Our Father in Heaven (Sonnet 9)

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The Measure of Forgiveness

"As we forgive those who trespass against us."

O daring gauge of pardon that we set,
For sins innumerous, and for debts untold,
Our plea with Heaven's strong pity, overbold,
"Forgive us as we forgive!" for never yet
Was man's repentance by his fellow met
With grace so large and free, as to infold
Oblivion deep of trespass new and old,
Nor least upbraiding for the cancelled debt.

Ah! who of us forgive the trespassers
Upon our rights, our laws, our love, our pride,
To that degree, we are content to take
Our debts' release as God's petitioners?
Yet shall our pity stand His grace beside,
When we forgive as He, for Christ's dear sake!