Dear Lord and Father of Mankind. John Greenleaf Whittier 1807—1892

 John Greenleaf Whittier

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow Thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love!

With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.


From: "The Brewing of Soma." (1872)

Views: 273

Comment by Bill Smith on 11th mo. 21, 2012 at 6:43pm

These verses have even more significance when read after the first part of the poem.  It is thought that JGW was referring to the emotional revivalism that was common in western Friends (Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa).  This "prayer" is to bring members of the society back to the center and away from "pagan" rites called "The Brewing of Soma"which were occurring in the stain glassed in this poem.

Lines prior to this "Hymn"

 

The desert's hair-grown hermit sunk
The saner brute below;
The naked Santon, haschish-drunk,
The cloister madness of the monk,
The fakir's torture show!

And yet the past comes round again,
And new doth old fulfill;
In sensual transports wild as vain
We brew in many a Christian fane
The heathen Soma still!

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