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!