O LIFE, that breathest in all sweet things
That bud and bloom upon the earth,
That fillest the sky with songs and wings,
That walkest the world through human birth;
O Life, that lightest in every man
A spark of Thine own being's flame,
And wilt that spark to glory fan,
Our listening souls would hear Thy name.
Thou art the Eternal Christ of God,
The Life unending, unbegun;
The Deity brightening through the clod,
The presence of the Invisible One.
Though dear traditions wrap Thee round
In Bethlehem and in Nazareth,
With every soul Thy home is found,
On every shore of life and death.
Before the pyramids were built,
Before the time of Abraham,
To the world's first-born, blind with guilt,
Thou camest, the enlightening word, 'I AM.'
To free from sin's entangling mesh
Our wandering race, Thy brethren dear,
Thou veiledst Thyself in mortal flesh;
A man with men Thou didst appear.
The voice that unto poet and sage
Whispered of God at hand, unknown,
Hath written itself on history's page,
Speaks in a language like our own:
Speaks to us now, from day to day,
Wafts heavenly peace through earthly care;
Inspires our faint humanity
Thy crown to seek, Thy cross to bear.
Thy voice is sweet in brook and bird,
Anti boughs that over home-roofs bend;
And dear in every kindly word,
Borne from the lip of friend to friend.
Thy smile is in the wayside flower,
That opens like a child's blue eye,
Not less than in the sunset hour,
When breathless wonder thrills the sky.
Thou livest, most human, most Divine —
To no veiled Fate or Force we bow:
Far off God's blinding splendors shine;
His near, deep tenderness art Thou!
His heart, whose truth can never fall,
However ours may change or stray;
Before whose love all friendships pale,
Our trust when worlds and suns decay.
For love remains, whatever dies;
The love that breathed us into bloom,
And set us in the eternities,
To fill their void with life's perfume.
Revealer of our being's design,
Through Thee, because of Thee, we are:
Sacred our life, silence it is Thine;
No hopeless blight its growth shall mar.
Into the awful vague of death
We follow, where thou leadest the way;
Feel, through its damps. Thy living breath;
See Thee flood all its dark with day.
We follow, and we find our own,
Whom the grave covered from our sight;
We know them, even as we are known,
Clothed on with heaven's transfiguring light.
O Love, O Friend, our toil is sweet,
Our burden light, for Thou art near;
And Nature's harmonies repeat
Thy Name, to every creature dear.
O Love, O Friend, Thy name is God!
Lord of the unseen and the known!
Thy thoughts the universe have trod,
With worlds like sands of silver strown.
The lonely spheres cry out to Thee
To multiply Thy life in them:
Souls worthier than the stars must be
To sparkle in Thy diadem.
There are who hold Thy truth, and yet
Thyself disown, its origin;
Thee as a stranger they have met,
Nor recognized the Guest within;
And some who seem to hear are deaf.
Lip-service mocks thy sacrifice:
Unlovingness is unbelief;
Untruthful lives are heresies.
But where men aim at noblest things,
Where beats a pure and generous heart,
Where thought leads up on heavenward wings,
There, Saviour of the world, Thou art!
One God to all eternity,
Thou livest, the Only and the Same;
Yet ever to humanity
Art dearest by Thy human name.
Weary of system and of plan,
Life of our life, we turn to Thee;
Divine Ideal of struggling man,
Help us in man Thy face to see!
Lead us through these bewildering ways
Of pain and beauty Thou hast trod!
Thou art our creed, our prayer, our praise,
O Christ, Thou human Heart of God!
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem