African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital Anthology

L.A.J. Moorer, "Refining Fire" (1904)

What a cost to be pure! did it e'er strike your mind
That the gold so much prized in the fire was refined?
And the pearls of the deep by the divers are found,
At the peril of life their successess are crowned ?

Yea, the trees of the orchard the pruner must know,
If they bring forth the best of the fruit that can grow;
And the knife is applied to the vine ev'rywhere,
For production, of grapes that are luscious and rare.

Thus in life we are taught by the pain and the loss,
That the road to the crown is by way of the cross;
Christians pass through the furnace, the Savior to gain,
For with Him if they suffer, with Him shall they reign.

We may weep for a night but the morn bringeth joy,
Then the songs of rejoicing our tongues will employ;
Ev'ry storm that ariseth at some time must end,
Then the rainbow of promise and peace will attend.

Ev'ry soul must afflictions and trouble endure,
As the gold must be tried, so the soul to be pure,
As the pearl is secured at the peril of life,
So the soul in its triumph must pass through the strife.

Like the Savior who suffered and went to His rest,
Must His servants on earth find the home of the blest,
There to tell Him the story of how in the past
They suffered the crosses and are crowned at the last.


Published in Voice of the Negro Magazine, February 1904

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