Matthew 14:23 “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up
into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was
It is the quiet evening time, the sun is in the west,
And earth enrobed in purple glow awaits her nightly rest;
The shadows of the mountain peaks are lengthening o’er the sea,
And the flowerets close their eyelids on the shore of Galilee.
The multitude are gone away, their restless hum doth cease,
The birds have hushed their music, and all is calm and peace;
But on the lowly mountain side is One, whose beauteous brow
The impress bears of sorrow and of weariness e’en now.
The livelong day in deeds of love and power He hath spent,
And with them words of grace and life hath ever sweetly blent.
Now He hath gained the mountain top, He standeth all alone,
No mortal may be near Him in that hour of prayer unknown.
He prayeth.—But for whom? For Himself He needeth nought;
Nor strength, nor peace, nor pardon, where of sin there is no spot;
But ‘t is for us in powerful prayer He spendeth all the night,
That His own loved ones may be kept and strengthened in the fight;
That they may all be sanctified, and perfect made in one;
That they His glory may behold where they shall need no sun;
That in eternal gladness they may be His glorious bride:
It is for this that He hath climbed the lonely mountain side.
It is for this that He denies His weary head the rest
Which e’en the foxes in their holes, and birds have in their nest.
The echo of that prayer hath died upon the rocky hill,
But on a higher, holier mount that Voice is pleading still;
For while one weary child of His yet wanders here below,
While yet one thirsting soul desires His peace and love to know,
And while one fainting spirit seeks His holiness to share,
The Saviour’s loving heart shall pour a tide of mighty prayer;
Yes ! till each ransomed one hath gained His home of joy and peace,
That Fount of Blessings all untold shall never, never cease.
Frances Ridley Havergal
[Really knowledgeable musicians think that Mendelssohn’s Octet Op. 20
is a remarkable work for a sixteen-year-old. Frances’ poem on Matthew
14:23 is similarly or moreso remarkable. Frances was born again in early
1851, soon after her fourteenth birthday. This poem on Matthew 14:23
was written when she was 17.]