Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
IV. Sabbath: Worship: Creed
The Book of God
Horatius Bonar (1808–1889)
THY thoughts are here, my God,
  Expressed in words divine,
The utterance of heavenly lips
  In every sacred line.
Across the ages they        5
  Have reached us from afar,
Than the bright gold more golden they,
  Purer than purest star.
More durable they stand
  Than the eternal hills;        10
Far sweeter and more musical
  Than music of earth’s rills.
Fairer in their fair hues
  Than the fresh flowers of earth,
More fragrant than the fragrant climes        15
  Where odors have their birth.
Each word of thine a gem
  From the celestial mines,
A sunbeam from that holy heaven
  Where holy sunlight shines.        20
Thine, thine, this book, though given
  In man’s poor human speech,
Telling of things unseen, unheard,
  Beyond all human reach.
No strength it craves or needs        25
  From this world’s wisdom vain;
No filling up from human wells,
  Or sublunary rain.
No light from sons of time,
  Nor brilliance from its gold;        30
It sparkles with its own glad light,
  As in the ages old.
A thousand hammers keen,
  With fiery force and strain,
Brought down on it in rage and hate,        35
  Have struck this gem in vain.
Against this sea-swept rock
  Ten thousand storms their will
Of foam and rage have wildly spent;
  It lifts its calm face still.        40
It standeth and will stand,
  Without or change or age,
The word of majesty and light,
  The church’s heritage.

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