Monday, 12 March 2012

A hymn to darkness

WHEN the day of toil is ended,
And night cometh cool and still,
Clad in starry spangled raiment,
Trailing softly o'er the hill,
Hand and heart and aching brain
In her peace forget their pain.

Grateful presence of the night-time
Soft restraint of sleep so sweet,
Holding still our fervent fingers,
Gently chaining restless feet;—
They who labour in the light
Hail the holy, holy night.

May we rise with hearts more hopeful
For to-morrow and its strife,
With a stronger aspiration
And resolve for nobler life,
Consecrated all anew,
To the good, the pure, the true.

Robert Henry Underwood Bloor (160 in Hymns of Modern Thought)

Robert Henry Underwood Bloor, minister of  Trowbridge Unitarians from 1895 to 1899, was a former Anglican who had adopted Unitarian views. After ministering at Trowbridge, he went on to be minister for Brighton Unitarian Church and Essex Church in Kensington. He was the author of Christianity & the Religious Drama, which he gave as the Essex hall lecture for 1928, and which was published by Beacon Press in 1930. He contributed five hymns (numbers 69104114132and 160) to the hymn-book of the Leicester Secular Society, Hymns of Modern Thought. Several other Unitarian authors (Sarah Flower Adams, Stopford Brooke, Frederick Lucian Hosmer, Moncure Conway, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Samuel Longfellow) appear on the list of contributors; they were mainly of the Transcendentalist and humanist persuasion.