Willie Hughes - If One Be Gone Astray (Matthew 18:12) - South Australia - 1931

The Shepherd, with hands and feet so marred,

Brought a sheep from mountains cold.

That sheep looked long at His visage scarred,

And gladly came to His fold.


Its heart was filled with a love so keen

To be led as other sheep,

By the Shepherd's hand, to pastures green,

And the waters still and deep.


It said that nothing could e'er beguile;

But alas! it left the flock;

And in reaching something not worthwhile

Fell wounded over a rock.


It said "Let me lie in sin and shame,

And e'en in the dark of night,

All unworthy of His precious Name -

Don't seek! don't pray! and don't write!"


Hungry and thirsty and sick it lay,

Too weak to find a way out.

But the Lord looked down, it heard Him say

With a voice it dared not doubt,


"Tho' you've spurned My hand, My staff, and rod,

Have ceased my love to cherish,

It is not the will of the Father God

That one of His should perish."


With His strong right arm, He rescued it,

And quieted all its fears.

That sheep can never His love forget

Thro' all the remaining years.


And the other sheep shall hear its voice

Again in the field and fold,

And shall see how close it clings to Him,

Who brought it in from the cold.

** This poem is based on an actual experience.