The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land. Song of Solomon 2:12
Words: Reginald Heber (1783–1826). Published posthumously in Hymns Written and Adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year (London: J. Murray, 1827), pages 87–88.
When spring unlocks the flowers
To paint the laughing soil;
When summer’s balmy showers
Refresh the mower’s toil;
When winter binds in frosty chains
The fallow and the flood;
In God the earth rejoiceth still
And owns his maker good.
The birds that wake the morning
And those that love the shade;
The winds that sweep the mountain
Or lull the drowsy glade;
The sun that from his amber bower
Rejoiceth on his way,
The moon and stars their master’s name
In silent pomp display.
Shall man, the lord of nature,
Expectant of the sky,
Shall man alone, unthankful,
His little praise deny?
No, let the year forsake his course,
The seasons cease to be,
Thee, Master, must we always love,
And Savior, honor Thee.
The flowers of spring may wither,
The hope of summer fade,
The autumn droop in winter,
The birds forsake the shade;
The winds be lulled—the sun and moon
Forget their old decree;
But we, in nature’s latest hour,
O Lord! will cling to Thee!