Lamp of our feet! whereby we trace
Our path, when wont to stray;
Stream from the fount of heav'nly grace!
Brook by the traveler’s way!
Bread of our souls! whereon we feed;
True manna from on high!
Our guide, and chart wherein we read
Of realms beyond the sky.
Pillar of fire—through watches dark!
Or radiant cloud by day!
When waves would break our tossing bark—
Our anchor and our stay!
Pole-star on life's tempestuous deep!
Beacon! when doubts surround;
Compass! by which our course we keep;
Our deep sea-lead, to sound!
Riches in poverty! our aid
In every needful hour!
Unshaken rock! the pilgrim's shade;
The soldier’s fortress tower.
Our shield and buckler in the fight!
Victory's triumphant palm!
Comfort in grief! in weakness, might!
In sickness, Gilead’s balm.
Childhood’s preceptor! manhood's trust!
Old age's firm ally!
Our hope—when we go down to dust,
Pure oracles of truth divine!
Unlike each fabled dream
Given forth from Delphos' mystic shrine
Or groves of Academe!
Word of the ever-living God!
Will of His glorious Son!
Without Thee, how could earth be trod?
Or Heaven itself be won?
Yet to unfold thy hidden worth,
Thy mysteries to reveal,
That Spirit which first gave thee forth,
Thy volume must unseal!
And we, if we aright would learn
The wisdom it imparts,
Must to its heavenly teaching turn
With simple, child-like hearts!
—by Bernard Barton (1784–1849)
For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. Psalm 138:2b