Hear Ye O Mountains The Lord’s Controversy

  Hear ye, O mountains, the Lord’s controversy, and ye strong
foundations of the earth. Micah vi. 2.

~The Rev. John Keble


WHERE is Thy favoured haunt, eternal Voice,
The region of Thy choice,
Where, undisturbed by sin and earth, the soul
Owns Thy entire control?—
’Tis on the mountain’s summit dark and high,
When storms are hurrying by:
’Tis ’mid the strong foundations of the earth,
Where torrents have their birth.

No sounds of worldly toil ascending there,
Mar the full burst of prayer;
Lone Nature feels that she may freely breathe,
And round us and beneath
Are heard her sacred tones: the fitful sweep
Of winds across the steep
Through withered bents—romantic note and clear,
Meet for a hermit’s ear,—

The wheeling kite’s wild solitary cry,
And, scarcely heard so high,
The dashing waters when the air is still
From many a torrent rill
That winds unseen beneath the shaggy fell,
Tracked by the blue mist well:
Such sounds as make deep silence in the heart
For Thought to do her part.

’Tis then we hear the voice of GOD within,
Pleading with care and sin:
“Child of My love! how have I wearied thee?
Why wilt thou err from Me?
Have I not brought thee from the house of slaves,
Parted the drowning waves,
And set My saints before thee in the way,
Lest thou shouldst faint or stray?

“What! was the promise made to thee alone?
Art thou the excepted one?
An heir of glory without grief or pain?
O vision false and vain!
There lies thy cross; beneath it meekly bow;
It fits thy stature now:
Who scornful pass it with averted eye,
’Twill crush them by-and-by.

“Raise thy repining eyes, and take true measure
Of thine eternal treasure;
The Father of thy Lord can grudge thee nought,
The world for thee was bought;
And as this landscape broad—earth, sea, and sky,—
All centres in thine eye,
So all God does, if rightly understood,
Shall work thy final good.”