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Prayers for Today: Eliza Scudder

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Eliza Scudder

Eliza Scudder

ELIZA SCUDDER (1864-1896). Unitarian writer of mystical hymns who later became Episcopalian. Author of Hymns and Sonnets.


I cannot find You! Still on restless pinion
My spirit beats the void where You do dwell;
I wander lost through all your vast domain,
And shrink before Your light ineffable.

I cannot find You! E’en when most adoring
Before Your shrine, I bend in lowliest prayer;
Beyond these bounds of thought my thought upsoaring,
From farthest quest comes back: You are not there!

Yet high above the limits of my seeing,
And folded in the inmost heart so far,
So deep, below the deeps of conscious being,
Your splendor shines, and there, O God, You are!

I cannot lose You! Still in You abiding,
The end is clear, how wide so’er I roam
The law that holds the worlds my steps is guiding,
And I must rest at last in You, my home.


In You my powers, my treasures, live,
To You my life must tend;
Giving Yourself, You all do give,
O soul-sufficing Friend.

Why, therefore, should I seek above
The City in the sky?
Since firm in faith, and deep in love,
Its broad foundations lie?

Where pain the soul has purified,
And penitence has shriven,
And truth is crowned and glorified,
There—only there—is heaven.


O Grace Divine, encircling all,
A shoreless, soundless sea,
Wherein at last our souls must fall—
O love of God most free!

When over dizzy heights we go,
One soft hand blinds our eyes,
The other leads us safe and slow—
O love of God most wise!

And, filled and quickened by Your breath,
Our souls are power’d anew
To rise above false fear and death,
O love of God, to You.


O Life within my life, than self more dear,
O veiled Presence infinitely clear,
From all illusive shows of sense I flee,
And find my Center in Your love for me.

Below all depths, Your saving mercy lies;
Through thickest glooms, I see Your light arise;
Above the highest heavens, You are not found
More surely than within this earthly round.

Take part with me against these doubt that rise,
And seek to throne You in far distant skies;
Take part with me against this self that dares
Assume the burden of these ills and cares.

How shall I call You who are always here?
How shall I praise You who are still most dear?
What may I give You save what You have given,
And whom but You have I in earth or heaven?