"Passing By" by Ethna Carbery [aka Mrs. Seumus MacManus, Anna Johnston] (1866-1902)
["And it came to pass that as He was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the wayside begging; and hearing the multitude pass by he asked what it meant. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by."]
"I hear Thy voice above the din
Of shouting multitudes that press
Between me and Thy tender eyes,
Thy healing hand upraised to bless;
Lord, I am blind! Look, look this way!
I sit anear the sun-dried pool,
Waiting for Thee the livelong day–
And, oh, to me be merciful!
"Lord, I am blind! Not mine to know
What sight of sky or earth may mean,
Men tell me of the solemn stars–
Sun, moon, that I have never seen.
Sinful, repining, gone astray–
Yet turn on me those brows of grace,
Lift up this darkening veil, I pray,
That I may see Thy joyful face.
"The happy little children sing
Around me in the burning heat
Of noon, or when the shadows bring
Soft breezes to our dusty street–
All day their joy rang far and wide,
Fain would I list to those anigh –
'Jesus of Nazareth comes,' they cried,
'The Lord is passing by.'
"'And wherefore make ye praise and song
What hath He done to move ye thus?'
'Oh, He hath raised the dead to life
With sweetest speech, and marvellous;
And He hath made the deaf to hear,
The dumb to speak, the blind to see!'
I came, I waited, lorn and sere,
O Lord! be merciful to me!"
He heard. The pressing throng unclosed
A pathway to the wayside well;
Upon the poor shut lids His touch
And tender breathing gently fell.
O! glad blind beggar in the dust,
Who rising from thy lowly place,
Lift eyes of wonder, love, and trust,
To gaze upon thy Saviour's face!
. . . .
Lord, I am blind! Yet do Thou pause
A little while to mark my woe;
Weak is my plea, but faintly raised
Amid the crowds that come and go;
My heart, world-weary, turns at last
Cries loud to Thee with shuddering cry–
O, dear Lord, hear the prayer I pray,
And save me passing by.