Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

The Sunday Rail: Ii

A Scottish Summer Sabbath Morning

The still repose, the holy calm
Of this blest morn, a sacred balm
Sheds on my world-worn weary heart;
Its quiet beatitudes impart
A peace benign, a yearning love,
A wish for perfect peace above.
The liquid music of the rill;
The crow of muircock on the hill;
The chirping, twittering, warbling gush
Of feathered throats in brake and bush;
And high o'erhead, on quivering wings,
The lark her thrilling anthem sings,
These only are the sounds I hear;
But ah! I feel that God is near-
Near to the soul that from her wings
Shakes off the soil of earthly things
That mar her flight and chill her life
Through six days' care, and toil, and strife.
Thank God, to us one day in seven,
The blessed Sabbath rest is given-
Given that the soul may prune her wing,
And to the Sabbath altar bring;
And on its sacred circle lay
The hallowed offerings of the day,-
Thoughts, winged with faith, that to the skies
In prayer and meditation rise.
To praise Thy name and hear Thy Word,
Within Thy sacred temple, Lord,
Our love and duty we unite,
And call the Sabbath a delight.
Not such the Sunday tourist feels
When on the steam-car's rushing wheels,
In quest of health and recreation-
We add, of pleasure and flirtation-
He flies along the sounding line
And thinks the day indeed divine;
And says, 'From bigot trammels free,
The Sunday holiday for me!'
Oh, Scottish workmen! Oh, my brothers!
I plead with you above all others:
Why lose your prestige?-why backslide
From fathers, once their country's pride,
From whom you boast you are descended?
Ah, they could ne'er have apprehended
That ye, their sons by blood and name,
Should thus dishonour-shame! oh, shame!-
The Hallowed Day, ordained most holy,
By idle pleasure, sin and folly.
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