GREAT God! when Famine threaten'd late
To scourge our guilty land,
O did we learn from that dark fate
To dread thy mighty hand ?
Did then our sins to mem'ry rise?
Or own'd we GOD was just ?
Or rais'd we penitential cries ?
Or bow'd we in the dust?
Did we forsake one evil path,
Was any sin abhorr'd?
Or did we deprecate thy wrath,
And turn us to the Lord?
Tis true we fail'd not to repine,
But did we too repent?
Or own the chastisement divine
In awful judgment sent?
Tho' the bright chain of Peace is broke,
And war with ruthless sword
Unpeoples nations at a stroke,
Yet who regards the Lord?
But GOD, who in his strict decrees
Remembers mercy still,
Can, in a moment, if he please,
Our hearts with comfort fill.
He mark'd our angry spirits rise,
Domestic hate increase;
And for a time withheld supplies,
To teach us love and peace.
He, when he brings his children low,
Has blessings still in store;
And when he strikes the heaviest blow,
He does but love us more.
Now, Frost, and Flood, and Blight no more
Our golden harvests spoil;
See, what an unexampl'd store
Rewards the Reaper's toil!
As when the promis'd harvest fail'd
In Canaan's fruitful land;
The envious Patriarchs were assail'd
By famine's pressing hand.
The-angry brothers then forgot
Each fierce and jarring feud:
United by their adverse lot,
They lov'd brothers shou'd.
So here, from Heaven's correcting hand,
Tho' famine fail'd to move;
Let Plenty now throughout the land,
Rekindle peace and love.
Like the rich fool, let us not say,
Soul! thou hast goods in store!
But shake the overplus away,
To feed the aged poor.
Let rich and poor, on whom are now
Such bounteous crops bestow'd,
Raise many a pure and holy vow
In gratitude to GOD!
And while his gracious name we praise
For bread so kindly given;
Let us beseech him, all our days,
To give the bread of heav'n.
In that blest Prayer our Lord did frame,
Of all our prayers the guide;
We ask that ''hallow'd be his name,"
And then our wants supplied.
For grace he bids us first implore,
Next, that we may be fed;
We say, ''Thy will be done,'' before
We ask ''our daily bread.''