Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
The Fourth Commandment (“The Dawn”)
By Ada Cross (Cambridge) (1844–1926)
 
THE DAWN of God’s dear Sabbath
  Breaks o’er the earth again
As some sweet summer morning
  After a night of pain:
It comes as cooling showers        5
  To some exhausted land;
As shade of clustered palm-trees
  ’Mid weary wastes of sand;
 
As bursts of glorious sunshine
  Across a stormy sea,        10
Revealing to the sailors
  That Port where they would be,—
The calm and peaceful Haven,
  The dazzling, golden shore,
The home of saints and angels,        15
  Where sin is known no more.
 
O day when earthly sorrow
  Is merged in heavenly joy,
And trial changed to blessing
  That foes may not destroy,—        20
When want is turned to fulness,
  And weariness to rest;
And pain to wondrous rapture,
  Upon the Saviour’s breast!
 
O we would bring for offering,        25
  Though marred with earthly soil,
A week of earnest labour,
  Of steady, faithful toil;
Fair fruits of self-denial,
  Of strong, deep love to Thee,        30
Fostered by Thine own Spirit
  In our humility.
 
And we would bring our burden
  Of sinful thought and deed,
At His dear Altar kneeling,        35
  From bondage to be freed;
Our heart’s most bitter sorrow
  For all Thy work undone—
So many talents wasted!
  So few bright laurels won!        40
 
And with that sorrow mingling,
  A steadfast faith, and sure,
And love so deep and fervent,
  That tries to make it pure,—
In His dear Presence finding        45
  The pardon that we need;
And then the peace so lasting—
  Celestial peace indeed!
 
So be it, Lord, for ever:
  O may we evermore,        50
In Jesu’s holy Presence,
  His blessèd Name adore!
Upon His peaceful Sabbath,
  Within His temple-walls,—
Type of the stainless worship        55
  In Zion’s golden halls;
 
So that, in joy and gladness,
  We reach that Home at last
When life’s short week of sorrow
  And sin and strife is past:        60
When Angel-hands have gathered
  The fair, ripe fruit for Thee,
O Father, Lord, Redeemer,
  Most Holy Trinity!
 
 
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