“With Empty Arms”

The small girl sits in darkened room,
In careless filth and squalor’s gloom,
With brown eyes blank, and lips left mute,
In grief so piercing and acute:
Her daddy far away was sent,
Where shrinks the mind disorient;
And once she clasped his neck so tight,
And rested ‘gainst his chest at night;
But now her human refuge gone,
She eats no food, and waits for dawn
With empty arms, with empty arms.

He holds a glass, with face of gray,
The shell of youth’s naïveté;
Allured by form and face so fair,
He rushed into a honeyed snare.
But soon the viper struck him through:
Dishonor, debt, divorce, to rue;
And heart betrayed is heart full slain,
Thus thought itself is stabbing pain,
While self-reproach sears him within;
Now to escape he drinks his gin,
With empty arms, with empty arms.

There on the hill near graveyard creek,
Stand man and wife with faces bleak,
Where tiny babe was laid below;
No brain had formed in utero,
And once to breathe, as swift to die,
Beneath the stone their son doth lie.
The mother’s cheek with tears is wet,
The father’s jaw in grief is set:
Their lives in part are buried there,
No fruit to show for love they share,
With empty arms, with empty arms.

The mountain slope smokes with the blast,
Where struck a drone in aim miscast:
Which blew to bits a toddling lass,
And spattered blood upon the grass.
Her brother witnessed this great woe,
In his eight years the biggest blow:
Nor he nor she had side in war,
No role they held, no wish to score;
In others’ conflict made no vote,
But now he trembles, lump in throat,
With empty arms, with empty arms.

Her sight is dim, her ears are dull,
Her locks are silver on the skull;
Her limbs are weak, her mind is slow,
Her face is sad, her voice is low.
While other folk have children grown,
She chose abortion for her own;
How later to repent the deed,
The bitter consequence of greed!
For ne’er another child could bear,
And now she slumps in wheelchair,
With empty arms, with empty arms.

But God His only Son hath sent,
Who in the flesh took man’s torment:
They stripped Him bare and scourged Him raw;
Then crucified, He filled the law.
He lay His life down to atone,
To bear man’s sin and deepest groan.
For contrite souls in Adam’s race,
His blood provides eternal grace;
He died upon the cross forsook,
And all His Father’s wrath He took
With empty arms, with empty arms.

Before the throne of God on high,
He hears His children’s slightest cry:
And He will take each home someday,
Where none the world can betray.
No haunting memory or scar,
Not one regret the joy to mar;
Where He shall wipe away each tear,
Where we shall never doubt nor fear;
Where He shall innocence restore,
Where we like Him are whole and pure,
And not a one with empty arms.

“With Empty Arms”

The small girl sits in darkened room, In careless filth and squalor’s gloom...Continue Reading→