Henry Timrod

Hymn Sung at an Anniversary of the Asylum of Orphans at Charleston

We scarce, O God! could lisp thy name,
 When those who loved us passed away,
And left us but thy love to claim,
 With but an infant's strength to pray.

Thou gav'st that Refuge and that Shrine,
 At which we learn to know thy ways;
Father! the fatherless are thine!
 Thou wilt not spurn the orphan's praise.

Yet hear a single cry of pain!
 Lord! whilst we dream in quiet beds,
The summer sun and winter rain
 Beat still on many homeless heads.

And o'er this weary earth, we know,
 Young outcasts roam the waste and wave;
And little hands are clasped in woe
 Above some tender mother's grave.

Ye winds! keep every storm aloof,
 And kiss away the tears they weep!
Ye skies, that make their only roof,
 Look gently on their houseless sleep!

And thou, O Friend and Father! find
 A home to shield their helpless youth!
Dear hearts to love—sweet ties to bind—
 And guide and guard them in the truth!

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