1 The breaking waves dash’d high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
Their giant branches toss’d;
And the heavy night hung dark
The hills and waters o’er,
When a band of exiles moor’d their bark
On the wild New England shore.
2 Not as the conq’ror comes
They, the true-hearted, came;
Not with the roll of stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame;
Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear;
They shook the depths of the desert gloom
With their hymns of lofty cheer.
3 Amidst the storm they sang,
And the stars heard, and the sea!
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free.
The ocean eagle soared
From his nest by the white waves’ foam,
And the rocking pines of the forest roar’d,—
This was their welcome home!
4 What sought they thus afar?
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas? the spoils of war?—
They sought a faith’s pure shrine!
Aye, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod!
They’ve left unstain’d what there they found—
Freedom to worship God.
Source: Gospel Praise Book.: a collection of choice gems of sacred song suitable for church service, gospel praise meetings, and family devotions. (Complete ed.) #277