Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
Religious Poems
Hymns of the Brahmo Somaj
          I have attempted this paraphrase of the Hymns of the Brahmo Somaj of India, as I find them in Mozoomdar’s account of the devotional exercises of that remarkable religious development which has attracted far less attention and sympathy from the Christian world than it deserves, as a fresh revelation of the direct action of the Divine Spirit upon the human heart.

THE MERCY, O Eternal One!
  By man unmeasured yet,
In joy or grief, in shade or sun,
  I never will forget.
I give the whole, and not a part,        5
  Of all Thou gavest me;
My goods, my life, my soul and heart,
  I yield them all to Thee!
We fast and plead, we weep and pray,
  From morning until even;        10
We feel to find the holy way,
  We knock at the gate of heaven!
And when in silent awe we wait,
  And word and sign forbear,
The hinges of the golden gate        15
  Move, soundless, to our prayer!
Who hears the eternal harmonies
  Can heed no outward word;
Blind to all else is he who sees
  The vision of the Lord!        20
O soul, be patient, restrain thy tears,
  Have hope, and not despair;
As a tender mother heareth her child
  God hears the penitent prayer.
And not forever shall grief be thine;        25
  On the Heavenly Mother’s breast,
Washed clean and white in the waters of joy
  Shall His seeking child find rest.
Console thyself with His word of grace,
  And cease thy wail of woe,        30
For His mercy never an equal hath,
  And His love no bounds can know.
Lean close unto Him in faith and hope;
  How many like thee have found
In Him a shelter and home of peace,        35
  By His mercy compassed round!
There, safe from sin and the sorrow it brings,
  They sing their grateful psalms,
And rest, at noon, by the wells of God,
  In the shade of His holy palms!


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