"Life is a sea"
Life is a sea. - how fair its face,
How smooth its dimpling waters pace,
Its canopy how pureBut rocks below, and tempests sleep,
Insidious, o'er the glassy deep,
Nor leave an hour secure.
Life is a wilderness, beset
With tangling thorns, and treach'rous net
And prowl'd by beasts of prey.One path alone conducts aright,
One narrow path with little light;
A thousand lead astray.
Life is warfare, - and alike
Prepar'd to parley or to strike.
The practis'd foe draws nigh.O, hold no truce! less dangerous far
To stand, and all his phalanx dare,
Than trust his specious lie,
Whate'er its form, whate'er its flow,
While life is lent to man below,
One duty, stands contest. -To watch incessant, firm of mind,
And watch where'er the post assign'd
And leave to God the rest.
'Twas while they watch'd the shepherd swains
Heard angels strike to angel strains
The song of heavenly love,Blest harmony, that far excels
All music else on earth that dwells,
O e'er was tun'd above.
'Twas while they watch'd the sages trac'd
The star that every star effac'd
With new and noble shine:They followed, and it led the way
To where the infant Saviour lay,
And gave them light divine.
And oil well stor'd, the virgin band
The bridal pomp descried;They join'd it, - and the heavenly gate,
That op'd to them its glorious state,
Was clos'd on all besides.
Watch! watch and pray! in suffering hour.
Thus He exclaim'd who felt its power,
And triumph'd in the strife;Victor of Death! thy voice I hear:
Fain would I watch with Holy fear,
Would watch and pray life's career,
And only cease with life.