“I Walked Today”, a Poem

I walked today as Dante walked
In days of long ago;
I gasped through stench of this earth’s hell,
The air was filled with woe.
Men scarred with sin, in rags, ill shod,
Their face blank in despair,
Their livid eyes burned into me-
I cried, “O Christ of Calvary,
Waken Thy church to care.”

I walked today where Christ would walk
If He were here on earth;
The air was thick with discontent
And dark with lack of mirth.
It seemed despair had carved each face,
And greed and lust and vice
Like chains, had bound resentful men.
“And, Lord,” I asked, “Oh when, Oh when
Will Thy dear church revive again
To seek Thy power in prayer?”

I walked today mid cultured vice
And, as I walked, I wept.
I thought, Lord, of Thy sacrifice,
And how Thy church has crept
Along the road this past decade
And slumbered in soft pews,
While millions in their sinful plight
Fall into hell’s eternal night.
O Christ, in mercy purge our blight;
Anoint Thy church to tell!

Leonard Ravenhill
(Written after a visit to a drug area in a large city.)

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