When the old prophetic mantle
Had upon Elisha fell,
As he labored in the field behind the plow;
And he felt that to the nations
He the truth of God must tell,
He appeared to shrink the cross as men do now.
Power to heal the leper, power to raise the dead,
Power to fill the empty pots with oil;
Is waiting for the worker
Who in Jesus’ steps will tread,
And leave his life of ease for one of toil.
He at first would kiss his father,
And his mother bid farewell,
But Elijah said that road would lead to death;
And when he saw his shrinking
Would send many souls to hell,
No, I’ll follow God till latest breath.
So he slew and boiled his oxen
On the splinters of his plow,
And he made for all his poorer friends a feast;
Leaving naught but bones and ashes
To be tempted back to now,
Every bridge is burned,
And God anoints him priest.
See him now—the swelling Jordan,
In its onward course is stayed,
And the hardened piece of steel is made to swim;
And the spring of bitter water
With a cruse of salt is healed,
And the widow’s pots with oil filled to the brim.
If you’d have Elisha’s power,
You must take the way he trod,
Sell whate’er thou hast and give it to the poor;
Leaving not your treasures in this world
To tempt you back from God,
But lay them up on Heaven’s lasting shore.