O eager hand, what are you seeking?
For the gold the rugged mountains keep?
For the pure white pearls, their beauty lying
’Neath the tangled seaweed of the deep?
Do you search the sands of distant river,
Where the precious star-like diamonds hide?
Do you wait beside some ocean ever,
For the ships that left with morning tide?
O restless brain, what keeps you burning?
Is it secrets hid in ancient lore?
Or the mystic leaves of nature turning,
Reading where so many failed before?
Do you strive that ere the struggle closes
Laurel crown at last may grace your head?
For a glorious name enwreathed with roses,
To live on when others are all dead?
O ransomed soul, for what the living?
For what your labors, prayers and tears?
Oh, what is worth the priceless giving—
Time preparing for immortal years?
Do you gather flowers that fade while blowing
All their sweetness on the air of June?
Do you rest where ripened grain is growing,
Though the night-time cometh all too soon?
The gold of mountain, gems of ocean,
Were worth struggling if life meant much less;
But what repays a soul’s devotion,
But that which eternal years will bless?
Can the gold and gems of earth be taken
When the King comes for His jewels bright?
When the crowns of earth are all forsaken,
And the spirit takes it upward flight?
There are jewels worth a life’s hard toiling
Lost in sin and shame’s dark ocean waves,
And gems that worldly rust is spoiling,
And gold buried deep in living graves;
Gather them, though billows cold are breaking,
And the tempest bitterness may bring;
Save those precious gems, though heart be aching;
O, gather jewels for the King!
There is not a soul so black with sinning
That the Lamb’s pure blood cannot restore;
Then let all your strength be spent in winning
The lost to loving arms once more.
Then will life be like a peaceful river,
And then death
Well done! and crown will bring,
While in His bright homes will shine forever
All the jewels you gathered for the King.