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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Andrews Norton (1786–1853)

The Dedication of a Church

WHERE ancient forests round us spread,

Where bends the cataract’s ocean-fall,

On the lone mountain’s silent head,

There are thy temples, God of all!

Beneath the dark-blue midnight arch,

Whence myriad suns pour down their rays,

Where planets trace their ceaseless march,

Father! we worship as we gaze.

The tombs thy altars are; for there,

When earthly loves and hopes have fled,

To thee ascends the spirit’s prayer,

Thou God of the immortal dead!

All space is holy; for all space

Is filled by thee: but human thought

Burns clearer in some chosen place,

Where thy own words of love are taught.

Here be they taught; and may we know

That faith thy servants knew of old,

Which onward bears through weal and woe,

Till Death the gates of heaven unfold.

Nor we alone: may those whose brow

Shows yet no trace of human cares,

Hereafter stand where we do now,

And raise to thee still holier prayers.