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James Montgomery

The Prisoner of the Lord.

(A Sabbath Meditation in a Sick Chamber.)

Thousands, O Lord of Hosts! this day,

Around Thine altar meet;

And tens of thousands throng to pay

Their homage at Thy feet.

They see Thy power and glory there,

As I have seen them too;

They read, they hear, they join in prayer,

As I was wont to do.

They sing Thy deeds, as I have sung

In sweet and solemn lays;

Were I among them, my glad tongue

Might learn new themes of praise.

For Thou art in their midst to teach

When on Thy name they call,

And Thou hast blessings, Lord, for each,--

Hast blessings, Lord, for all.

I, of such fellowship bereft,

In spirit turn to Thee;

Oh! hast not Thou a blessing left,

A blessing, Lord, for me?


The dew lies thick on all the ground;

Shall my poor fleece be dry?

The manna rains from heaven around;

Shall I of hunger die?

Behold Thy prisoner;--loose my bands,

If 'tis Thy gracious will:

If not,--contented in Thy hands,

Behold Thy prisoner still!

I may not to Thy courts repair,

Yet here Thou surely art;

Lord, consecrate an house of prayer

In my surrender'd heart.

To faith reveal the things unseen,

To hope the joys untold;

Let love, without a veil between,

Thy glory now behold.

Oh! make Thy face on me to shine,

That doubt and fear may cease;

Lift up Thy countenance benign

On me,--and give me peace.

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