A Mother's Prayer.
A Mother’s prayer.
God of nations, God of might,
In the stillness of the night,
At Thy footstool low I bow,
Hear me, hear me, hear me now.
All without is dark and drear,
All within is doubt and fear,
Where for refuge can I flee,
God of Hosts, if not to Thee!
What fierce scourging, Judge of all,
Must upon my country fall?
Must we o’er this land so fair,
Witness carnage and despair?
All withdrawn Thy favoring light,
All our noon-day turn’d to night.
Oh, if I in anguish bow’d
May not see behind the cloud,
May not have one gleam to dart
Through the gloom that shrouds my heart,
From its depths, where Thou canst see,
In the dust I cry to Thee.
We have sinned, oh God of might,
Sinned, rebellious in Thy sight;
Pride and wrath are o’er the land,
But, avenger, stay Thine hand,
For our children smiling here,
For our little ones so dear,
Stay Thy judgment swift and sure,
Stay it God, for these are pure.
By the child whose feeble cry,
From the desert rose on high,
Bringing to the mother there,
Angel cheer, in her despair—
By the babe that Thou didst save
From the Nile’s engulfing wave—
By the children He did press
To His breast in soft caress—
And the loud Hosannah song
Rising from the infant throng—
Save us, save us, spare Thine hand,
For the children, save the land.
Dark, still dark, no light I trace,
Hast Thou turn’d away Thy face?
Must we walk this fiery path,
Scowl’d upon by direful wrath?
Must we to the dust go down
Blasted by Thy hopeless frown?
If so, Father, we obey,
But for the young I still would pray.
For the young I make my moan,
Such as these, my own, my own;
These, my boys in rosy rest,
This, the babe upon my breast,
Little dreaming as they sleep
Why their mother wakes to weep—
Oh! let me but feel the rod,
Spare them, spare them, Oh my God.
And for all so passion tossed
All this people ruined, lost;
Forgetting now their ancient trust,
Trampling all they loved in dust—
Still I cry, for only Thou
Canst control and save them now.
By the mercy Thou didst show
To Thy people long ago,
When by Thee released, restored,
They like us forgot Thee, Lord—
By the prayer of Him who died,
By His love, the crucified,
And the tears He wept o’er them—
Wept o’er doomed Jerusalem;
Oh! forgive, forgive us, Lord,
Let Thy pity be restored;
Say again, if ‘tis Thy will,
To these billows,—PEACE, BE STILL.