Lift Every Voice and Sing
by James Weldon Johnson
Lift ev'ry voice and sing,
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list'ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.
Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast'ning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered.
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might,
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.
I have never been a big fan of poetry. It confuses me, but as I sit in my mid thirties, I think I'm starting to appreciate it more. I like to read it to see what the author has to say. I am beginning to love the craft of words in such a form. I love this last stanza, and although this poem seems to have a patriotic theme to it, I think it's very pertinent to us all. It reminded me of my thoughts on Friday, especially as I read, "God of our silent tears, Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way; Thou who hast by Thy might, Led us into the light, Keep us forever in the path, we pray. Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee, Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we gorget Thee; Shadowed beneath Thy hand, May we forever stand, True to our God."
We are "shadowed beneath Thy hand," and sometimes in despair we forget that He's always there. So, I thank You, Lord for everything. I know You're here, but I'm feeling that stony road on my weary feet. But, I do know that You will bring me through, and there is great joy ahead.