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

By Memorials of Theophilus Trinal, Student (1850). VI. Rest

Thomas Toke Lynch (1818–1871)

THE DAY is over,

The feverish, careful day:

Can I recover

Strength that has ebbed away?

Can even sleep such freshness give,

That I again shall wish to live?

Let me lie down,

No more I seek to have

A heavenly crown,

Give me a quiet grave;

Release and not reward I ask,

Too hard for me life’s heavy task.

Now let me rest,

Hushed be my striving brain,

My beating breast;

Let me put off my pain,

And feel me sinking, sinking deep

Into an abyss of sleep.

The morrow’s noise,

Its aguish hope and fear,

Its empty joys,

Of these I shall not hear;

Call me no more, I cannot come;

I’m gone to be at rest, at home.

Earth undesired,

And not for heaven meet;

For one so tired

What’s left but slumber sweet,

Beneath a grassy mound of trees,

Or at the bottom of the seas?

Yet let me have,

Once in a thousand years,

Thoughts in my grave,

To know how free from fears

I sleep, and that I there shall lie

Through undisturbed eternity.

And when I wake,

Then let me hear above

The birds that make

Songs not of human love:

Or muffled tones my ears may reach

Of storms that sound from beach to beach.

But hark! what word

Breathes through this twilight dim?

“Rest in the Lord,

Wait patiently for Him;

Return, O soul, and thou shalt have

A better rest than in thy grave.”

My God, I come;

But I was sorely shaken:

Art Thou my home?

I thought I was forsaken:

I know Thou art a sweeter rest

Than earth’s soft side or ocean’s breast.

Yet this my cry!—

“I ask no more for heaven,

Now let me die,

For I have vainly striven.”

I had, but for that word from Thee,

Renounced my immortality.

Now I return;

Return, O Lord, to me;

I cannot earn

That Heaven I’ll ask of Thee;

But with Thy Peace amid the strife

I still can live in hope of Life.

The careful day,

The feverish day is over;

Strength ebbed away,

I lie down to recover;

With sleep from Him I shall be blest,

Whose word has brought my sorrows rest.