Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
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)
Wrestling Jacob
Charles Wesley (1707–1788)
 
FIRST PART
COME, O thou Traveller unknown,
  Whom still I hold, but cannot see;
My company before is gone,
  And I am left alone with thee;
With thee all night I mean to stay,        5
And wrestle till the break of day.
 
I need not tell thee who I am;
  My sin and misery declare;
Thyself hast called me by my name;
  Look on thy hands, and read it there;        10
But who, I ask thee, who art thou?
Tell me thy name, and tell me now.
 
In vain thou strugglest to get free;
  I never will unloose my hold:
Art thou the Man that died for me?        15
  The secret of thy love unfold;
Wrestling, I will not let thee go
Till I thy name, thy nature know.
 
Wilt thou not yet to me reveal
  Thy new, unutterable name?        20
Tell me, I still beseech thee, tell;
  To know it now resolved I am;
Wrestling, I will not let thee go
Till I thy name, thy nature know.
 
What though my shrinking flesh complain        25
  And murmur to contend so long?
I rise superior to my pain;
  When I am weak, then am I strong!
And when my all of strength shall fail,
I shall with the God-man prevail.        30
 
SECOND PART
YIELD to me now, for I am weak,
  But confident in self-despair;
Speak to my heart, in blessings speak;
  Be conquered by my instant prayer;
Speak, or thou never hence shalt move,        35
And tell me if thy name be Love.
 
’T is Love! ’t is Love! Thou diedst for me;
  I hear thy whisper in my heart;
The morning breaks, the shadows flee;
  Pure, universal Love thou art;        40
To me, to all, thy bowels move;
Thy nature and thy name is Love.
 
My prayer hath power with God; the grace
  Unspeakable I now receive;
Through faith I see thee face to face;        45
  I see thee face to face and live!
In vain I have not wept and strove;
Thy nature and thy name is Love.
 
I know thee, Saviour, who thou art,
  Jesus, the feeble sinner’s friend;        50
Nor wilt thou with the night depart,
  But stay and love me to the end;
Thy mercies never shall remove;
Thy nature and thy name is Love.
 
The Sun of Righteousness on me        55
  Hath risen, with healing in his wings;
Withered my nature’s strength; from thee
  My soul its life and succor brings;
My help is all laid up above;
Thy nature and thy name is Love.        60
 
Contented now upon my thigh
  I halt till life’s short journey end;
All helplessness, all weakness, I
  On thee alone for strength depend;
Nor have I power from thee to move;        65
Thy nature and thy name is Love.
 
Lame as I am, I take the prey;
  Hell, earth, and sin with ease o’ercome;
I leap for joy, pursue my way,
  And, as a bounding hart, fly home;        70
Through all eternity to prove
Thy nature and thy name is Love.
 
 
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