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FORMS OF PRAYER TO BE USED AT SEA

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee. Isaiah xliii. 2.

The shower of moonlight falls as still and clear

Upon this desert main

As where sweet flowers some pastoral garden cheer

With fragrance after rain:

The wild winds rustle in piping shrouds,

As in the quivering trees:

Like summer fields, beneath the shadowy clouds

The yielding waters darken in the breeze.

Thou too art here with thy soft inland tones,

Mother of our new birth;

The lonely ocean learns thy orisons,

And loves thy sacred mirth:

When storms are high, or when the fires of war

Come lightening round our course,

Thou breath’st a note like music from afar,

Tempering rude hearts with calm angelic force.

Far, far away, the homesick seaman’s hoard,

Thy fragrant tokens live,

Like flower-leaves in a previous volume stor’d,

To solace and relieve

Some heart too weary of the restless world;

Or like thy Sabbath Cross,

That o’er this brightening billow streams unfurl’d,

Whatever gale the labouring vessel toss.

Oh, kindly soothing in high Victory’s hour,

Or when a comrade dies,

In whose sweet presence Sorrow dares not lower,

Nor Expectation rise

Too high for earth; what mother’s heart could spare

To the cold cheerless deep

Her flower and hope? but Thou art with him there,

Pledge of the untir’d arm and eye that cannot sleep:

The eye that watches o’er wild Ocean’s dead,

Each in his coral cave,

Fondly as if the green turf wrapt his head

Fast by his father’s grave, —

One moment, and the seeds of life shall spring

Out of the waste abyss,

And happy warriors triumph with their King

In worlds without a sea,137137And there was no more sea. Revelations xxi. 1. unchanging orbs of bliss.


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