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Where the wilderness is lying,
And the trees of ages nod, Westward, in the desert crying,
Make a highway for our God: Westward-till the Church be kneeling
In the forest aisles so dim,
With the people's holy hymn!
Westward, still, oh Lord, in glory
Be thy bannered cross unfurled, Till from vale to mountain hoary,
Rolls the anthem round the world; Reign, oh reign o'er every nation,
Reign, Redeemer, Father, King, And with songs of thy salvation,
Let the wide creation ring !
Right glad was I when unto me,
They said with one accord,
The city of our Lord !
Jerusalem, our home,
Our wearied steps shall come.
Oh thither all the tribes go up,
The people of our God!
And music sounds abroad!
And there the Lord is known, And there is set his judgment-seat,
His glory, and his throne !
Oh pray ye for Jerusalem,
Who blesseth her is blest;
And in thy temples rest!
And sunshine ever fair,
Our fathers' God is there.
Oft when the eve-star, sinking into day,
his fields, but let his doctrine die,
Still in those halls, where none without a sneer
Hast been where the full blossomed bay-tree is blowing
With odors like Eden's around ?
And wild vines are fringing the ground ?
And ate the cool gourds of their clime;
And the mocking-bird sung her sweet rhyme ?
And didst mark, in thy journey, at dew-dropping eve,
Some ruin peer high o'er thy way,
A mantle for turrets so gray ?
ask if some lord of the cavalier kind Lived there, when the country was young ? And burned not the blood of a Christian, to find
How there the old prayer-bell had rung ?
And did ye not glow, when they told ye—the Lord
Had dwelt in that thistle-grown pile ;
That once had knelt down in its aisle ?
When ye thought-o'er your country so broad,
Save only these churches of God ?
O ye that shall pass by those ruins again,
Go kneel in their alleys and pray,
Rise up, and fare on in your way ;
Pray God that those aisles
be crowded once more, Those altars surrounded and spread, While anthems and prayers are upsent as of yore,
As they take of the wine-cup and bread.
Ay, pray on thy knees, that each old rural fane
They have left to the bat and the mole,
And the full-swelling voice of the soul.
Even-bells shall ring out on the air,
The snowy-robed pastor at prayer.
In the silent midnight watches,
'Tis thy heart of sin :
Rise, and let me in !
Death comes down with reckless footstep
To the hall and hut:
Where the door is shut?
But thy door is fast !
Death breaks in at last.
Then 'tis thine to stand—entreating
Christ to let thee in :
Wailing for thy sin.
Nay, alas ! thou foolish virgin,
Hast thou then forgot, Jesus waited long to know thee,
But he knows thee not!
THE CHI MES
The chimes, the chimes of Motherland,
Of England green and old, That out from fane and ivied tower
A thousand years have tolled ; How glorious must their music be
As breaks the hallowed day, And calleth with a seraph's voice
A nation up to pray!
Those chimes that tell a thousand tales,
Sweet tales of olden time! And ring a thousand memories
At vesper, and at prime;
For cottager and king-
How blessedly they ring!
Those chimes, those chimes of Motherland,
Upon a Christmas morn, Outbreaking, as the angels did,
For a Redeemer born; How merrily they call afar,
To cot and baron's hall, With holly decked and mistletoe,
To keep the festival !
The chimes of England, how they peal
From tower and gothic pile, Where hymn and swelling anthem fill
The dim cathedral aisle ;