Only the soul's best gifts can meet
Acceptance at thine awful feet.
So felt the pastor, as he stood
Speechless beside the man of woe,
And grasped his withered hand, nor could
The sympathetic tear forego.
On those three friends of old he thought.
Whoso seven days' silence better spake
Than all the empty words they brought.
Which did but keener anguish wake.
God's voice alone such sorrow hears ;
Of man, it asks not truths, but tears.
He lifts a silent prayer on high —
Lo, suddenly the stricken sire
Looks up, his pale lips part, his eye
Doth burn, as with a prophet's fire.
And his full words swell, clear and strong,
As chorus of triumphal song.