The Lot of Thousands

Poems by Joanna Baillie

WHEN hope lies dead within the heart,
By secret sorrow long conceal'd,
We shrink lest looks or words impart
What may not be reveal'd.

'Tis hard to smile when one could weep,
To speak when one would silent be;
To wake when one would wish to sleep,
And wake to agony.

Yet such the lot for thousands cast,
Who wander in this world of care,
And bend beneath the bitter blast,
To save them from despair.

But nature waits her sons to greet,
Where disappointment cannot come;
And time leads with unerring feet,
The weary wanderer home.

OH ! Pow'r Supreme, that fill'st the whole
Of wide creation's boundless space!
The Life of life, the Soul of soul,
Where shall we find thy dwelling-place?

Is it in ether's boundless plains,
Where radiant suns unnumber'd rise,
To warm their planetary trains,
And cheer with light far-distant skies?

Above, below, and all around,
Existence rises at thy call,
And, wrapt in mystery profound,
Thy works proclaim thee, Lord of all.

On this small speck, our parent earth,
How bounteously thy gifts are spread!
Rich blessings here receive their birth
From Intellect by Science led.

Exploring land, and air, and sea,
Bringing far-distant objects nigh;
And in thy works adoring thee,
Beneath thy own all-seeing eye.

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