The day was still, the sun's bright glare
Fell sheer upon the Temple's beauteous wall
Withered by tropic heat, the air
Let, like a bird, its listless pinions fall.
Behold a group, young men and gray,
And women, kneeling; silence holds them all;
They mutely pray!
Where is the faithful Comforter
Whom, parting, Thou didst promise to Thine own?
They trust Thy word which cannot err,
But sad and full of fear the time has grown.
The hour draws nigh; for forty days
And forty wakeful nights toward Thee we've thrown
Our weeping gaze.
Where is He? Hour on hour doth steal,
And minute after minute swells the doubt.
Where doth He bide? And though a seal
Be on the mouth, the soul must yet speak out.
Hot winds blow, in the sandy lake
The panting tiger moans and rolls about,
Parched is the snake.
But hark! a murmur rises now,
Swelling and swelling like a storm's advance,
Yet standing grass-blades do not bow,
And the still palm-tree listens in a trance.
Why seem these men to quake with fear
While each on other casts a wondering glance?
Behold! 'Tis here!
'Tis here, 'tis here! the quivering light
Rests on each head; what floods of ecstasy
Throng in our veins with wondrous might!
The future dawns; the flood-gates open free;
Resistless pours the mighty Word;
Now as a herald's call, now whisperingly,
Its tone is heard.
Oh Light, oh Comforter, but there
Alas! and but to them art Thou revealed
And not to us, not everywhere
Where drooping souls for comfort have appealed!
I yearn for day that never breaks;
Oh shine, before this eye is wholly sealed,
Which weeps and wakes.