How painfully pleasing the fond recollection
Of youthful connexion and innocent joy,
While blest with parental advice and affection,
Surrounded by mercy and peace from on high;
I still view the chairs of my father and mother,
The seats of their offspring arranged on each hand,
And the richest of books, which excels every other,
The family Bible that lay on the stand.
The Bible, that volume of God's inspiration,
At morning and evening could yield us delight;
The prayers of our father, a sweet invocation,
For mercy by day and for safety by night;
O hymns of thanksgiving with harmonious sweetness,
As warmed by the hearts of the family band,
Hath raised us from earth to that rapturous dwelling,
Described in the Bible that lay on the stand.
Ye scenes of enjoyment, long have we been parted,
My hopes almost gone, and my parents no more;
In sorrow and sadness I live broken hearted,
And wander alone on a far distant shore;
O why should I doubt a dear Savior's protection,
Forgetful of gifts from his bountiful hand;
O let me with patience receive his correction,
And think of the Bible that lay on the stand.
Blest Bible! the light and the guide of the stranger,
With it I seem circled with parents and friends;
Thy kind admonition shall guide me from danger;
On thee my last lingering hope then depends.
Hope weakens to vigor and rises to glory;
I'll hasten and flee to the promised land,
And for refuge lay hold on the hope set before me,
Revealed in the Bible that lay on the stand.
Hail, rising the brightest and best of the morning,
The star which has guided my parents safe home;
The beam of thy glory, my pathway adorning,
Shall scatter the darkness and brighten the gloom.
As the old Eastern sages to worship the stranger
Did hasten with ecstasy to Canaan's land,
I'll bow to adore him, not in a low manger,--
He's seen in the Bible that lay on the stand.
Though age and misfortune press hard on my feelings,
I'll flee to the Bible, and trust in the Lord;
Though darkness should cover his merciful dealings,
My soul is still cheered by his heavenly word.
And now from things earthly my soul is removing
I soon shall glory with heaven's bright bands,
And in rapture of joy be forever adoring
The God of the Bible that lay on the stand.