The Stone and the Snake
My Father bade me come, and said, “Ask me for what you need. And spread Before me all your heart. Seek me For ev’ry true desire, and see If I will ever fail to love You perfectly with treasures of My boundless store, my heart. And keep On knocking. Though I do not sleep, I have my reasons for delay, And I delight to hear you pray.
If you should need an anchor for your boat, But, lured by hunger, ask for bread, I’ll mark your need, and lest you seaward float, Give you a heavy stone instead.
Or if you need to drain a viper’s fang, A healing antidote to make, But ask for useless fish to ease the pang, I will discern, and give the snake.
O precious child, think not, because I meet your needs with love by laws Beyond your grasp: It is in vain For you to pray, as if the gain Of snake and stone were no reply To your desire. Dear Child, your cry Does open treasuries, and shake The heavens. I bid you come and take These keys, and all my store unlock, My heart. To ask, and seek, and knock.”