The Morning Psalm





"READ us a psalm, my little one."

An untried day had just begun,

And ere the city's rush and roar

Came pressing through the closed home door,

The family was hushed to hear

The youngest child, in accents clear,

Read from the Book. A moment's space—

The morning look died from each face—

The sharp, keen look that goes to meet

Opposing force, nor brooks defeat.

"I will lift up mine eyes," she read,

"Unto the hills." Who was afraid?

What had that psalm of pilgrim life

To do with all our modern strife?

"Behold, he that doth Israel keep

Shall neither slumber, nor. shall sleep.

The Lord thy keeper is, and he

The shade on thy right hand shall be;

The sun by day shall not thee smite,

The moon shall hurt thee not by night."

And the child finished the old psalm,

And those who heard grew strong and calm;

The music of the Hebrew words

Thrilled them like sweet remembered chords,

And brought the heights of yesterday

Down to the lowlands of today,

Seeming to lend to common things

A mystery as of light and wings;

And each one felt in gladsome mood,

And life was beautiful and good:

Then forth, where duty's clarion call

Was heard, the household hastened all,

In crowded haunts of busy men,

To toil with book, or speech, or pen,

To meet the day's demand with skill,

And bear and do, and dare and will,

As they must who are in the strife

And strain and stress of modern life,

And would succeed, but who yet bold

Honor of higher worth than gold.

These are the days of peace, we say,

Yet fiercest fights are fought today;

And those that formed that household band

Had need of strength, that they might stand

In firmness and unruffled calm;

But sweetly did their morning psalm,

Amid the clamor loud and long,

Like echo of a once-loved song,

Rise to their hearts and make them strong.

At close of day they met again,

And each had known some touch of pain,

Some disappointment, loss, or care,

Some place of stumbling, or some snare.

"And yet the psalm is true," said they,

"The Lord preserveth us alway;

His own were safe in days of yore,

And from this time and evermore,

If skies be bright or skies be dim,

He keepeth all who trust in him."




Marianne Farningham.