O God! Thy children, gathered here,
Thy blessing now we wait;
Thy servant, girded for his work,
Stands at the temple’s gate.
A holy purpose in his heart
Has deepened calm and still;
Now from his childhood’s Nazareth
He comes, to do Thy will.
O Father! keep his soul alive
To every hope of good;
And may his life of love proclaim
Man’s truest brotherhood!
O Father! keep his spirit quick
To every form of wrong;
And in the ear of sin and self
May his rebuke be strong!
And as he doth Christ’s footsteps press,
If e’er his faith grow dim,
Then, in the dreary wilderness,
Thine angels strengthen him!
And give him in Thy holy work
Patience to wait Thy time,
And, toiling still with man, to breathe
The soul’s serener clime.
O grant him many hearts to lead
Into Thy perfect rest;
Bless Thou him, Father, and his flock:
Bless! and they shall be blest!