The Prayer On The Pier

Proudly foats the ocean steamer,--
Throngs aboard and on the pier;
With orders, oaths, and farewells mingled,
What a medley greats the ear!
Off are cast the slack'ning cables;
Eager bells their signals ring!
While there on shore a group is kneeling;
Looking upward, now they sing:

O Thou who holdest,
In the hollow of thy hand,
All this vast ocean,
Unto this far off land;
Guard well, we pray thee,
When angry billows foam--
Guard well our lov'd ones,
And safely bring them home.

What a wondrous transformation!
What a magic change of scene!
The parted throngs transfix'd are gazing
'Cross the gulf that grows between.
Heads are bared, and knees are bended;
Voices all are silent there,
Save but the throbbing of the engine,
And that solemn choral prayer:

Rapidly the distance lenghens;
We have looked our last adieu,--
For each familiar form and feature
Now is fading from our view.
Glimpses yet of 'kerchiefs waving;
Watching still our friends remain;
And, waft by fresh'ning seaward breezes,
Faintly, sweetly comes the strain.

Brave Boys Are They!

Heavily falls the rain;
Wild are the breezes tonight;
But 'neath the roof, the hours as they fly,
Are happy and calm and bright.
Gathering round our fireside,
Tho' it be summer time,
We sit and talk of brothers abroad
Forgetting the midnight chime

Brave boys are they!
Gone at their country's call;
And yet, and yet we cannot forget
That many brave boys must fall.

Under the homestead roof
Nestled so cozy and warm,
While soldiers sleep, with little or naught
To shelter them from the storm.
Resting on grassy couches,
Pillow'd on hillocks damp;
Of martial fare, how little we know,
Till brothers are in the camp.

Thinking no less of them,
Loving our country the more,
We sent them forth to fight for the flag
Their fathers before them bore.
Though the great tear drops started,
This was our parting trust:
God bless you, boys! we'll welcome you home
When rebels are in the dust.

May the bright wings of love
Guard them wherever they roam;
The time has come when brothers must fight,
And sisters must pray at home.
Oh! The dread field of battle!
Soon to be strewn with graves!
If brothers fall, then bury them where
Our banner in triumph waves.

FIRST SPIRIT

Sister spirit, listen!
Methinks I hear a song,
Resounding strangely, sadly,
These peaceful plains along.

SECOND SPIRIT

'Tis like those lays we sang in earthly days,
When we trod our pilgrimage of pain;

FIRST SPIRIT

And earthlike are those values
Which chant the solemn strain:

CHORUS OF MORTALS

Low in the dust before Thee,
Great King of Kings, we fall!
Least of the host which adore Thee,
Do not despise our call!
From the paths of right,
We have wander'd, we have wander'd,
We have all gone astray;
In thy holy sight,
We are guilty, we are guilty --
We have all gone astray;
Yet hear us! hear us! hear us,
And cast us not away.

CHORUS OF ANGELS

Children of Earth! your pray'r is heard in Heaven,
Where Mercy heeds the softest whisper'd moan:
Ransom'd, arise! your sins are all forgiven,
Your Father saith who sitteth on the Throne:
And it is his gracious bidding:
"Bring forth the robes!" --
his heart of love was yearning
To greet repentant sons far away.
Lost once, but found!
We welcome their returning!
There's joy in Heav'n today!
There's joy in Heav'n today!

FIRST SPIRIT

Sister spirit, yonder,
By that celestial gate,
What throngs of weary pilgrims,
In supplication wait.

SECOND SPIRIT

They know and yet how fondly those are met,
Who at last from wandering ways draw nigh --

FIRST SPIRIT

They know not yet how boundless
His love to whom they cry:

CHORUS OF MORTALS

No place claim we with the Holy,
Thronging thy blissfull halls;
Grant us a refuge lowly,
Graciously near these walls.
There on bended knees,
Tho' unworthy, most unworthy,
We will worship and pray;
Oh, hear us! hear us! hear us,
And cast us not away.

CHORUS OF ANGELS

Children of Earth! no more, in sadness bended,
You supplicate a distant Throne of Grace:
Ransom'd, arise! your days of prayer are ended --
You meet your waiting Father face to face:
For he sendeth heralds saying:
"Unfold the gates! -- with gladness come before us,
And to the royal seats to my guests convey."
Angels! begin the neverending chorus!
There's joy in Heav'n today!
There's joy in Heav'n today!

And I heard, and I heard
as it were the voice of a great multitude,
and the voice of many waters,
and the voice of mighty thunderings,
say ---- - ing;

FULL CHORUS

Glory to God! Glory to God!
Glory to God in the highest!

QUARTETTE

He gathers his wanderers home
We welcome the last arrived one!
Oh, bles-sed employ!
our infinite joy (our infinte joy)
Is begun!

FULL CHORUS

Now will we sing to Thee
(to Thee) (to Thee) now will we sing,
Our Father, our Redeemer and our King,
New songs (our sweetest songs)
of praise (our purest praise)
Our choicest, noblest, most triumphant lays,
For ev - (-er, ever) -er
more (For ever more)
For ev - (-er, ever) -er more.
Praise ye the Lord
For ev - (-er, ever) -er more.

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