I Pledge This I declare: As I trudge the road Of pain-filled souls with a heavy load— A pilgrim lad, with staff in hand, plodding along through the shifting sand; A patriarch, with flowing beard, troubled o’er the ones he’s reared— Eyes fixed intent on a Sacred Page, truth filled with hope for his ripe old age. A woman bent with the toil of years, saying her prayers through a veil of tears; A mother grieved o’er life’s hard start with a wayward son who has ached her heart; A father bowed with a heavy toll—sin eating away at his suff’ring soul; A daughter wild—uncouth—unkept, slipping away from where she slept Out into a night of sin and shame—permanent blot on her once good name— I pledge my God I will bear part load Of those who struggle along this road; I’ll point a finger toward the skies And say to each: ‘There’s paradise; ‘Lift up your heads while the eons roll ‘And purge yourselves from the travail of soul; ‘Onto your face feel heaven’s rain, ‘Let it remove the sin and stain, ‘While from the throne of grace on high ‘A sweet contentment fills your sky.’ by Charles Badger Clark

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