninety and nine that safely lay

In the shelter of the fold;

But one was out on the hills away,

Far off from the gates of gold,

Away on the mountains wild and bare,

Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.

“Lord, thou hast here thy ninety and nine:

Are they not enough for thee?”

But the Shepherd made answer: “’T is of mine

Has wander’d away from me;

And although the road be rough and steep

I go to the desert to find my sheep.”

But none of the ransom’d ever knew

How deep were the waters cross’d,

Nor how dark was the night that the Lord pass’d through

Ere he found his sheep that was lost.

Out in the desert he heard its cry—

Sick and helpless, and ready to die.

“Lord, whence are those blood-drops all the way,

That mark out the mountain track?”

“They were shed for one who had gone astray

Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.”

“Lord, whence are thy hands so rent and torn?”

“They are pierced to-night by many a thorn.”

But all through the mountains, thunderriven,

And up from the rocky steep,

There rose a cry to the gate of heaven,

“Rejoice! I have found my sheep!”

And the angels echoed around the throne,

“Rejoice, for the Lord brings back his own!”