Tepid to love and impotent to do

O Lord, when Thou didst call me, didst Thou know
     My heart disheartened thro’ and thro’,
     Still hankering after Egypt full in view
Where cucumbers and melons grow?
                                        —’Yea, I knew.’—

But, Lord, when Thou didst choose me, didst Thou know
     How marred I was and withered too,
     Not rose for sweetness nor for virtue rue,
Timid and rash, hasty and slow?
                                        —’Yea, I knew.’—

My Lord, when Thou didst love me, didst Thou know
     How weak my efforts were, how few,
     Tepid to love and impotent to do,
Envious to reap while slack to sow?
                                        —’Yea, I knew.’—

Good Lord, Who knowest what I cannot know,
     And dare not know, my false, my true,
     My new, my old; Good Lord, arise and do
If loving Thou hast known me so.
                                        —’Yea, I knew.’—

Christina Georgina Rossetti
Before 1893

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