Towards the Sun Rising (poetry)
by G.J. Stewart
Lord, when wilt Thou to this dark world return?
When, when, the reign of sin and sorrow close?
When wipe away the tears of all who mourn?
And bring in righteousness and God’s repose.
True, Nature’s sun doth constant rise and set,
And heav’nly showers fall, and earth’s fruits grow,
Thy tender mercies to this world; and yet,
Alas! on every hand is seen sin’s woe.
The sob of orphan child, the widow’s moan,
And desolation’s cruel cry are heard:
Hid anguish of the heart too strong to groan
The secret pain remorseless death has stirred.
Ah! Lord our failing hearts would oft repine,
Our way should lie through tangled growth and thorns,
Yet ’tis the rugged path that doth refine
Our faith, till it, like purest gold, adorns.
Blest Lord, Thou hast Thyself earth’s pathway trod,
Tasted the bitterness this world can give,
That Thou might’st sympathise with those whom God
Has called from this sad world for Him to live.
And can Thine own in face of Satan’s rage,
In spite of sin’s hard grip and death’s stern powers;
Can they who trust in Thee in every age
Be kept in peace and rest, while darkness lowers?
Ah, yes! if hearts are lift on high to Thee,
A world to them unfolds beyond sin’s line
Where Thou dost reign supreme, whence sorrows see,
And all the scene is fill’d with love divine.
Then lift, O Lord, each sadden’d heart above,
And show the faltering one that scene so fair.
So make a place in hearts for Thy deep love
To fill, as Thou dost fill all that bright sphere.
Thus stayed, Thy people find fresh strength to walk
Their path; and conscious of Thy presence near
To comfort, guide their feet, help them to talk
Of Thy support—they sadder hearts can cheer.
But, Lord, so long as absent still Thou art,
Thy people must beseech of Thee to come.
Then come as Morning Star, and give them part
With Thee above in that bright, heavenly home.
And when this world’s just punishment is past,
And Satan’s power is bound with heavy chain,
As Sun of Righteousness Thou’lt reign at last
In Life and Peace—and earth her Sabbath gain.
Words of Grace and Encouragement 1908