by OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
The waves unbuild the wasting shore,
Where mountains towered, the billows sweep,
Yet still their borrowed spoils restore
And raise new empires from the deep.
So, while the floods of thought lay waste
The old domain of chartered creeds,
Its Heaven-appointed tide will haste
To shape new homes for human needs.
Be ours to mark with hearts unchilled
The change an outworn age deplores;
The legend sinks, but faith shall build
A fairer throne on new-found shores.
The star shall glow in Western skies
That shone o'er Bethlehem's hallowed shrine,
And once again the temple rise
That crowned the rock of Palestine.
Not when the wondering shepherds bowed
Did angels sing their latest song,
Nor yet to Israel's kneeling crowd
Did Heaven's once sacred dome belong.
Let priest and prophet have their dues,
The Levite counts but half a man
Whose proud salvation of the Jews
Shuts out the Good Samaritan !
Though scattered far the flock may stray,
His own the Shepherd still shall claim,
The saints who never learned to pray,
The friends who never spoke his name.
Dear Master, while we hear Thy voice
That says, "The truth shall make you free,"
Thy servants still, by loving choice,
Oh, keep us faithful unto Thee !