Two Sonnets of Winston W. Wharton (Cactus Rose)

CactusRose-cover-1941Today while making a quick pass through a local thrift store, I found a thin collection of poems that turns out to be a rare treasure (note the price on Amazon). The collection is called Cactus Rose or Streamlined Sonnets composed by Winston W. Wharton (a pen name?) and published by the Christian Board of Publication, St.Louis, MO, in 1941 (1st edition). This copy is signed by the author, about whom I would like to know more (an Internet search revealed precious little?!). Perhaps this post will generate some interest and some more information.


In any case, the sonnets are quite good, many of them on nature themes (birds, flowers, nature scenes, etc.), with quite a few also being on distinctively Christian-biblical themes. Tonight I give you a sample of two such poems of Wharton. I trust they will edify you as they did me.

“Thy Will Be Done”

The hours I spend with Thee, dear Lord,
Are portents of the years to be,
When I shall know, where now I know in part,
Thy love for me, Thy love for me.

Each hour a breath of life Divine,
Fresh from thy incensed mercy seat;
I drink and feel my soul renewed
And kneel and kiss Thy feet.

O, Risen Lord, hold thou my hand,
Until at last goes down the sun,
And help me answer to each blest command
Thy will be done, O Lord, Thy will be done.

“The Angel of the Lord”

Arise, O soul of mine,
And face the stern array
Of forces unforeseen,
That dog us night and day;
Be not afraid to stand
And fight the battle out –
The angel of the Lord
Encampeth round about.

It seems sometimes the night
Has superseded day,
That hell is running things
And righteousness don’t pay;
But, be thou strong and stand
Amid the din and shout –
The angel of the Lord
Encampeth round about.

Our God is not asleep,
Nor is His arm grown short;
He watches every man
And leadeth each cohort;
And, though the foe may seem
To win, he’s on the rout –
The angel of the Lord
Encampeth round about.

So, trust you in our God,
Jehovah, Lord of Hosts;
He harbors him who trusts
And laughs at him who boasts;
A shelter still have we –
The shadow of His wings –
The angel of the Lord
Encamps, encores and sings.
Psalm 34:7.

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