Untrodden, drear, and lone, Stretched many a league away, Beneath a burning, noonday sun, The Syrian desert lay.
The scorching rays that beat Upon that herbless plain, The dazzling sands, with fiercer heat, Reflected back again.
O’er that dry ocean strayed No wandering breath of air, No palm trees cast their cooling shade, No water murmured there.
And thither, bowed with shame, Spurned from her master’s side, The dark-browed child of Egypt came, Her woe and shame to hide.
Drooping, and travel-worn, The boy upon her hung; Who, from his father’s tent, that morn, Like a gazelle had sprung.
His ebbing breath failed fast, Glazed was his flashing eye; And in that fearful, desert waste, She laid him down to die.
But when, in wild despair, She left him to his lot, A voice that filled that breathless air, Said, “Hagar, fear thou not.”
Then o’er the hot sands flowed A cooling, crystal stream, And angels left their high abode, And ministered to them.
Oft, when drear wastes surround My faltering footsteps here, I’ve thought, I too heard that blest sound Of “Wanderer, do not fear.”
And then, to light my path On through the evil land, Have the twin angels, Hope and Faith, Walked with me, hand to hand.