Scripture Verse

Ye know not what shall be on the morrow. James 4:14

Introduction

portrait
John G. Whittier
(1807–1892)

Words: John G. Whit­ti­er, from his poem The Eter­nal Good­ness, 1867.

Music: Cool­ing Alon­zo J. Ab­bey, 1858 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Ab­bey (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

Lyrics

I know not what the future hath
Of marvel or surprise,
Assured alone that life and death
God’s mercy underlies.

And if my heart and flesh are weak
To bear an untried pain,
The bruisèd reed He will not break,
But strengthen and sustain.

No offering of my own I have,
Nor works my faith to prove;
I can but give the gifts He gave,
And plead His love for love.

And so beside the silent sea
I wait the muffled oar;
No harm from Him can come to me
On ocean or on shore.

I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.