John Critchley Prince

(1808-1866)

Harvest Hymn


The nations heave with throes of strife,
And men look on with wondering eyes,
Mourn the dread waste of human life,
Yet raise their angry battle-cries.
While poets cheer the valiant throng
With chants of hope or victory,
Be mine a pure thanksgiving song,—
Lord of the harvest, praise to Thee!

Thy tented fields how different they,
How lovely, soothing, and serene!
Where the ripe sheaves, in long array,
Smile in the soft autumnal sheen;
And where no ruder sounds are heard
Than the blithe reaper's voice of glee,
Or vagrant breeze, or gladsome bird,—
Lord of the harvest, praise to Thee!

Whoever fails, Thou dost not fail;
Whoever sleeps, Thou dost not sleep;
With fattening shower, and fostering gale,
Thy mercy brings the time to reap:
Man marks each season and its sign,
And sows the seed and plants the tree,
But form, growth, fulness, all are Thine,—
Lord of the harvest, praise to Thee!

O God! it is a pleasant thing
To see the precious grain expand,
And the broad hands of Plenty fling
Her golden largess o'er the land;
To see the fruitage swell and glow,
And bow with wealth the parent tree;
To see the purple vintage flow,—
Lord of abundance, praise to Thee!

Praise for the glorious harvest days,
And all the blessings that we share;
For the unbounded sunlight praise,
And for the free and vital air;
Praise for the faith that looks above;
The hope of immortality;
For life, health, virtue, truth and love,
Maker and Giver, praise to Thee!

Submitted: Thursday, March 11, 2010

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