The Longest Mile

The last mile is the longest mile –

‘Tis then we weaken;

We lose the strength to run the race,

We doubt Hope’s beacon.

Shall we turn back from this dark Road,

Footsore and weary,

When deep Despair has drained our Faith,

And all seems dreary?

Shall we give up the narrow path,

The plodding byway –

Chose swift transport and false delight:

Destruction’s highway?

Shall Enemies erase our Life,

Our Message bury?

And shall they quench in war and strife

The Torch we carry?

Take heart, oh dusty Travellers:

Though you may falter,

Though you be felled along the way,

You’ll reach the Alter.

Race on, race on, though eyes grow dim,

And faint the Chorus;

God gives us Nature’s green applause –

Such will restore us.

For in the effort is the Goal,

‘Tis thus we’re treasured:

He knows us by our Pilgrim Soul –

‘Tis thus we’re measured.

from The God's Gardeners Oral Hymnbook from Margaret Atwoods' Year of the Flood