Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
I. The Divine Element—(God, Christ, the Holy Spirit)
The Lost Sheep
Elizabeth Cecilia Clephane (1830–1869)
 
(“The Ninety and Nine”)

THERE were ninety and nine that safely lay
  In the shelter of the fold;
But one was out on the hills away,
  Far off from the gates of gold,
Away on the mountain wild and bare,        5
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.
 
“Lord, thou hast here thy ninety and nine:
  Are they not enough for thee?”
But the Shepherd made answer: “’T is of mine
  Has wandered away from me;        10
And although the road be rough and steep
I go to the desert to find my sheep.”
 
But none of the ransomed ever knew
  How deep were the waters crossed,
Nor how dark was the night that the Lord passed through        15
  Ere he found his sheep that was lost.
Out in the desert he heard its cry—
Sick and helpless, and ready to die.
 
“Lord, whence are those blood-drops all the way,
  That mark out the mountain track?”        20
“They were shed for one who had gone astray
  Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.”
“Lord, whence are thy hands so rent and torn?”
“They are piercèd to-night by many a thorn.”
 
But all through the mountains, thunder-riven,        25
  And up from the rocky steep,
There rose a cry to the gate of heaven,
  “Rejoice! I have found my sheep!”
And the angels echoed around the throne,
“Rejoice, for the Lord brings back his own!”        30
 
 
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