Hymn XV.


When up to nightly skies we gaze,1
Where stars pursue their endless ways,2
We think we see from earth’s low clod3
The wide and shining home of God.4


But could we rise to moon or sun,5
Or path where planets duly run,6
Still heaven would spread above us far,7
And earth remote would seem a star.8


’Tis vain to dream those tracts of space,9
With all their worlds approach his face :10
One glory fills each wheeling ball11
One love has shaped and moved them all.12


This earth, with all its dust and tears,13
Is his no less than yonder spheres ;14
And rain-drops weak, and grains of sand,15
Are stamp’d by his immediate hand.16


The rock, the wave, the little flower,17
All fed by streams of living power18
That spring from one Almighty will,19
Whate’er his thought conceives, fulfil.20


And is this all that man can claim ?21
Is this our longing’s final aim ?22
To be like all things round—no more23
Than pebbles cast on Time’s grey shore ?24


Can man, no more than beast, aspire25
To know his being’s awful Sire ?26
And, born and lost on Nature’s breast,27
No blessing seek but there to rest ?28


Not this our doom, thou God benign !29
Whose rays on us unclouded shine :30
Thy breath sustains yon fiery dome ;31
But Man is most thy favour’d home.32


We view those halls of painted air,33
And own thy presence makes them fair ;34
But dearer still to thee, O Lord !35
Is he whose thoughts to thine accord.36