Are mercies kindly sent
To guard our wayward souls from sadder vexing,
And greater ills prevent.
To save us from the pit, no screen of roses
Would serve for our defense,
The hindrance that completely interposes
Stings back like thorny fence.
At first when smarting from the shock, complaining
Of wounds that freely bleed,
God’s hedges of severity us paining
May seem severe indeed.
But afterwards, God’s blessed springtime cometh,
And bitter murmurs cease;
The sharp severity that pierced us bloometh,
And yields the fruits of peace. —Hugh Macmillan