Etchings in Verse and Other Poems

Presbyterians historically have an affinity for poetry. We have previously highlighted selections of poetry by J.W. and J.A. Alexander. But some of the writers here at Log College Press have written whole volumes of poetry

One of our Presbyterian poets is Charles Lemuel Thompson (1839-1924), who wrote Etchings in Verse (1890). Two selections from his book are given here to whet your appetite for more by him and others. 

The first is "The Sea is His":

Man claims the land, but his domain
Stops at the shore.
God's wandering acres of the main
Roll on before.

I look this vast expanse abroad,
My rest is this:
This is the blue-veined palm of God,
"The sea is His."

Far from the world men walk upon,
Why should I fear?
Across this Galilee the Son
Of God draws near.

I lie within his hand. Above
Benignant bends
The blue eye of his boundless love,
And that defends.

Another, with echoes of Tennyson, is Lying at the Bar:

The exile has been long,
And broad, too broad the sea,
Across the which my longing heart
Has beaten heavily.

And now the sunset falls
On western hills afar;
But the sails are down, the tide is out,
We are lying at the bar.

And on beyond the sunset gates
Another land I ween;
And for its friends my exiled heart
Hath longings deep and keen.

Oh! silent tide, when comest thou
Beyond yon evening star?
My thoughts, my hopes are flying on, —
I am lying at the bar.

If you enjoy Presbyterian poets and poetry, be sure to check out our new Poetry page, which is sure to grow. 

The Presbyterians, by Charles Lemuel Thompson

Charles Lemuel Thompson was a 19th-century Presbyterian pastor in Juneau, Wisconsin; Janesville, Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; Kansas City, Kansas; New York City, New York; and the Secretary of the Board of Home Missions of the PCUSA. He was a poet, a preacher, and an historian. His book The Presbyterians (1903) gives us insight into how a northern Presbyterian who ministered a good deal of his life in the west of his day, and was involved deeply in home missions, viewed the history of his church. 

Log College Press exists to collect and reprint the writings of and about American Presbyterians from the 18th and 19th centuries, and works from the period that tell the story of the period are particularly interesting to the historian. Browse our site and you'll find many more books like this history by Thompson.