This is a poem I found in a book my sisters gave me for my birthday. I dedicate it to my friends and family members who live with chronic, debilitating illnesses, or other difficult personal trials. The author’s name was not given.
Not they alone who from the bitter strife
Came forth victorious, yielding willingly
That which they deem most precious, even life,
Content to suffer all things, Christ, for Thee;
Not they alone whose feet so firmly trod
The pathway ending in rack, sword and flame,
Foreseeing death, yet faithful to their Lord,
Eduring for His sake the pain and shame;
Not they alone have won the martyr’s palm
Not only from thier life proceeds the eternal psalm.
For earth hath martyrs now, a saintly throng;
Each day unnoticed do we pass them by
‘Mid busy crowds they calmly move along,
Bearing a hidden cross, how patiently!
Not theirs the sudden anguish, swift and keen,
Their hearts are worn and wasted with small cares,
Whith daily griefs and thrusts from foes unseen
Troubles and trials that take them unawares;
Theirs is a lingering, silent martyrdom;
They weep through weary years, and long for rest to come.
They weep, but murmur not; it is God’s will,
And they have learned to bend their own to his;
Simply enduring, knowing that each ill
Is but the herald of some future bliss;
Striving and suffering , yet so silently
They know it least who seem to know them best.
Faithful and true through long adversity
They work and wait until God gives them rest;
These surely share with those of bygone days
The palm-branch and the crown, and swell their song of priase.