He sat by a fire of seven-fold heat,
As He watched by the precious ore,
And closer He bent with a searching gaze
As He heated it more and more.
He knew He had ore that could stand the test,
And He wanted the finest gold
To mold as a crown for the King to wear,
Set with gems with a price untold.
So He laid our gold in the burning fire,
Though we fain would have said Him "Nay,"
And He watched the dross that we had not seen,
And melted and passed away.
And the gold grew brighter and yet more bright;
But our eyes were so dim with tears,
We saw but the fire--not the Master's hand--
And questioned our anxious fears.
Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow,
As it mirrored a form above,
That bent o'er the fire, though unseen by us,
With a look of ineffable love.
Can we think that it pleased His loving heart
To cause us a moment's pain?
Ah no! but He saw through the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.
So He waited with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure,
And that gold did not suffer a bit more heat
Than was needed to make it pure.