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Sabbath Poems

Table of Contents

  1. A Sabbath At Nahant by Hannah Flagg Gould
  2. The Church Bell by Lydia Howard Sigourney
  3. The Sabbath Call by Peter Burn
  4. The Sabbath by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton
  5. Sabbath Bells by L. B. L.
  6. Sabbath Day by Margaret Elizabeth Sangster
  7. Thanksgiving by J. R. Eastwood
  8. Forgiveness by John Greenleaf Whittier
  9. Sabbath Morn by Eliza Wolcott

  1. A Sabbath At Nahant

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    The sun has thrown his morning beams
    Against the cliffs, that fence the waves,
    And down his mellow glory streams,
    Through narrow clefts and widening caves.

    The mossy rock, the foamy surge,
    The pebbly beach and grassy height,
    And site and cot, on ocean's verge,
    Are in a flood of sabbath light.

    And yet, no sabbath bell I hear
    Say "Come! come! come! the shepherd waits,
    Until his gathering flock draw near,
    To meet them at his temple gates!"

    These rocks, sublime in silence, stand
    And point us to the house of prayer!
    The deep gives out her loud command
    For man to praise her Ruler, there!

    The light, that is its author's smile,
    This balmy air, God's hallowed day,
    His finger in the heart the while,
    All to his altar show the way.

    Now, by the willows, o'er the green,
    With ready feet, I pass to seek
    His face, who laid this mighty scene,
    While all its parts his praises speak.

    Here, on the margin of the sea,
    The lane in simple beauty stands;
    That minds us of eternity—
    This, of the "house not made with hands"—

    Where different tribes, from lands afar,
    Shall to one happy home be led,
    By light that beamed from Bethlehem's star,
    To gather round one blessed Head.

    Stranger by stranger takes a seat;
    Our songs and aspirations blend;
    Through various ways, we come to meet
    Our common Parent, Lord and Friend.

    And, that our inmost wants may cease,
    And all the bosom's care and strife,
    The servant of the Prince of peace
    Presents to each the bread of life.

    It is an hour of sacred calm,
    Too bright and sweet on earth to waste,
    While Heaven is pouring down its balm,
    And manna falls, that all may taste.

    Father, when life's short vale is crossed,
    Within thy peaceful mansions grant,
    That all may find we have not lost
    This holy sabbath at Nahant!

  2. The Church Bell

    by Lydia Howard Sigourney

    When glowing in the eastern sky,
    The Sabbath morning meets the eye,
    And o'er a weary, care-worn scene,
    Gleams like the ark-dove's leaf of green,
    How welcome over hill and dale,
    Thy hallow'd summons loads the gale,
    Sweet bell! Church bell!

    When earthly joys and sorrows end,
    And towards our long repose we tend,
    How mournfully thy tone doth call
    The weepers to the funeral,
    And to the last abode of clay,
    With solemn knell mark out the way,
    Sad bell! Church bell!

    If to the clime where pleasures reign,
    We through a Saviour's love attain,
    If freshly to an angel's thought,
    Earth's unforgotten scenes are brought,
    Will not thy voice, that warn'd to prayer,
    Be gratefully remember'd there,
    Bless'd bell? Church bell?

  3. The Sabbath Call

    by Peter Burn

    Come, children all,
    Obey the call,
    The Sabbath gives to every soul;
    Leave work and play,
    Make no delay,
    Your God hath bless'd the Seventh day:
    It floods the world with holy calm,
    Its hours are rife with healing balm;
    Have you a care? To school prepare, Make known your wants to God in prayer.

    "We children all,
    Obey the call,
    The Sabbath gives to every soul;
    All things of play,
    We cast away,
    And welcome now the Seventh day:
    Our Sabbath School we love, we love,
    Sweet emblem of 'The Home' above.
    We love to raise,
    In prayer and praise,
    Our voices to the God of days."

    With heart and voice
    In God rejoice,
    We are the people of His choice;
    In loss—in gain,
    In joy—in pain,
    Our songs shall be of joyful strain:
    We are the people of His care,
    His watchful eye is everywhere;
    Of Him we sing,
    To Him we bring
    Heart,—soul and mind, in offering

    "With heart and voice,
    We will rejoice,
    For we have made the Lord our choice:
    In loss—in gain,
    In joy—in pain,
    Our songs shall be in joyful strain;
    We are the people of His care,
    His watchful eye is everywhere;
    Of Him we sing,
    To Him we bring
    Heart,—soul and mind, in offering."

  4. The Sabbath

    by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton

    Fresh glides the brook and blows the gale,
    Yet yonder halts the quiet mill!
    The whirring wheel, the rushing sail,
    How motionless and still!

    Six days of toil, poor child of Cain,
    Thy strength the slave of Want may be;
    The seventh thy limbs escape the chain,—
    A God hath made thee free!

    Ah, tender was the Law that gave
    This holy respite to the breast,
    To breathe the gale, to watch the wave,
    And know—the wheel may rest!

    But where the waves the gentlest glide
    What image charms, to lift, thine eyes?
    The spire reflected on the tide
    Invites thee to the skies.

    To teach the soid its nobler worth
    This rest from mortal toils is given;
    Go, snatch the brief reprieve from earth
    And pass—a guest to Heaven.

    They tell thee, in their dreaming school,
    Of Power from old dominion hurled,
    When rich and poor, with juster rule,
    Shall share the altered world.

    Alas! since Time itself began,
    That fivble hath but fooled the hour;
    Each age that ripens Power in Man,
    But subjects Man to Power.

    Yet every day in seven, at least,
    One bright republic shall be known;—
    Man's world awhile hath surely ceast,
    When God proclaims his own!

    Six days may Rank divide the poor,
    O Dives, from thy banquet-hall;
    The seventh the Father opes the door,
    And holds His feast for all!

  5. Sabbath Bells

    by L. B. L.

    Sweet sabbath bells! so loud and clear!
    Pealing o'er valley and o'er hill!
    What heavenly music to mine ear!
    They seem to say, "Why linger still?
    Come to God's temple while ye may,
    And prayer will steal your griefs away!

    "Haste to God's temple! there to raise
    The song warm springing from the heart-
    The incense of your grateful praise,
    In, which all Christians bear a part.
    Hear our glad summons, and obey!
    The angels join ye as ye pray!

    "Come to that holy, solemn place,
    Where peace and soul-felt comfort dwell;
    The home of each celestial grace,
    Where mercy's beams all clouds dispel!
    Haste to God's temple while ye may!
    The angels join the meek who pray!"

  6. Sabbath Day

    by Margaret E. Sangster

    A little aside from the sweep and whirl,
    The shifting splendor of swift Broadway,
    Is a place where sounds but gently purl,
    And a spell of quiet invests the day.
    There marbles are gleaming in beauty wrought,
    And rosy faces of children glow,
    And the painter's vision hath shrined the thought
    Of tropical sunlight or polar snow.

    There, late on a summer's afternoon,
    Till the shadowing twilight softly fell,
    I lingered, reluctant to leave too soon
    A simple picture which pleased me well.
    Steady and cheerful, strong and sweet,
    Was the womanly face that drew my gaze,
    With a look which smiled my own to meet,
    A wonderful blending of prayer and praise.

    'T was a dame of the Highlands, sturdy still,
    Though youth had left her many a day,
    And used to taking, with resolute will,
    Her path to church in the good old way.
    Whether sunlit mists to the mountains clime
    Or the tempest athwart them were driven wild,
    She went to the kirk, where the psalms were sung,
    Fearless and brave as an eager child.

    I thought how often some trifle kept
    Our dainty women from cushioned pews:
    Too late, perhaps, in the morn they've slept,
    Or the hat is amiss, or tight the shoes;
    There's the hint of rain in the clouded sky,
    And the book and the easy-chair invite.
    I thought as I gazed in the steadfast eye
    Of the Highland mother, blithe and bright—

    Little she cared for the bitter blast,
    Or the swirl of the storm in her lifted face;
    She would win through its uttermost stress at last,
    And endurance was hers, from a hardy race.
    A narrow life in her lowly cot
    She led, as she cared for barn and byre;
    But narrower far, where God is not,
    Are lives which the loftiest men desire.

    There's something grand in the quiet way
    Yon strong soul passes, from sun to sun,
    The week-day hours and the Sabbath-day
    Counting alike by duties done.
    The breath of the hills in that picture fair,
    With the tangled heather bent and wet,
    And the tranquil woman, amid it there,
    Are cordial and help to my spirit yet.

  7. Thanksgiving

    by J. R. Eastwood

    The village church, a quaint old pile,
    Stands where the quiet meadows smile,
    Dotted with sheep, and, reaped and bare,
    The stubble fields, and orchards fair.

    Pleasant it was that Sabbath morn
    To see the mighty stacks of corn,
    And joyful on that blessed day
    To feel that toil was put away.

    Sweet, in the church, it was to hear
    The harvest anthem rising clear,
    And in those tuneful strains outpoured
    To join the praises of the Lord.

    For from our hearts that song arose
    To Him whose loving kindness flows
    To crown with joy a thousand lands,
    And bless the labour of our hands.

    The anthem ceased, and still I thought
    On all the mercies God had wrought:
    And in my heart I took away
    This lesson of that Sabbath day.

    The sweetest song can ill declare
    The praises of the worshipper;
    The life of service must express
    The heart's desire of thankfulness.

  8. Forgiveness

    by John Greenleaf Whittier

    My heart was heavy, for its trust had been
    Abused, its kindness answered with foul wrong;
    So, turning gloomily from my fellow-men,
    One summer Sabbath day I strolled among
    The green mounds of the village burial-place;
    Where, pondering how all human love and hate
    Find one sad level; and how, soon or late,
    Wronged and wrongdoer, each with meekened face,
    And cold hands folded over a still heart,
    Pass the green threshold of our common grave,
    Whither all footsteps tend, whence none depart,
    Awed for myself, and pitying my race,
    Our common sorrow, like a mighty wave,
    Swept all my pride away, and trembling I forgave!

  9. Sabbath Morn

    by Eliza Wolcott

    Hail blessed day—let each glad spirit say,
    My soul awake, repent, and kneel to pray;
    Bow to His foot-stool, view His pard'ning grace,
    Seek Him betimes—adore His smiling face.

    If cares oppress, and trials fill the mind,
    See on the cross, the Saviour was resign'd;
    He bore a heavier load—Ah! yes for me,
    He bled and died, to set the captive free.

    Then rise my soul, adore exalted love,
    Raise swift thy wings to those fair climes above,
    Where cherubs sound the praises of their King,
    And all their praises flow with joy to Him.

    Then to His courts with joy I would repair,
    And hear the wondera that revive me there;
    The word at God alone unfolds the way,
    That leads to joys of never fading day.

    Reign o'er me King Supreme, forever reign,
    And from vain thoughts and words may I refrain;
    Then by the door of sweet salvation, I,
    O'er the etherial hills, myself-espy.

8 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God...

– Exodus 20:8-10a

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