Hymn of the Desert


LONG have I waited their coming, the Men of the far-lying Mist-Hills
Gathered about their fires and under the kindly rains.
Not to the blazing sweep of thy Desert, oh Lord, have they turned them;
Evermore back to the Mist-Hills, back to the rain-kissed plains.
Long through the ages I waited the children of men, but they came not:
Only God’s silent centuries holding their watch sublime.
Gaunt and wrinkled and gray was the withering face of thy Desert:
All in thine own good time; O Lord, in thine own good time.


Lo! thou hast spoken the word, and thy children come bringing the waters
Loosed from their mountain keep in the thrall of each sentinel hill.
Lord, thou hast made me young and fair at thine own waters’ healing,
Pleasing and fair to mankind in the flood of thy bountiful will.
Wherefore in joy now thy children come, flying exultant and eager;
Now is thine ancient Earth remade by thy powerful word.
Lord, unto thee be the glory! Thine is the bloom of the Desert.
Hasten, oh Men of the Mist-Hills! Welcome, ye Sons of the Lord!