Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Rock Of Ages"

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,"
Thoughtlessly the maiden sung;
Fell the words unconsciously
From her girlish, gleeful tongue.
Sung as little children sing,
Sung as sing the birds in June;
Fell the words like bright leaves down
On the current of the tune:
"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee!"

"Let me hide myself in thee,"
Felt her soul no need to hide-
Sweet the song as song could be,
And she had no thought beside.
All the words unheedingly
Fell from lips untouched by care;
Dreaming not that each might be
On some other lips a prayer.
"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee!"

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me-"
'Twas a woman sung them now
Pleadingly and prayerfully;
Every word her heart did know.
Rose the song as storm-tossed bird
Beats with weary wing the air-
Ev'ry note with sorrow stirred,
Every syllable a prayer-
"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee!"

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me-"
-Lips grown aged sung the hymn
Trustfully and tenderly-
Voice grown weak and eyes grown dim-
"Let me hide myself in thee,"
Trembling though the words and low,
Ran the sweet strain peacefully,
Like a river in its flow;
Sung as only they can sing
Who life's thorny paths have pressed;
Sung as only they can sing
Who behold the promised rest:
"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee!"

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,"
Sung above a coffin-lid;
Underneath all restfully,
All life's cares and sorrows hid;
Nevermore, O storm-tossed soul,
Nevermore from wind or tide,
Nevermore from billows' roll
Wilt thou need thyself to hide.
Could the sightless sunken eyes
Closed beneath the soft gray hair,
Could the mute and stiffened lips
Lift again in pleading prayer,
Still, aye still, the prayer would be:
"Let me hide myself in thee!"

Ella Maud Smith Moore

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