THO' the Earth with age seems whitened,
And her tresses hoary and old
No longer are flushed mad brightened
By glintings of brown or gold,
A voice from the Syrian highlands,
O'er waters that flash and stir,
By the belts of their tropic islands,
Still singeth of joy to her!
A song which the centuries hallow!
Though softer than April rain
That soweth on field and fallow,
A spell that shall rise in grain--
Yet deep as the sea-strain chanted
On the fluctuant ocean-lyre,
By the magical west-wind haunted,
With the pulse of his soul on fire!
A promise to lift the lowly,--
To weed the soul of its tares,
And change into harmonies holy
The discord of fierce despairs:
A glory of high Evangels,
Of rhythmical storms and calms;
All hail to the voices of angels,
Heard over the starlit palms!
A hymn of hope to the ages,
The music of deathless trust,
No frenzy of mortal rages
Can darken with doubt or dust;
A rapture of high evangels,
But centred in sacred calms!
Ah! still the chorus of angels
Thrills over the Bethlehem palms!
Still heralds the day-spring tender,
That never can melt or close,
Till the noon of it's deepening splendor
Out-blooms, like a mystic rose,
Whose petals are rays supernal
Of love that hath all sufficed,--
And whose heart is the grace eternal,
Of the fathomless peace of Christ!