Poems and Essays

by Joseph Howe




Almighty Father! at Thy Throne
    A grateful people kneel.
Father of Mercies, Thou alone
    Canst compass what we feel.

We thank Thee for the pleasant land
    In which our lots are cast;
The guidance of Thy eydant hand
    Through all its perils past.

We thank Thee for the forms that guard
    The liberties we prize,
For every cherish’d old Church-yard,
    Where rest the good and wise. [Page 64]

We thank Thee for the Altars free,
    The Courts without a stain—
The glowing page of History,
    The Bard’s heroic strain;

The Martyr’s death—the Prophet’s fire,
    The Christian soldier’s sword;
But chiefly let our hearts aspire
    To thank Thee for thy Word:

And for the hallow’d life and death
    Of Him to guide us given:
The hopes that hang upon His breath,
    The promised rest in Heaven.

For lesser mercies teach us too
    The grateful song to raise:
Let all we think, and say, and do,
    Be moulded to Thy praise.

We thank Thee for the daily bread,
    That human life sustains;
For flocks and herds profusely spread
    O’er all our hills and plains.

We thank Thee for the wealth we bring
    Up from the pregnant mine,
For ages stored—each precious thing
    Is ours, and yet is Thine. [Page 65]

We thank Thee for the mighty deep,
    To which our sons go down;
For tranquil bays that calmly sleep
    Beyond the tempest’s frown.

We thank Thee for the stars above,
    The flow’ry soil we tread,
For friendship’s grasp—the smile of love,
    The song bird over head.

In prayer and praise our souls ascend
    To Thy Almighty Throne;
Father of Mercies—guide and friend,
    Our humble tribute own.

Dec.8. 1868. [Page 66]