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O thou who hast been sore afflicted on the pathway of the Covenant! Anguish and torment, when suffered on the pathway of the Lord, Him of manifest signs, is only favour and grace; affliction is but mercy, and grief a gift from God. Poison is sugar on the tongue, and wrath is kindness, nourishing the soul.

Then praise thou Him, the loving Provider, for having ordained this dire affliction, which is but bounty unalloyed.

If I, like Abraham, through flames must go,

Or yet like John1 a bloodstained road must run;

If, Joseph-like, Thou'd cast me in a well,

Or shut me up within a prison cell--

Or make me e'en as poor as Mary's Son--

I will not go from Thee,

But ever stand

My soul and body bowed to Thy command.

1. John the Baptist

Selections from the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá
pages 227-228

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