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

By Hymns (1867). I. “Earth was waiting”

Walter Chalmers Smith (1824–1908)

  • “When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman.”
  • —Gal. iv. 4.

  • EARTH was waiting, spent and restless,

    With a mingled hope and fear;

    And the faithful few were sighing,

    “Surely, Lord, the day is near;

    The desire of all the nations,

    It is time He should appear.”

    Still the gods were in their temples,

    But the ancient faith had fled;

    And the priests stood by their altars

    Only for a piece of bread;

    And the Oracles were silent,

    And the Prophets all were dead.

    In the sacred courts of Zion,

    Where the Lord had His abode,

    There the money-changers trafficked,

    And the sheep and oxen trod;

    And the world, because of wisdom,

    Knew not either Lord or God.

    Then the spirit of the Highest

    On a virgin meek came down,

    And He burdened her with blessing,

    And He pained her with renown;

    For she bare the Lord’s Anointed

    For His cross and for His crown.

    Earth for Him had groaned and travailed,

    Since the ages first began;

    For in Him was hid the secret

    That through all the ages ran—

    Son of Mary, Son of David,

    Son of God, and Son of Man.