When at thy door the needy stand,
With wan and mournful mien:
Among their number there may be,
The Lord himself unseen.
And when their plaint, so low and sad,
Resounds within to thee,
Listen, if, His lamenting cry
May not among them be.
Oh! close not then so firm and fast
Thy doorway and thy heart,
For ah! what bitter grief were his
Who bade his Lord depart.
But open with kind sympathy
To sufferers thy door,
And willingly, from love’s full cup,
Give when the poor implore.
Then, ere thou hast perceived that He
Thy Lord and Christ is there,
For thy compassion at thy door,
He enters unaware.
And ere thou can’st His presence own,
To thee He seems so poor;
His sacred hand on thee is laid,
In blessing evermore.
In blessing o’er thy table full,
And all thy treasure here,
And over thy rejoicing heart,
And o’er thy children dear.
In blessing over all thy time,
Beneath an earthly sky;
And over thine eternity,
Awaiting thee on high.
On high, where He a door for thee
Shall gladly open throw,
As thou did’st willingly erewhile
To Him and His below.
- Liverpool Albion.

Title:Appeal for the Poor


Publication:The Bolton Chronicle

Published in:Bolton

Date:February 20th 1864

Keywords:charity, religion


This poem taken from the pages of the Liverpool Albion newspaper offers a divine justification for giving charitable aid to the poor because ‘He’ (Christ) might be among them. At this point areas such as Bolton were deep in the throes of the effects of the Cotton Famine and it was seen as necessary to remind people that many were still in need of financial assistance. Several poems collected on this database make reference to Jesus’s lowly origins and make references to New Testament narratives on the subject of poverty. – SR