Despite of sneers like these, O faithful few,
Who dare to hold God's word and witness true;
Whose clear-eyed faith transcends our evil time,
And o'er the present wilderness of crime
Sees the calm future, with its robes of green,
Its fleece-flecked mountains, and soft streams between;
Still keep the path which duty bids ye tread,
Though worldly wisdom shake its cautious head!
No truth from heaven descends upon our sphere,
Without the greeting of the skeptic's sneer;
Denied and mocked at, till its blessings fall
Common as dews and sunshine over all.
Then o'er earth's war field, till the strife shall cease,
Like Morven's harpers, sing your song of peace;
As in old fable rang the Thracian's lyre,
Midst howl of fiends and roar of penal fire,
Till the fierce din to pleasing murmurs fell.
And love subdued the maddened heart of hell.
Lend once again that holy song a tongue,
Which the glad angels of the Advent sung,
Their cradle anthem for the Saviour's birth,
Glory to God, and peace unto the earth!
Through the mad discord send that calming word
Which wind and wave on wild Genesareth heard.
Lift in Christ's name His cross against the sword;
Not vain the vision which the prophets saw,
Skirting with green the fiery waste of war,
Through the hot sand gleam, looming soft and calm
On the sky's rim, the fountain shading palm.
Still lives for earth, which fiends so long have trod,
The great hope resting on the truth of God;
Evil shall cease and violence pass away,
And the tired world breathe free through a long Sabbath day.