He was better to me than all my hopes
He was better than all my fears;
He made a bridge of my broken works
And a rainbow of my tears.
The billows that guarded my sea-girt path
But carried my Lord on their crest;
When I dwell on the days of my wilderness march
I can lean on His love for the rest.
He emptied my hands of my treasured store,
And His covenant love revealed,
There was not a wound in my aching heart
But the balm of His breath hath healed.
Oh, tender and true was the chastening sore,
In wisdom, that taught and tried,
Till the soul that He sought was trusting in Him,
And nothing on earth beside.
He guided by paths that I could not see,
By ways I could not have known;
The crooked was straight, and the rough was plain
As I followed the Lord alone.
I praise Him still for the pleasant palms,
And the water-springs by the way,
For the glowing pillar of flame by night,
And the sheltering cloud by day.
—Anna Shipton (1877)