I’ve been sharing hymn lyrics for various holidays this year and today’s post features Labor Day. Here is a hymn very suitable for the purpose. It’s one I’ve never heard of before, but has some good thoughts especially for those (like me) who are returning to work during the school year.
Go, labor on; spend, and be spent;
Thy joy to do the Father’s will;
It is the way the Master went;
Should not the servant tread it still?
Go, labor on: ’tis not for nought;
Thy earthly loss is heav’nly gain;
Men heed thee, love thee, praise thee not;
The Master praises, what are men?
Go, labor on; your hands are weak,
Your knees are faint, your souls cast down;
Yet falter not; the prize you seek
Is near, a kingdom and a crown.
Go, labor on while it is day,
The world’s dark night is hastening on;
Speed, speed thy work, cast sloth away,
It is not thus that souls are won.
Men die in darkness at your side,
Without a hope to cheer the tomb;
Take up the torch and wave it wide,
The torch that lights time’s thickest gloom.
Press on, faint not, keep watch and pray;
Be wise the erring soul to win;
Go forth into the world’s highway,
Compel the wanderer to come in.
Press on, and in thy work rejoice;
For work comes rest, the prize thus won;
Soon shalt thou hear the Master’s voice,
The midnight cry, Behold, I come!
–Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)