The Cradle On The Nile

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1 Just a baby in a cradle
In the waters on the Nile,
Then a leader moves a nation,
Like an army, rank and file.
This is how God works His wonders,
Without trumpet or display,
And we know not what is rocking
In the cradle of today.

2 Who will solve the nation’s problems,
Level mountains, tame the seas,
Crystallize in splendid action
Visions of the centuries!
Who will lead the world tomorrow
In its upward, onward way?
Hush! we know not what is rocking
In the cradle of today.

3 Lips are molding now in silence
The illuminating word—
Hearts are beating splendid measures
That we never yet have heard.
Comes a face with light upon it—
God, behind a face of clay—
Oh, we know not what is rocking
In the cradle of today.

4 On some Nile, amidst the rushes,
Dreaming, hidden from our view,
There may be a master workman
Who shall make this old world new.
Scorn the fear of craven spirits,
Heed no word the doubters say,
For they know not what is rocking
In the cradle of today.

5 When the night is at its deepest,
And the darkness Heaven fills,
There is morning somewhere molding,
Back behind the eastern hills.
Never yet has lived a pharaoh
But some Moses broke his sway,
And we know not what is rocking
In the cradle of today.

6 Earth is full of strange surprises,
In her near and distant isles,
For the hand of God is moving,
Through the rushes, on the Niles,
Working out new movements, slowly,
As the older forms decay,
And we know not what is rocking
In the cradle of today.

7 God, a boy, one woman moving
In a path to her unknown,
May emancipate a nation,
And strike down an ancient throne,
Purposes divine are shaping,
Without haste, without delay,
And we know not what is rocking
In the cradle of today.

8 See, a princess from the rushes,
Takes one of an alien race,
Clothes him with the royal purple,
Sets him in a lofty place.
He will bide his time in silence,
Wait to hear what God will say—
Oh, we know not what is rocking
In the cradle of today.

9 To the future step right boldly,
Hail with hope the coming years,
There is little room for doubting,
There is little cause for tears;
With the day’s need comes the needed,
At the need hour, on its way,
For we know not is rocking
In the cradle of today.


Source: The Cyber Hymnal #10919

Author: Alfred J. Hough

Born: Circa November 1848, Surrey, England. Hough, a minister, was living with his family in Ludlow, Vermont, by 1880, and in Hartford, Vermont, in 1900. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1890. His works include: Solomon’s Song Re-Sung Odd Fellowship in Song: Five Famous Poems, 1888 Egyptian Melodies, and Other Poems (Boston, Massachusetts: The Gorham Press, 1911) --www.hymntime.com/tch  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Just a baby in a cradle
Title: The Cradle On The Nile
Author: Alfred J. Hough
Meter: 8.7.8.7 D
Source: Egyptian Melodies, and Other Poems (Boston: The Gorham Press, 1911)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

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The Cyber Hymnal #10919
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