Scripture Verse

The kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21


Mary A. Lathbury (1841–1913)

Words: Ma­ry A. Lath­bu­ry, 1903. Lathbury wrote these words as a po­em to com­me­mo­rate the 25th an­ni­ver­sa­ry of the Chau­tau­qua Li­ter­ary and Sci­en­ti­fic Cir­cle. Ref­er­enc­es to the out­doors re­flect the Cir­cle’s birth in the woods near Lake Chau­tau­qua, New York.

Music: Ger­ald Lud­wig Spohr, Das Hei­land’s Letz­te Stun­de 1834 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Ludwig Spohr (1784–1859)


O won­drous world with­in a world
How beau­ti­ful thou art!
What high de­sire, what ho­ly fire
Lie glow­ing at thy heart!
What beau­ty, like the si­lent stars,
Hangs ev­er o’er thy brow;
What youth, as old as Pa­ra­dise,
Springs death­less in thee now!

Where did we learn to love thy face—
The mu­sic of thy name?
A leafy door be­side the shore
Was op­ened—and we came.
Our lost ideals, grown more fair,
Thronged back through all thy ways;
Another life—a real life—
Filled all our emp­ty days.

The world smiled, say­ing, These are they
Who live among the trees;
Whose thoughts rise high­er than the stars
And soar beyond the trees.
They do not weigh their wealth with gold
Or mea­sure it with fame;
They speak a lang­uage all their own
They bear a hid­den name.

So weighs the world its own true life,
Nor knows it as its own,
While, life of life, above all strife
God waits up­on His throne;
He waits until the world of things
And the world of thoughts shall be
Blent in that per­fect thing we call
The new hu­ma­ni­ty.

What joy is thine, O world with­in,
To bear thy ban­ners out,
And there to claim in God’s dear name
The last and least re­doubt!
The earth is His—the heav’ns are His,
He stooped to make them one
When that great mys­te­ry was wrought
That gave us God the Son.

The world with­out is blind to thee,
Thou world of the with­in,
Yet through the years thy saints and seers
Its ora­cles have been.
Still trust them with thy pro­phe­cies;
Still through them breathe thy breath;
Till hon­or blos­soms from the dust
And life spring out of death.