Low in the ivy-covered church she kneeled,
The sunshine falling on her golden hair;
The moaning of a soul with hurt unhealed
Was her low-breathed and broken cry of prayer.
'Thy wounded hand, dear Christ, Thy wounded hand!
I pray Thee, lay it on this heart of mine-
This heart so sick with grief it cannot stand
Aught heavier than this tender touch of Thine.
'Thy wounded hand, dear Christ, O let it press
Here, where the hurt is hardest, where the pain
Throbs fiercest, and the utter emptiness
Mocks at glad memories and longings vain!
'Thy wounded hand, dear Christ, who long ago
Slept by Thy mother's side in Bethlehem!
Think of her cradling arms, her love-song low,
And pity me when Thou dost think of them.
'My baby girl, my pretty dear, I miss
Morning and noon and night-her ways so wise,
The patting of her soft, warm hands, the kiss,
The cooing voice, the sunshine of her eyes.
'I sleep, and dream she nestles close, my own,
Her red mouth on my breast; I wake and cry.
She sleeps out yonder in the dark, alone-
My arms are empty and my bosom dry.
'Thy wounded hand, dear Christ, will surely bring
Healing for this great anguish that I bear!
A nursing babe, a little dimpled thing,
God might have left her to her mother's care!
'Thy wounded hand, dear Christ, O let me feel
Its touch to-day, and past all doubting prove
Thou hast not lost Thine ancient power to heal-
Press out the bitterness, fill up with love!
'O Babe that in the manger rude did sleep!
O Prince of Peace, Thy tender wounded palm
Still holds the oil of joy for those that weep!
Still holds the comforting, the Gilead's balm!'