Hymn of the Wiltshire Laborers
Today is the 200th anniversary of Dickens’ birth…
- O GOD! who by Thy prophet’s hand
- Didst smite the rocky brake,
- Whence water came, at Thy command,
- Thy people’s thirst to slake;
- Strike, now, upon this granite wall,
- Stern, obdurate, and high;
- And let some drops of pity fall
- For us who starve and die!
- The God who took a little child
- And set him in the midst,
- And promised him His mercy mild,
- As, by Thy Son, Thou didst:
- Look down upon our children dear,
- So gaunt, so cold, so spare,
- And let their images appear
- Where lords and gentry are!
- O God! teach them to feel how we,
- When our poor infants droop,
- Are weakened in our trust in Thee,
- And how our spirits stoop;
- For, in Thy rest, so bright and fair,
- All tears and sorrows sleep:
- And their young looks, so full of care,
- Would make Thine angels weep!
- The God who with His finger drew
- The judgment coming on,
- Write, for these men, what must ensue,
- Ere many years be gone!
- O God! whose bow is in the sky,
- Let them not brave and dare,
- Until they look (too late) on high,
- And see an Arrow there!
- O God, remind them! In the bread
- They break upon the knee,
- These sacred words may yet be read,
- “In memory of Me!”
- O God! remind them of His sweet
- Compassion for the poor,
- And how He gave them Bread to eat,
- And went from door to door!