Hymn 9. L. M.
WORDS BY J. G. WHITTIER.
1. O thou whose presence went before
Our fathers in their weary way,
As with thy chosen mov'd of yore,
The fire by night, the cloud by day;
When, from each temple of the free,
A nation's song ascends to heaven,
Most Holy Father, unto thee
May not our humble prayer be given?
2. We thank thee, Father, hill and plain
Around us wave their fruits once more,
And cluster'd vine, and blossom'd grain
Are bending round each cottage door;
But Oh! For those this day can bring,
Not, as to us, the joyful thrill;
For those, who, under freedom's wing,
Are bound in slavery's fetters still.
3. For those, to whom thy living word
Of light and love is never given;
For those, whose ears have never heard
The promise and the hope of heaven;
For broken heart, and clouded mind,
Whereon no human mercies fall: —
Oh! be thy gracious love inclin'd,
Who, as a Father, pitiest all.
4. And grant, O Father, that the time
Of earth's deliv'rance may be near,
When every land, and tongue, and clime,
The message of thy love shall hear,
When smitten, as with fire from heaven,
The captive's chain shall sink in dust,
And to his fetter'd soul be given,
The glorious freedom of the just.