James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

January 23

Phillips Brooks

By Harriet Prescott Spofford (1835–1921)

(Died Jan. 23, 1893)

PERHAPS we do not know how much of God

Was walking with us.
Surely not forlorn

Are men, when such great overflow of heaven

Brings down the light of the eternal morn

Into the earth’s deep shadows, where they plod,

The slaves of sorrow.

Something of divine

Was in his nature, open to the source

Of love, that master of primeval force,

As, answering freshly their unfailing sign,

To the early and the latter rain the sod

Lies bare, and drinking in by morn and even

The precious dews that lift it into flower

Distilled again in fragrance every hour.

I think if Jesus, whom he loved as Lord,

Were here again, in such guise might He go,

So bind all creeds as with a golden cord,

So with the saint speak, with the sinner so.

And then remembering all the torrent’s hush,

Of praise and blessing o’er the listening hush,

Remembering the lightning of the glance.

Remembering the lifted countenance

White with the prophet’s glory that it wore,

With the Holy Spirit shining through the clay,

Prophet—yea, I say unto you and more

Than a prophet was with us but yesterday.