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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By The Fourth Commandment (“The Dawn”)

Ada Cross (Cambridge) (1844–1926)

THE DAWN of God’s dear Sabbath

Breaks o’er the earth again

As some sweet summer morning

After a night of pain:

It comes as cooling showers

To some exhausted land;

As shade of clustered palm-trees

’Mid weary wastes of sand;

As bursts of glorious sunshine

Across a stormy sea,

Revealing to the sailors

That Port where they would be,—

The calm and peaceful Haven,

The dazzling, golden shore,

The home of saints and angels,

Where sin is known no more.

O day when earthly sorrow

Is merged in heavenly joy,

And trial changed to blessing

That foes may not destroy,—

When want is turned to fulness,

And weariness to rest;

And pain to wondrous rapture,

Upon the Saviour’s breast!

O we would bring for offering,

Though marred with earthly soil,

A week of earnest labour,

Of steady, faithful toil;

Fair fruits of self-denial,

Of strong, deep love to Thee,

Fostered by Thine own Spirit

In our humility.

And we would bring our burden

Of sinful thought and deed,

At His dear Altar kneeling,

From bondage to be freed;

Our heart’s most bitter sorrow

For all Thy work undone—

So many talents wasted!

So few bright laurels won!

And with that sorrow mingling,

A steadfast faith, and sure,

And love so deep and fervent,

That tries to make it pure,—

In His dear Presence finding

The pardon that we need;

And then the peace so lasting—

Celestial peace indeed!

So be it, Lord, for ever:

O may we evermore,

In Jesu’s holy Presence,

His blessèd Name adore!

Upon His peaceful Sabbath,

Within His temple-walls,—

Type of the stainless worship

In Zion’s golden halls;

So that, in joy and gladness,

We reach that Home at last

When life’s short week of sorrow

And sin and strife is past:

When Angel-hands have gathered

The fair, ripe fruit for Thee,

O Father, Lord, Redeemer,

Most Holy Trinity!