Oh! to raise a mighty shout,
And bid the sleepers all come out!

November 14, 1866

Oh! to raise a mighty shout,
And bid the sleepers all come out!
No dreamer's fancy, fair and high,
Could image forth a grander sky.
And oh, for eyes of swifter power
To follow fast the starry shower!
Oh! for a sweep of vision clear
To grasp at once a hemisphere!

The solemn old chorale of Night,
With fullest chords of awful might,
Re-echoes still in stately march
Throughout the glowing heavenly arch:
But harmonies all new and rare
Are intermingling everywhere,
Fantastic, fitful, fresh, and free;
A sparkling wealth of melody,
A carol of sublimest glee,
Is bursting from the starry chorus,
In dazzling exultation o'er us.

O wondrous sight! so swift, so bright,
Like sudden thrills of strange delight;
As if the stars were all at play,
And kept ecstatic holiday;
As if it were a jubilee
Of glad milleniums full told,
Or universal sympathy
With some new-dawning age of gold.

Flashing from the lordly lion,
Flaming under bright Procyon,
From the farthest east up-ranging,
Past the blessed orb unchanging:
Ursa's brilliance far out-gleaming,
From the very zenith streaming;
Rushing, as in joy delirious,
To the pure white ray of Sirius;
Past Orion's belted splendor,
Past Capelia, clear and tender;
Lightening dusky polar regions,
Brightening pale encircling legions;
Lines of fiery glitter tracing,
Parting, meeting, interlacing;
Paling every constellation
With their radiant revelation!
All we heard of meteor glory
Is a true and sober story;
Who will not for life remember
This night grandeur of November?

"T is over now, the once-seen, dream-like sight!
With gradual hand the clear and breezy dawn
Hath o'er the marvels of the meteor night
A veil of light impenetrable drawn.
And earth is sweeping on through starless space,
Nor may we once look back, the shining field
to trace.

Ere next the glittering stranger-throng we
meet,
How many a star of life will seek the west!
Our century's dying pulse will faintly beat;
The toilers of to-day will be at rest;
And little ones, who now but laugh and play,
Will weary in the heat and burden of the day.

Oh, is there nothing beautiful and glad
But hears a message of decay and change?
So be it!  Though we call it stern and sad,
Viewed by the torch of Love, it is not strange.
'Tis mercy that in Nature's every strain
Deep warning tones peal out, in solemn sweet
refrain.

And have not all created things a voice
For those who listen farther,–whispers low
To bid the children of the light rejoice
In burning hopes they yet but dimly know?
What will it be, all earthly darkness o'er,
To shine as stars of God forever–evermore!

~ Frances Ridley Havergal

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