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The dying robber raised his aching brow
to claim the dying Lord for company;
and heard in answer to his trembling vow,
the promise of the King: thou--even thou--
today shalt be in paradise with me.
We too the measure of our guilt confess,
knowing thy mercy, Lord, our only plea;
that we, like him, through judgment and distress,
for all the weight of our unworthiness,
may win our way to paradise with thee.
But so bewildered is our failing heart,
so dim the luster of thy royalty,
we hardly know thee, Lord, for what thou art,
till we begin to take the better part
and lose ourselves in paradise with thee.
Then lift our eyes, dear Lord, from this poor dross,
to see thee reigning in humility,
the King of love; that, wresting gain from loss,
we too may climb the ladder of the cross,
to find our home in paradise with thee.