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Helen Hunt Jackson

(18 October 1830 – 12 August 1885 / Amherst, Massachusetts)

God's Light-Houses


1 When night falls on the earth, the sea
2 From east to west lies twinkling bright
3 With shining beams from beacons high
4 Which flash afar a friendly light.

5 The sailor's eyes, like eyes in prayer,
6 Turn unto them for guiding ray:
7 If storms obscure their radiance,
8 The great ships helpless grope their way.

9 When night falls on the earth, the sky
10 Looks like a wide, a boundless main.
11 Who knows what voyagers sail there?
12 Who names the ports they seek and gain?

13 Are not the stars like beacons set
14 To guide the argosies that go
15 From universe to universe,
16 Our little world above, below?--

17 On their great errands solemn bent,
18 In their vast journeys unaware
19 Of our small planet's name or place
20 Revolving in the lower air.

21 O thought too vast! O thought too glad!
22 An awe most rapturous it stirs.
23 From world to world God's beacons shine:
24 God means to save his mariners!

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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