Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
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John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
 
Religious Poems
Hymn of the Dunkers
 
Kloster Kedar, Ephrata, Pennsylvania (1738)

SISTER MARIA CHRISTINA sings.

WAKE, sisters, wake! the day-star shines;
Above Ephrata’s eastern pines
The dawn is breaking, cool and calm.
Wake, sisters, wake to prayer and psalm
 
Praised be the Lord for shade and light,        5
For toil by day, for rest by night!
Praised be His name who deigns to bless
Our Kedar of the wilderness!
 
Our refuge when the spoiler’s hand
Was heavy on our native land;        10
And freedom, to her children due,
The wolf and vulture only knew.
 
We praised Him when to prison led,
We owned Him when the stake blazed red;
We knew, whatever might befall,        15
His love and power were over all.
 
He heard our prayers; with outstretched arm
He led us forth from cruel harm;
Still, wheresoe’er our steps were bent,
His cloud and fire before us went!        20
 
The watch of faith and prayer He set,
We kept it then, we keep it yet.
At midnight, crow of cock, or noon,
He cometh sure, He cometh soon.
 
He comes to chasten, not destroy,        25
To purge the earth from sin’s alloy.
At last, at last shall all confess
His mercy as His righteousness.
 
The dead shall live, the sick be whole,
The scarlet sin be white as wool;        30
No discord mar below, above,
The music of eternal love!
 
Sound, welcome trump, the last alarm!
Lord God of hosts, make bare thine arm,
Fulfil this day our long desire,        35
Make sweet and clean the world with fire!
 
Sweep, flaming besom, sweep from sight
The lies of time; be swift to smite,
Sharp sword of God, all idols down,
Genevan creed and Roman crown.        40
 
Quake, earth, through all thy zones, till all
The fanes of pride and priestcraft fall;
And lift thou up in place of them
Thy gates of pearl, Jerusalem!
 
Lo! rising from baptismal flame,        45
Transfigured, glorious, yet the same,
Within the heavenly city’s bound
Our Kloster Kedar shall be found.
 
He cometh soon! at dawn or noon
Or set of sun, He cometh soon.        50
Our prayers shall meet Him on His way;
Wake, sisters, wake! arise and pray!

  1877.
 
 
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