He said, 1 Kings 19:11–12
Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire a still small voice.
Words: Henry F. Lyte, in The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, Volume 17 (London: Henry Colburn, 1826), pages 348–49. Published again, slightly updated, in Lyte’s Poems, Chiefly Religious, 1833, pages 4–6.
Music: Plitviče Swedish Koralbok, 1697, adapted by Richard W. Adams, 2018 (public domain) (🔊 pdf nwc).
On Horeb’s rock the prophet stood:
The Lord before him passed:
A hurricane in angry mood
Swept by him strong and fast.
The forests fell before its force;
The rocks were shivered in its course:
God rode not in the blast!
’Twas but the whirlwind of His breath,
Announcing danger, wreck, and death.
It ceased. The air grew mute—a cloud
Came muffling up the sun:
When through the mountains deep and loud
An earthquake thundered on.
The frighted eagle sprang in air;
The wolf ran howling from his lair:
God was not in the stun!
’Twas but the rolling of His car,
The trampling of His steeds from far.
’Twas still again; and Nature stood
And calmed her ruffled frame:
When swift from Heav’n a fiery flood
To earth devouring came.
Down to his depths the ocean fled,
The sickening sun looked wan and dead.
Yet God filled not the flame!
’Twas but the terrors of His eye,
That lightened through the troubled sky.
At last a voice all still and small
Rose sweetly on the ear;
Yet rose so calm and clear, that all
In Heav’n and earth might hear.
It spoke of hope, it spoke of love,
It spoke as spirits speak above;
And God Himself was here.
For, oh, it was a Father’s voice,
That bade His trembling world rejoice.
Speak, gracious Lord, speak ever thus;
And let Thy terrors prove
The harbingers of peace to us,
The heralds of Thy love!
Shine through the earthquake, fire, and storm.
Shine in Thy milder, better form,
And all our fears remove!
One word of Thine is all we claim;
pardon through a Savior’s name.