Thanksgiving and the voice of melody,
This new year's morning, call me from my sleep;
A new, sweet song is in my heart for Thee,
Thou faithful, tender Shepherd of the sheep;
Thou knowest where to find, and how to keep
The feeble feet that tremble where they stray, —
O'er the dark mountains — through the whelming deep —
Thy everlasting mercy makes its way.
The past is not so dark as once it seemed,
For there Thy footprints, now distinct, I see;
And seed in weakness sown, from death redeemed,
Is springing up, and bearing fruit in Thee.
Not all that hath been, Lord, henceforth shall be;
A low, sweet, cheering strain is in mine ear,
Thanksgiving, and the voice of melody,
Are leading in, from Heaven, a blest new year.
With voice subdued, my listening spirit sings,
As backward on the trodden path I gaze,
While ministering angels fold their wings,
To fill with lowly thoughts my song of praise.
The shadow of the past on future days,
Will make them clear to my instructed sight;
For the heart's knowledge of Thy sacred ways,
Even in its deepest, darkest shades, is light.
I am not stronger — yet I do not fear
The present pain, the conflict yet to be;
Experience is a kind voice in mine ear,
And all my failures bid me lean on Thee.
No future suffering can seem strange to me,
While in the hidden part I feel and know
The wisdom of a child at rest and free
In the tried love, whose judgment keeps him low.
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody!
O, to my tranquil heart how sweet the strain!
Father of mercies, it arose in Thee,
And to Thy bosom it returns again.
There let my grateful song, my soul, remain,
Calm in the risen Savior's tender care;
And welcome any trial, any pain,
That serves to keep thy faithful children there.
Thoughts of Thy love — and O, how great the sum!
Enduring grief, obtaining bliss for me;
The world, life, death, things present, things to come,
All swell a new year's opening melody.
Past, present, future, all things worship Thee;
And I, through all, with trembling joy behold,
While mountains fall, and treacherous visions flee,
Thy wandering sheep returning to the fold.
Hymns and Meditations, 1873