Prayer

Summer splendour

By the breadth of the blue that shines in silence over me,
by the length of the mountain lines that stretch before me,
by the height of the cloud that sails, with rest in motion,
over the plains and the vales to the measureless ocean,
by the faith that the wild flowers show when they bloom unbidden,
by the courage of the bird’s light wings on the long migration,
teach me how to confide, and live my life, and rest.

For the comforting warmth of the sun that my body embraces,
for the cool of the waters that run through shadowy places,
for the balm of the breezes that brush my face with their fingers,
for the evening hymn of the thrush when the twilight lingers,
for the long breath, the deep breath, the breath of the heart without a care –
I will give thanks and adore you, God of the open air.

Henry van Dyke (1852-1933)


from ‘Called to praise’,
an anthology compiled by Donald Hilton,
Christian education, 2005