The Poetry of Robert Murray M’Cheyne

While the incomparable Scottish Pastor is known for many things one thing many do not know is how gifted he was as a poet.

Here is an example of his work:

3. “THEY SING THE SONG OF MOSES.”

Dark was the night, the wind was high,
The way by mortals never trod;
For God had made the channel dry,
When faithful Moses stretched the rod.

The raging waves on either hand
Stood like a massy tott’ring wall,
And on the heaven-defended band
Refused to let the waters fall.

With anxious footsteps, Israel trod
The depths of that mysterious way;
Cheered by the pillar of their God,
That shone for them with fav’ring ray.

But when they reached the opposing shore,
As morning streaked the eastern sky,
They saw the billows hurry o’er
The flower of Pharaoh’s chivalry.

Then awful gladness filled the mind
Of Israel’s mighty ransomed throng;
And while they gazed on all behind,
Their wonder burst into a song.

Thus, Thy redeemed ones, Lord, on earth,
While passing through this vale of weeping,
Mix holy trembling with their mirth,
And anxious watching with their sleeping.

The night is dark, the storm is loud,
The path no human strength can tread;
Jesus, be Thou the pillar-cloud,
Heaven’s light upon our path to shed.

And oh! when, life’s dark journey o’er,
And death’s enshrouding valley past,
We plant our foot on yonder shore,
And tread yon golden strand at last.

Shall we not see with deep amaze,
How grace hath led us safe along;
And whilst behind – before, we gaze,
Triumphant burst into a song!

And even on earth, though sore bested,
Fightings without, and fears within;
Sprinkled to-day from slavish dread,
To-morrow captive led by sin.

Yet would I lift my downcast eyes,
On Thee, Thou brilliant tower of fire –
Thou dark cloud to mine enemies –
That Hope may all my breast inspire.

And thus the Lord, my strength, I’ll praise,
Though Satan and his legions rage;
And the sweet song of faith I’ll raise,
To cheer me on my pilgrimage.

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