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[325] ‘Oh, I fear Him!’ said the daughter,
     “And I try to love Him, too;
But I wish He was good and gentle,
     Kind and loving as you.”

The minister groaned in spirit
     As the tremulous lips of pain
And wide, wet eyes uplifted
     Questioned his own in vain.

Bowing his head he pondered
     The words of the little one;
Had he erred in his life-long teaching?
     Had he wrong to his Master done?

To what grim and dreadful idol
     Had he lent the holiest name?
Did his own heart, loving and human,
     The God of his worship shame?

And lo! from the bloom and greenness,
     From the tender skies above,
And the face of his little daughter,
     He read a lesson of love.

No more as the cloudy terror
     Of Sinai's mount of law,
But as Christ in the Syrian lilies
     The vision of God he saw.

And, as when, in the clefts of Horeb,
     Of old was His presence known,
The dread Ineffable Glory
     Was Infinite Goodness alone.

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