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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Syria: Sychar

The Well of Sychar

By Sir Edward Denny (1796–1889)

SWEET was the hour, O Lord! to thee,

At Sychar’s lonely well,

When a poor outcast heard thee there

Thy great salvation tell.

Thither she came; but O, her heart,

All filled with earthly care,

Dreamed not of thee, nor thought to find

The hope of Israel there.

Lord! ’t was thy power, unseen, that drew

The stray one to that place,

In solitude to learn of thee

The secrets of thy grace.

There Jacob’s erring daughter found

Those streams, unknown before,

The water-brooks of life, that make

The weary thirst no more.

And, Lord, to us, as vile as she,

Thy gracious lips have told

That mystery of love, revealed

At Jacob’s well of old.

In spirit, Lord, we ’ve sat with thee

Beside the springing well

Of life and peace, and heard thee there

Its healing virtues tell.

Dead to the world, we dream no more

Of earthly pleasures now;

Our deep, divine, unfailing spring

Of grace and glory thou!

No hope of rest in aught beside,

No beauty, Lord, we see;

And, like Samaria’s daughter, seek

And find our all in thee.