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ARK ! the Vesper Hymn is stealing
O'er the waters soft and clear;
Nearer yet and nearer pealing,
Now it bursts
the ear. Farther now, now farther stealing,
Soft it fades upon the ear
Now like moonlight waves retreating,
To the shore it dies along ; Now like angry surges meeting,
Breaks the mingled tide of song. Hush! again like waves retreating, To the shore it dies along.
N the dewy breath of Even,
Thousand odours mingling rise,
Borne like insense up to Heaven,
Nature's Evening Sacrifice.
With her balmy offerings blending, Let our glad thanksgivings be To Thy throne, O Lord, ascending,
Incense of our hearts to Thee!
Praise we yield, yet still while dwelling
On the thanks Thy mercies claim, Darker thoughts their tale are telling,
Full of grief, and full of shame. Oft rebellious, oft mistaken,
Sorrowing, at Thy feet we bow; Yet, 'though Thee we have forsaken,
O our God! Forsake not Thou!
Thou, whose favours without number,
All our days with gladness bless,
Let Thine eye, which knows not slumber,
Guard our hours of helplessness :
And, when life is closing round us,
Dark with anguish, faint with fear, Let Thy beams of love surround us,
Let us know and feel Thee near !
IS gone, that bright and orbed blaze,
Fast fading from our wistful gaze;
Yon mantling cloud has hid from fight
The last faint pulse of quivering light.
Sun of my soul! Thou Saviour dear,
It is not night is Thou be near :
Oh, may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide Thee from thy servant's eyes !
When the soft dews of kindly sleep
My wearied eyelids gently steep,
Be my last thought, how sweet to rest
For ever on my Saviour's breaft.
Abide with me from morn till eve,
For without Thee I cannot live :
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without Thee I dare not die.
Thou Framer of the light and dark,
Steer through the tempest thine own ark:
Amid the howling wintry fea,
We are in port if we have Thee.*
Oh by Thine own sad burthen, borne
So meekly up the hill of scorn,
Teach Thou thine own their daily cross
To bear as thine, nor count it loss !
KEBLE. * John vi. 21.
THOU Eternal One! whose presence
bright All space doth occupy, all motion
Unchanged through Time’s all ever-
Thou only God: there is no God beside.
Being above all beings ! Mighty One !
Whom none can comprehend, and none explore ;
Embracing all, supporting, ruling o'er,
Being whom we call God, and know no more.
In its sublime research, philosophy
May measure out the Ocean deep, may count
The sands, or the sun's rays; but God! for Thee
There is no weight or measure; none can mount
Up to thy mysteries ; reason's brightest spark,
Though kindled by Thy light, in vain would try
To trace Thy counsels, infinite and dark;
And thought is loft ere thought can soar so high,
Even like past moments in Eternity.
Thou, from primeval nothingness did call,
First chaos, then existence,-Lord, on Thee
Eternity had its foundation; all
Spring forth from Thee; all light, joy, harmony,
Sole origin—all life, all beauty, Thine.
Thy word created all, and doth create ;
Thy splendour fills all space with rays divine;
Thou art and wert; and shall be glorious! great!
Life-giving, life-fuftaining, Potentate!
Thy chains th' immeasured universe surround;
Upheld by Thee, by Thee inspired with breath!
Thou the beginning with the end halt bound,
And beautifully mingled life and death!
As sparks mount upwards from the fiery blaze,
So suns are born, so worlds spring forth from Thee,
And as the spangles on the funny rays
Shine round the silver snow, the pageantry
Of Heaven's bright army glitters in thy praise.
A million torches, lighted by thy hand,
Wander unwearied through the blue abyss ;
They own Thy power, accomplish Thy command,
All gay with life, all eloquent with bliss.
What shall we call them? Piles of crystal light ?
A glorious company of golden streams?
Lamps of celestial ether burning bright?
Suns lighting systems with their joyous beams ?
But Thou to these art as the Moon to night.
Yes! As a drop of water in the Sea,
All this magnificence in Thee is loft :-