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

By “Come, my soul, thou must be waking”

Henry James Buckoll (1803–1871)

(Von Canitz)

COME, my soul, thou must be waking—

Now is breaking

O’er the earth another day:

Come, to Him who made this splendour,

See thou render

All thy feeble strength can pay.

From the stars thy course be learning;

Dimly burning

’Neath the sun their light grows pale;

So let all that sense delighted,

While benighted,

From God’s presence fade and fail.

Lo! how all of breath partaking,

Gladly waking,

Hail the sun’s enlivening light!

Plants, whose life mere sap doth nourish,

Rise and flourish

When he breaks the shades of night.

Thou too hail the light returning;

Ready burning

Be the incense of thy powers;—

For the night is safely ended;

God hath tended

With His care thy helpless hours.

Pray that He may prosper ever

Each endeavour,

When thine aim is good and true;

But that He may ever thwart thee,

And convert thee,

When thou evil wouldst pursue.

Think that He thy ways beholdeth—

He unfoldeth

Every fault that lurks within;

Every stain of shame gloss’d over

Can discover,

And discern each deed of sin.

Fetter’d to the fleeting hours

All our powers

Vain and brief, are borne away:

Time, my soul, thy ship is steering,

Onward veering,

To the gulf of death a prey.

May’st thou then on life’s last morrow,

Free from sorrow,

Pass away in slumber sweet:

And, releas’d from death’s dark sadness,

Rise in gladness,

That far brighter sun to greet.

Only God’s free gifts abuse not,

His light refuse not,

But still His Spirit’s voice obey;

Soon shall joy thy brow be wreathing,

Splendour breathing

Fairer than the fairest day.

If aught of care this morn oppress thee,

To Him address thee,

Who, like the sun, is good to all:

He gilds the mountain tops, the while

His gracious smile

Will on the humblest valley fall.

Round the gifts His bounty showers,

Walls and towers

Girt with flames thy God shall rear:

Angel legions to defend thee

Shall attend thee,

Hosts whom Satan’s self shall fear.