Martha Lavinia Hoffman
Ye brilliant orbs that deck the sky,
Shrouded in deepest mystery,
To thee my song I sing!
I long to know of what thou art,
Of this great universe a part,
I feel thy glory in my heart
While to the earth I cling!
I long to traverse thy bright spheres,
To stand above the flight of years
Remembering earth's dark sod;
The terrors of the world defy
And tread the palace of the sky,
Singing of immortality,
And tell the world of God!
How wondrous is thy silent speech!
Unto my soul thy knowledge teach
And tell me more of One,
Who formed thy glittering, gilded gems,
Who framed thy starry diadems,
Who all the golden glory bends
Of the resplendent sun!
What numerous questions to me rise
Whene'er I view the dazzling skies
Or muse on heaven's dome!
O distant worlds, so far, so near,
What beings breathe thy upper air
And live within thine atmosphere,
And make thy realms their homes!
ell me thou glittering evening star,
Tinting the western sky afar,
On heaven's blue curtain traced;
Hast thou green fields and nodding flowers,
Rivers and hills and city towers?
Art thou a living world like ours
Or but a barren waste?
Mysterious questions, answered not,
With deepest meaning ever fraught,
Flooding this life below,
When rolling years no more shall be,
When man shall find his destiny,
When time unveils eternity;
Perhaps, we then shall know.
The gracious Ruler over all
Who formed this changing earthly ball
And spake a world from naught,
All of thy gems so rich and rare,
All of thy glories, dazzling fair,
With wondrous skill and loving care,
With His own hand hath wrought.
Earth, all thy myriad voices raise
To sing of all God's wondrous ways
'Till heaven's high arches ring.
Lo, from the clouds Thy voice is heard,
The mountains tremble at Thy word,
The heavens declare Thy glory, Lord;
The stars Thy praises sing!