Oh, thou Eternal and Omnipotent!
How shall thy erring children come to Thee.
And ask for peace? Although the head be bent,
Even as a bulrush, ’tis but a mockery
If the dark, sin-struck heart still cling to earth,
Still makes its idol of the world’s frail clay,
And the pure, glorious soul forget its birth,
Before the glittering bubble of a day
Or if a spark of hatred linger still
Against a brother, sinful though he be,
Oh, Thou in Heaven, how shall we come to Thee
Vain are the words that spring with empty sound,
While the insensate heart betrays no wound,
And we are slaves unto our stubborn will.
But if, oh, Thou eternal God of Love,
If we, perchance, find favour in thy sight,
Guide us, oh, Holy One! from this, our night,
And grant remission from thy courts above.
Low in the dust we mourn the fatal sin
That hath beguiled our souls from the true path;—
Oh, deal not on our heads thy fearful wrath.
Forgive the past, and grant us strength to win
The glorious prize of immortality,
The bliss to dwell forevermore with thee.
We are thy children—let our prayers arise
Like the sweet incense of a sacrifice,
And from this day henceforward let us be
Bound by love’s holiest ties, our God, to Thee.