The highest wave of any tide
Breaks only once upon the sand.
Each billow that is subsequent
But marks the seas receding hand
In lingering isometric lines
Etched by the foam upon the shore,
A record written down the beach
Of fullness once, that is no more.
Does not the sea in this conspire
To illustrate Gods way with men,
How life presents one highest hour
To make the thrust with sword or pen,
Or valiant deed, or act of love,
Or sacrifice, or gift, or word,
Or consecration of this life
To serve beside our glorious Lord?
And is it not apparent, too,
That other moments, other days,
That come beyond that highest hour,
Though lovely in a hundred ways,
Do hardly match the quality
Or privilege and hope sublime
That in our heart of hearts we knew
Within that pinnacle of time?
Who then can calculate the loss
To heaven and earth and in the soul
When youthful heart, preoccupied,
Says no to Gods benign control,
To flounder on through wasted years
Consumed by ravages of sin
With vacant heart and vacuous mind
To dream of life that might have been?