O Hadst Thou Known, In This Thy Day

Full Text

1 "O hadst thou known, in this day,
The things belonging to thy peace!"
He spake, and wept. Adown the way
The rude procession’s ranks increase:
With shout and song, as on He rode,
Children and men their garments strowed.

2 And see, that host His pathway lines
With boughs, as in triumphal hour:
Some poor ephemeral splendor shines,
Some hint of sublunary power,
For Him who naught of grandeur needs
From shouting hosts or prancing steeds.

3 Was this a time for mist of tears,
When sunshine brightened o’er His way,
When pæn-praises filled His ears,
And Salem seemed at last to pay
Her homage due, erewhile refused—
Why wept He as He paused and mused?

4 What were a people’s shouts to Him?
Earth’s proudest pomp, her kingliest crown?
He saw the light of Israel dim,
Twice dead the blossom of renown;
And hollow rites for service paid
To Him who claims the heart He made.

5 And thus, if fancy dare explore
The thoughts that stirred His soul to weep,
Sad voices, as from some far off shore
Rolls the low murmur of the deep,
Came o’er Him—all the future vast
Blent with long echoes of the past.

6 "Bright as a star in heaven’s own blue,
Light of the lands, I saw thee shine;
Kings from afar thy brightness knew,
The gifts of Sheba decked thy shrine:
Thou were a royal stone and gem
Set on My heart, Jerusalem!

7 "I see thee as thou sat’st of yore,
A queen in beauty; but thy gold
Is tarnished; lovers come no more
To seek thee; from thy hand hath rolled
Thy scepter, laid in dust; and now
The conqueror’s brand is on thy brow.

8 "But he who dares thy doom portray,
Self-doomed, thy sacrifice expires;
Build, as of old, their tombs ye slay;
Fill up the measure of your sires;
Nor deem thy blackest crime shall stem
Earth’s tide of woes, Jerusalem!

9 "But woe to her who scorns her Lord,
The land that crucifies her king!
I see the alien armies poured
Around her—hear the anguish ring!
Your house lies desolate—ye roam
A byword, yearning for your home.

10 "I go where sits in glory crowned
Each herald of the Lord ye slew;
And Gentile tongues His praise shall sound
In seats of joy prepared for you:
Thy name, thy place, is given to them,
My bride, My new Jerusalem!"

11 But hark! the thrilling shout, more nigh,
Peals on the air with joyous glee;
They chant His mighty works, and cry,
"This is the Christ of Galilee!"
In lowliest state He moves along,
And Salem’s gate receives the throng.


Source: The Cyber Hymnal #10807

Author: Charles L. Ford

Ford, Charles Lawrence, B.A., son of Mr. W. Ford, artist, of Bath, was born at Bath in 1830. Mr. Ford is a graduate of the London University, and is engaged in scholastic work. In 1862 he contributed several poetical pieces to Canon Baynes's Lyra Anglicana, in 1865 to his English Lyrics, and also to the Illustrated Book of Sacred Poetry, n.d. Mr. Ford's hymns and poems were collected and published as Lyra Christi, 1874. From these works the following have come into common use:— 1. Father, for Thy kindest word. (1862.) Strength in Weakness. 2. Lord, from this time we cry to Thee. Christ the Guide of Youth. 3. O Thou, by Whom the balm is borne. In Affliction. 4. This is my Body which is given for you. Holy Communion.… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O hadst thou known, in this day
Title: O Hadst Thou Known, In This Thy Day
Author: Charles L. Ford
Meter: 8.8.8.8.8.8
Source: Lyra Christi by Charles L. Ford (London: Houlston and Sons, 1874)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

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