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

By “O Lord, who by Thy presence”

Richard Massie (1800–1887)

(C. J. P. Spitta)

O LORD, who by Thy presence hast made light

The heat and burden of the toilsome day,

Be with me also in the silent night,

Be with me when the daylight fades away.

As Thou hast given me strength upon the way,

So deign at evening to become my guest;

As Thou hast shared the labours of the day,

So also deign to share and bless my rest.

No step disturbs me, not a sound is heard,

I commune in my chamber and am still,

And muse with deep attention on Thy word,

The faithful record of Thy mind and will.

O speak a word of blessing, gracious Lord,

Thy blessing is endued with soothing power;

On the poor heart, worn out with toil, Thy word

Falls soft and gentle as an evening shower.

How sad and cold, if Thou be absent, Lord,

The evening leaves me, and my heart how dead!

But, if Thy presence grace my humble board,

I seem with heavenly manna to be fed;

Fraught with rich blessing, breathing sweet repose,

The calm of evening settles on my breast;

If Thou be with me when my labours close,

No more is needed to complete my rest.

Come then, O Lord, and deign to be my guest

After the day’s confusion, toil, and din;

O come to bring me peace, and joy, and rest,

To give salvation, and to pardon sin.

Bind up the wounds, assuage the aching smart

Left in my bosom from the day just past,

And let me, on a Father’s loving heart,

Forget my griefs, and find sweet rest at last.