"The night is far spent, the day is at hand."--ROMANS xiii. 12.
Watchmen, along the wards of Time,
Now tell us of the night.
Hushed is the midnight's mournful chime,
We wait the morning light,
The dawning of a finite morn,
The birthday of a year!
One more from life's brief span is shorn,
The infinite draws near.
Watchman, within Time's lighthouse tower,
The stars give unto thee
No sign of God's mysterious power
Hid in the years to be.
As well in boundless steeps of space
Or soundless deeps below,
To seek the whirlwinds' hiding-place
Or fountains of the snow.
Beneath the glorious blaze of Mars,
How faint the glow-worm's gleam!
How pale beneath a shower of stars
Ten thousand fire-flies seem!
O boastful watcher, fainter far
Thy knowledge in His sight
To whom our sun is but a star,
Our stars but dots of light.
Sailor, beneath life's stormy sky,
Lost years have left for thee
Treasures amid the wrecks that lie
In Time's deep silent sea;
Where hide false hearts and faithful ones--
Love, hate, joy, anguish--all,
Like gold and gems and skeletons,
O'er which the salt waves crawl.
Wand'rer along life's desert waste,
The palms rise far away
O'er living fountains--wouldst thou taste?
Be patient, labor, pray,--
Toil on, though 'neath life's burden bent,
Scorched by sin's burnins sand.
Faint not--"the night is wellnigh spent,"
Infinite "day at hand."
Soldier, upon Time's battle-ground
Tarry not 'mid the strife,
Where spoils of sin too oft have crowned
The victories of life;
Where worshippers of Mammon meet
Be thou no blind adorer;
Press on, and gild thy banner sheet
With "ORA ET LABORA."
Who bears unscathed that motto bright
Through strife of woe or sin,
Through the dark hours till morning light,
Life's victory shall win;
Who bears it safe from stain or rent
'Mid storms and wrecks shall stand
Triumphant through "the night far spent,
The eternal day at hand!"