A father’s rough hands, hung with fingers laced,
Are all the eye may ever learn of prayer;
The young ear in the settling dark feels graced
To hear those notes a mother’s lips can spare.
And every wildness of our fallen state
Comes crying through the child wrenched from sleep,
Such wounds as by long discipline abate
And leave the old man’s silence calm and deep.
Even the flit of time instructs the mind
As it bears in and out each tempered tone—
The brightening early shoot, the ripened rind—
Before wind-scoured ice can raise its moan.
These figures can so make the conscience ring
That speech, which follows, seems a poor, dumb thing.
Republished courtesy of Unleash the Gospel magazine (Archdiocese of Detroit)