The Sea of Galilee

How pleasant to me thy deep blue wave,
O sea of Galilee!
For the glorious One who came to save
Hath often stood by thee.

Fair are the lakes in the land I love,
Where pine and heather grow,
But thou hast loveliness far above
What Nature can bestow.

It is not that the wild gazelle
Comes down to drink thy tide,
But He that was pierced to save from hell
Oft wandered by thy side.

It is not that the fig-tree grows,
And palms, in thy soft air,
But that Sharon’s fair and bleeding rose
Once spread its fragrance there.

Graceful around thee the mountains meet,
Thou clam reposing sea;
But ah, far more! the beautiful feet
Of Jesus walked o’er thee.

These days are past – Bethsaida, where?
Chorazin, where art thou?
His tent the wild Arab pitches there,
The wild reeds shade thy brow.

Tell me, ye mouldering fragments, tell,
Was the Saviour’s city here?
Lifted to heaven, has it sunk to hell,
With none to shed a tear?

Ah! would my flock from thee might learn
How days of grace will flee;
How all an offered Christ who spurn,
Shall mourn at last, like thee.

And was it beside this very sea,
The new-risen Saviour said
Three times to Simon, “Lovest thou Me?”
My lambs and sheep then feed.”

O Saviour! gone to God’s right hand!
Yet the same Saviour still,
Graved on Thy heart is this lovely strand
And every fragrant hill.

Oh! give me, Lord, by this sacred wave,
Threefold Thy love divine,
That I may feed, till I find my grave,
Thy flock – both Thine and mine.

Sea of Galilee, 16th July 1839.