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

By The Mariner’s Midnight Hymn

Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna (1790–1849)

O THOU who didst prepare

The ocean’s caverned cell,

And lead the gathering waters there

To meet and dwell:

Tossed in our reeling bark

On this tumultuous sea,

Thy wondrous ways, O Lord, we mark,

And sing to Thee.

How terrible art Thou,

In all Thy wonders shown;

Though veiled is that eternal brow,

Thy steps unknown!

Invisible to sight—

But oh! to faith how near—

Beneath the gloomiest cloud of night

Thou beamest here.

Borne on the darkening wave

In measured sweep we go,

Nor dread th’ unfathomable grave

That yawns below;

For He is nigh who trod

Amid that foaming spray,

Whose billows owned th’ incarnate God

And died away.

Let slumber’s balmy seal

Imprint our tranquil eyes;

Though deep beneath the waters steal,

And circling rise;

Though swells the confluent tide,

And beetles far above,—

We know in whom our souls confide

With fearless love.

Snatched from a darker deep

And waves of wilder foam,

Thou, Lord, those trusting souls wilt keep,

And waft them home;

Home, where no tempests sound,

Nor angry waters roar,

Nor troublous billows heave around

The peaceful shore.