Composed on hearing a children’s address on II Cor., V 17 followed by the singing of Psalm XV.
One night as I lay on my bed,
My mind in fancy’s dream;
God’s house I saw so beautiful,
And people filled the scene.
In fancy there I thought I saw
A bird arrayed in white;
It upwards flew from out a pew
Till lost in dizzy height.
And as I thought what this could mean,
Another I espied;
But not so white or beautiful,
In varied colours dyed.
Its course was not so quickly sped,
It wavered in its flight;
But bold and strong it soared above
And vanished out of sight.
In fancy then I thought I saw
Another dark in shade;
It tried and tried again to rise,
But little progress made.
No higher than the seats around
This little bird did flit;
No higher than the empty crown
From which it did emit.
My vision to me God did give
He told what the birds all meant
That rose from out each pew.
The first so white and spotless seen
Is prayer from hearts renewed;
From sin kept clean by power Divine,
Its flight likewise endued.
The next is prayer, with wordly care,
Glides slowly in its pace,
And struggles hard that it may reach
Up to the throne of grace.
Then last I saw that little bird,
So dark in every shade;
And though to rise it bravely tried,
It little progress made.
‘Tis selfish man whose only plan
Is selfish greed and grudge,
Whose prayers ne’er glide above his head
Nor for his neighbour budge.
Cullybackey, 11th March 1913