Harper, Frances."The Prodigal's Return."  The Online Archive of Nineteenth-Century Women's Writings. Ed. Glynis Carr. Online. Internet. Posted: Winter 2000. http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/gcarr/19cUSWW/FH/TPR.html

The Prodigal's Return.

He came--a wanderer; years of sin
Had blanched his blooming cheek,
Telling a tale of strife within,
That words might vainly speak.

His feet were bare, his garments torn,
His brow was deathly white;
His heart was bleeding, crushed and worn,
His soul had felt a blight.

His father saw him; pity swept
And yearn'd through every vein;
He ran and clasp'd his child, and wept,
Murm'ring, "He lives again!"

"Father, I've come, but not to claim
Aught from thy love or grace;
I come, a child of guilt and shame,
To beg a servant's place."

"Enough! enough!" the father said,
"Bring robes of princely cost!"--
The past with all its shadows fled,
For now was found the lost.

"Put shoes upon my poor child's feet,
With rings his hand adorn,
And bid my house his coming greet
With music, dance and song."

Oh! Savior, mid this world of strife,
When wayward here we roam,
Conduct us to the paths of life,
And guide us safely home.

Then in thy holy courts above,
Thy praise our lips shall sound,
While angels join our song of love,
That we, the lost are found!
By Frances E. W. Harper
From Poems On Miscellaneous Subjects  (1854; 1857)

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