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Posts Tagged ‘mercy’

As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surpris’d I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty Babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorched with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
“Alas!” quoth he, “but newly born, in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.”
With this he vanish’d out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.

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for the fair at Chicago – 1865

O God! in danger’s darkest hour,
In battle’s deadliest field,
Thy name has been our Nation’s tower,
Thy truth her help and shield.

Our lips should fill the air with praise,
Nor pay the debt we owe,
So high above the songs we raise
The floods of mercy flow.

Yet Thou will hear the prayer we speak,
The song of praise we sing, –
Thy children, who thine altar seek
Their grateful gifts to bring.

Thine altar is the sufferer’s bed,
The home of woe and pain,
The soldier’s turfy pillow, red
With battle’s crimson rain.

No smoke of burning stains the air,
No incense-clouds arise;
Thy peaceful servants, Lord, prepare
A bloodless sacrifice.

Lo! for our wounded brothers’ need,
We bear the wine and oil;
For us they faint, for us they bleed,
For them our gracious toil!

O Father, bless the gifts we bring!
Cause Thou thy face to shine,
Till every nation owns her King,
And all the earth is thine.

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