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Prayers for Today: Samuel Longfellow

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Samuel Longfellow

Samuel Longfellow

SAMUEL LONGFELLOW (1819-1892). The brother of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was the author of poem prayers which are sung across the continent. When a student at Harvard Divinity School, he co-authored a Book of Hymns. Read More…


Light of ages and of nations,
Every race and every time
Has received Your inspirations,
Glimpses of Your truth sublime.
Always spirits in rapt vision
Passed the heavenly veil within,
Always hearts bowed in contrition
Found salvation from their sin.

Reason’s noble aspiration
Truth in growing clearness saw;
Conscience spoke its condemnation,
Or proclaimed the eternal law.
While Your inward revelations
Told Your saints their prayers were heard,
Prophets to the guilty nations
Spoke Your everlasting word.

Lo, that word abides forever;
Revelation is not sealed;
Answering now to our endeavor,
Truth and right are still revealed.
That which came to ancient sages,
Greek, Barbarian, Roman, Jew,
Written in the soul’s deep pages,
Shines today forever new.


Now on land and sea descending,
Brings the night its peace profound;
Let our vesper hymn be blending
With the holy calm around.
Soon as dies the sunset glory,
Stars of heaven shine out above,
Telling still the ancient story,
Their Creator’s changeless love.

Now our wants and burdens leaving
To Your care, who cares for all,
Cease we fearing, cease we grieving;
At Your touch, our burdens fall.
As the darkness deepens o’er us,
Lo, eternal stars arise;
Hope and Faith and Love rise glorious,
Shining in the spirit’s skies.


O Life that still makes all things new,
The blooming earth, our thoughts within;
Our pilgrim feet, wet with Your dew,
In gladness hither turn again.

From hand to hand the greeting flows,
From eye to eye the signals run;
From heart to heart the bright hope glows;
The seekers of the light are one.

One in the freedom of the truth,
One in the joy of paths untrod,
One in the soul’s perennial youth,
One in the larger thought of God.

The freer step, the fuller breath,
The wide horizons grander view,
The sense of life that knows no death,
The life that still makes all things new.