Dublin Core




A hymn more, O my lyre!
Praise to the God above.
Of joy, and life, and love,
Sweeping its strings of fire!
Oh! who the speed of bird and wind,

And sunbeam's glance will lend to me,

That soaring upward, I may find

My resting-place and home in thee!

Thou, whom my soul, midst doubt and gloom,

Adoreth with a fervent flame -

Mysterious spirit! unto whom

Pertains nor sign nor name!

Swiftly my lyre's soft murmurs go

Up from the cold and joyless earth,

Back to the God who made them flow,

Whose moving spirit sent them forth.

But as for me, O God! for me,

The lowly creature of thy will,

Lingering and sad, I sing to thee,

An earth-bound pilgrim still.

Oh! watchers of the stars at night,

Who breathe their fire, as we the air -

Suns, thunders, stars, and rays of light,

Oh! say, is He - the Eternal - there?

Bead there around his awful throne

The seraph's glance, the angel's knee!

Or are thy inmost depths his own.

O wild and mighty sun!

Thoughts of my soul, how swift ye go!

Swift as the eagle's glance of fire,

Or arrows from the archer's bow,

To the fair aim of your desire.

Thought after thought, ye thronging rise

Like spring doves from the startled wood,

Bearing, like them, your sacrifice

Of music unto God.

And shall those thoughts of joy and love

Come back again no more to me -

Returning like the patriarch's dove,

Wing-weary from the eternal sea,

To bear within my longing arms

The promise-bough of kindlier skies,

Pluck'd from the green, immortal palms

Which shadow Paradise?

All-moving Spirit! freely forth,

At thy command, the strong wind goes;

Its errand to the passive earth

Nor art can stay, nor strength oppose,

Until it folds its weary wing

Once more within the hand divine;

So, weary from its wandering,

My spirit turns to thine.

Child of the sea, the mountain stream,

From its dark caverns, hurries on.

Ceaseless be night and morning's beam.

By evening's star, and noontide sun.

Until at last it sinks to rest.

O'erwearied in the wasting sea,

And moans upon its mother's breast -

So turns my soul to Thee!

O Thou who bid'st the torrent flow,

Who lendest wings unto the wind -

Mover of all things! where art Thou?

Oh, whither shall I go, to find

The secret of thy resting place?

Is there no holy wing for me,

That soaring, I may search the space

Of highest heaven for Thee?

Oh, would I were as free to rise

As leaves on autumn's whirlwind borne -

The arrowy light of sunset skies,

Or sound, or lay, or star of morn,

Which melts in heaven at twilight's close,

Or aught which soars uncheck'd and free

Through earth and heaven, that I might loose

Myself in finding Thee!


J.G. Whittier


3:26, p. 4




J.G. Whittier, “Hymn,” Periodical Poets, accessed April 14, 2024, https://periodicalpoets.com/items/show/334.


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