Evening Hymn.

A poem by Susanna Moodie

Sinking now in floods of light,
The sun resigns the world to night;
When a lingering glance he turns,
The glowing west with glory burns,
And the blushing heavens awhile
Long retain his parting smile.
Ere gray evening's sullen eye,
Bids those tints of beauty die;
Ere her tears have washed away
The footsteps of departing day,
Nature from her verdant bowers
Her last long strain of rapture pours;
Shrouded in her misty vest,
She sings a drowsy world to rest,
And tells to man, in thrilling strains,
That the Lord Jehovah reigns!

Lingering twilight dies away,
Night resumes her ancient sway,
Round her sable tresses twining
Countless hosts of stars are shining;
Weaving round the brow of night
A coronet of living light:
O'er the couch of nature bending,
Their beauteous glances downward sending,
A silent watch of glory keeping,
Guard the earth whilst life is sleeping.
Strains unheard by mortal ears,
Echo through the starry spheres;
Other worlds awake to sing,
Glory to the eternal King!
Till azure fields and liquid plains
Echo far, Jehovah reigns!

Creation sleeps--but many a sound
Of melody is floating round--
Where the moon-lit sea is flinging
Its snowy foam and upward springing
To meet the shore advancing nigh,
Pours, in many a broken sigh,
A mournful dirge o'er those who rest
Forgotten in its stormy breast.
Restless ocean, onward rave;
He who trod the boisterous wave,
Shall to life those forms restore,
Thy tides have rolled for ages o'er;
Those sleepers from thy depths shall spring
To meet in air their mighty King,
Whilst shrinking seas repeat their strains,
Lord of all, Jehovah, reigns!

This is night;--her mantle gray
She flings across the brow of day
To hide from mortal ken awhile
The splendour of his kingly smile.
But what magic beauties lie
In her dark and shadowy eye,
When the moon with glory crowned
Checkers o'er the distant ground;
Bathing now in floods of light,
Now retreating from the sight,
As the heavy vapoury cloud
Flings athwart its sable shroud;
Onward as her course is steering,
Now through broken cliffs appearing,
She shows the brightness of her form
And laughs exulting at the storm;
Whilst misty hills and moon-lit plains
Echo far, Jehovah reigns!

Night,--thy end is hastening fast,
Eternal day will dawn at last;
The Sun of righteousness shall rise,
Triumphant through his native skies;
And men redeemed from dust shall spring
To hail the advent of their King;
Till heaven's wide arch repeats their strains,
Christ, our own Immanuel, reigns!

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