The One Talent

In a napkin smooth and white, 

Hidden from all mortal sight, 

My one talent lies to-night.

Mine to hoard, or mine to use; 

Mine to keep, or mine to lose; 

May I not do what I choose?

Ah!  The gift was only lent, 

With the Giver's known intent 

That it should be wisely spent.

And I know he will demand 

Every farthing at my hand, 

When I in his presence stand.

What will be my grief and shame, 

When I hear my humble name, 

And cannot repay his claim!

One poor talent nothing more! 

All the years that have gone o'er 

Have not added to the store.

Some will double what they hold,

Others add to it ten-fold,

And pay back the shining gold.

Would that I had toiled like them  

All my sloth I now condemn; 

Guilty fears my soul o'erwhelm.

Lord, oh, teach me what to do! 

Make me faithful, make me  true, 

And the sacred trust renew.

Help me, ere too late it be, 

Something yet to do for Thee, 

Thou who  hast done all for me.

Teacher's  Treasury