Hymn For The House Of Worship At Georgetown, Erected In Memory Of A Mother

A poem by John Greenleaf Whittier

Thou dwellest not, O Lord of all
In temples which thy children raise;
Our work to thine is mean and small,
And brief to thy eternal days.

Forgive the weakness and the pride,
If marred thereby our gift may be,
For love, at least, has sanctified
The altar that we rear to thee.

The heart and not the hand has wrought
From sunken base to tower above
The image of a tender thought,
The memory of a deathless love!

And though should never sound of speech
Or organ echo from its wall,
Its stones would pious lessons teach,
Its shade in benedictions fall.

Here should the dove of peace be found,
And blessings and not curses given;
Nor strife profane, nor hatred wound,
The mingled loves of earth and heaven.

Thou, who didst soothe with dying breath
The dear one watching by Thy cross,
Forgetful of the pains of death
In sorrow for her mighty loss,

In memory of that tender claim,
O Mother-born, the offering take,
And make it worthy of Thy name,
And bless it for a mother's sake

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