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John keble

John Keble

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Ye hermits blest, ye holy maids,
        The nearest Heaven on earth,
     Who talk with God in shadowy glades,
        Free from rude care and mirth;
     To whom some viewless teacher brings
     The secret lore of rural things,
  The moral of each fleeting cloud and gale,
The whispers from above, that haunt the twilight vale:

     Say, when in pity ye have gazed
        On the wreathed smoke afar,
     That o’er some town, like mist upraised,
        Hung hiding sun and star,
     Then as ye turned your weary eye
     To the green earth and open sky,
  Were ye not fain to doubt how Faith could dwell
Amid that dreary glare, in this world’s citadel?

     But Love’s a flower that will not die
        For lack of leafy screen,
     And Christian Hope can cheer the eye
        That ne’er saw vernal green;
     Then be ye sure that Love can bless
     E’en in this crowded loneliness,
  Where ever-moving myriads seem to say,
Go—thou art naught to us, nor we to thee—away!

     There are in this loud stunning tide
        Of human care and crime,
     With whom the melodies abide
        Of th’ everlasting chime;
     Who carry music in their heart
     Through dusky lane and wrangling mart,
  Plying their daily task with busier feet,
Because their secret souls a holy strain repeat.

     How sweet to them, in such brief rest
        As thronging cares afford,
     In thought to wander, fancy-blest,
        To where their gracious Lord,
     In vain, to win proud Pharisees,
     Spake, and was heard by fell disease -
  But not in vain, beside yon breezy lake,
Bade the meek Publican his gainful seat forsake:

     At once he rose, and left his gold;
        His treasure and his heart
     Transferred, where he shall safe behold
        Earth and her idols part;
     While he beside his endless store
     Shall sit, and floods unceasing pour
  Of Christ’s true riches o’er all time and space,
First angel of His Church, first steward of His Grace.

     Nor can ye not delight to think
        Where He vouchsafed to eat,
     How the Most Holy did not shrink
        From touch of sinner’s meat;
     What worldly hearts and hearts impure
     Went with Him through the rich man’s door,
  That we might learn of Him lost souls to love,
And view His least and worst with hope to meet above.

     These gracious lines shed Gospel light
        On Mammon’s gloomiest cells,
     As on some city’s cheerless night
        The tide of sunrise swells,
     Till tower, and dome, and bridge-way proud
     Are mantled with a golden cloud,
  And to wise hearts this certain hope us given;
“No mist that man may raise, shall hide the eye of Heaven.”

     And oh! if e’en on Babel shine
        Such gleams of Paradise,
     Should not their peace be peace divine,
        Who day by day arise
     To look on clearer heavens, and scan
     The work of God untouch’d by man?
  Shame on us, who about us Babel bear,
And live in Paradise, as if God was not there!

Two clouds before the summer gale
  In equal race fleet o’er the sky:
Two flowers, when wintry blasts assail,
  Together pins, together die.

But two capricious human hearts -
  No sage’s rod may track their ways.
No eye pursue their lawless starts
  Along their wild self-chosen maze.

He only, by whose sovereign hand
  E’en sinners for the evil day
Were made—who rules the world He planned,
  Turning our worst His own good way;

He only can the cause reveal,
  Why, at the same fond bosom fed,
Taught in the self-same lap to kneel
  Till the same prayer were duly said,

Brothers in blood and nurture too,
  Aliens in heart so oft should prove;
One lose, the other keep, Heaven’s clue;
  One dwell in wrath, and one in love.

He only knows—for He can read
  The mystery of the wicked heart -
Why vainly oft our arrows speed
  When aimed with most unerring art;

While from some rude and powerless arm
  A random shaft in season sent
Shall light upon some lurking harm,
  And work some wonder little meant.

Doubt we, how souls so wanton change,
  Leaving their own experienced rest?
Need not around the world to range;
  One narrow cell may teach us best.

Look in, and see Christ’s chosen saint
  In triumph wear his Christ-like chain;
No fear lest he should swerve or faint;
  “His life is Christ, his death is gain.”

Two converts, watching by his side,
  Alike his love and greetings share;
Luke the beloved, the sick soul’s guide,
  And Demas, named in faltering prayer.

Pass a few years—look in once more -
  The saint is in his bonds again;
Save that his hopes more boldly soar,
  He and his lot unchanged remain.

But only Luke is with him now:
  Alas! that e’en the martyr’s cell,
Heaven’s very gate, should scope allow
  For the false world’s seducing spell.

’Tis sad—but yet ’tis well, be sure,
  We on the sight should muse awhile,
Nor deem our shelter all secure
  E’en in the Church’s holiest aisle.

Vainly before the shrine he bends,
  Who knows not the true pilgrim’s part:
The martyr’s cell no safety lends
  To him who wants the martyr’s heart.

But if there be, who follows Paul
  As Paul his Lord, in life and death,
Where’er an aching heart may call,
  Ready to speed and take no breath;

Whose joy is, to the wandering sheep
  To tell of the great Shepherd’s love;
To learn of mourners while they weep
  The music that makes mirth above;

Who makes the Saviour all his theme,
  The Gospel all his pride and praise -
Approach:  for thou canst feel the gleam
  That round the martyr’s death-bed plays:

Thou hast an ear for angels’ songs,
  A breath the gospel trump to fill,
And taught by thee the Church prolongs
  Her hymns of high thanksgiving still.

Ah! dearest mother, since too oft
  The world yet wins some Demas frail
E’en from thine arms, so kind and soft,
  May thy tried comforts never fail!

When faithless ones forsake thy wing,
  Be it vouchsafed thee still to see
Thy true, fond nurslings closer cling,
  Cling closer to their Lord and thee.

“Lord, and what shall this man do?”
  Ask’st thou, Christian, for thy friend?
If his love for Christ be true,
  Christ hath told thee of his end:
This is he whom God approves,
This is he whom Jesus loves.

Ask not of him more than this,
  Leave it in his Saviour’s breast,
Whether, early called to bliss,
  He in youth shall find his rest,
Or armed in his station wait
Till his Lord be at the gate:

Whether in his lonely course
  (Lonely, not forlorn) he stay,
Or with Love’s supporting force
  Cheat the toil, and cheer the way:
Leave it all in His high hand,
Who doth hearts as streams command.

Gales from Heaven, if so He will,
  Sweeter melodies can wake
On the lonely mountain rill
  Than the meeting waters make.
Who hath the Father and the Son,
May be left, but not alone.

Sick or healthful, slave or free,
  Wealthy, or despised and poor -
What is that to him or thee,
  So his love to Christ endure?
When the shore is won at last,
Who will count the billows past?

Only, since our souls will shrink
  At the touch of natural grief,
When our earthly loved ones sink,
  Lend us, Lord, Thy sure relief;
Patient hearts, their pain to see,
And Thy grace, to follow Thee.

The bright-haired morn is glowing
  O’er emerald meadows gay,
With many a clear gem strewing
  The early shepherd’s way.
Ye gentle elves, by Fancy seen
  Stealing away with night
To slumber in your leafy screen,
  Tread more than airy light.

And see what joyous greeting
  The sun through heaven has shed,
Though fast yon shower be fleeting,
  His beams have faster sped.
For lo! above the western haze
  High towers the rainbow arch
In solid span of purest rays:
  How stately is its march!

Pride of the dewy morning!
  The swain’s experienced eye
From thee takes timely warning,
  Nor trusts the gorgeous sky.
For well he knows, such dawnings gay
  Bring noons of storm and shower,
And travellers linger on the way
  Beside the sheltering bower.

E’en so, in hope and trembling
  Should watchful shepherd view
His little lambs assembling,
  With glance both kind and true;
’Tis not the eye of keenest blaze,
  Nor the quick-swelling breast,
That soonest thrills at touch of praise -
  These do not please him best.

But voices low and gentle,
  And timid glances shy,
That seem for aid parental
  To sue all wistfully,
Still pressing, longing to be right,
  Yet fearing to be wrong, -
In these the Pastor dares delight,
  A lamb-like, Christ-like throng.

These in Life’s distant even
  Shall shine serenely bright,
As in th’ autumnal heaven
  Mild rainbow tints at night,
When the last shower is stealing down,
  And ere they sink to rest,
The sun-beams weave a parting crown
  For some sweet woodland nest.

The promise of the morrow
  Is glorious on that eve,
Dear as the holy sorrow
  When good men cease to live.
When brightening ere it die away
  Mounts up their altar flame,
Still tending with intenser ray
  To Heaven whence first it came.

Say not it dies, that glory,
  ’Tis caught unquenched on high,
Those saintlike brows so hoary
  Shall wear it in the sky.
No smile is like the smile of death,
  When all good musings past
Rise wafted with the parting breath,
  The sweetest thought the last.

Oh!  Thou who deign’st to sympathise
With all our frail and fleshly ties,
  Maker yet Brother dear,
Forgive the too presumptuous thought,
If, calming wayward grief, I sought
  To gaze on Thee too near.

Yet sure ’twas not presumption, Lord,
’Twas Thine own comfortable word
  That made the lesson known:
Of all the dearest bonds we prove,
Thou countest sons and mothers’ love
  Most sacred, most Thine own.

When wandering here a little span,
Thou took’st on Thee to rescue man,
  Thou had’st no earthly sire:
That wedded love we prize so dear,
As if our heaven and home were here,
  It lit in Thee no fire.

On no sweet sister’s faithful breast
Wouldst Thou Thine aching forehead rest,
  On no kind brother lean:
But who, O perfect filial heart,
E’er did like Thee a true son’s part,
  Endearing, firm, serene?

Thou wept’st, meek maiden, mother mild,
Thou wept’st upon thy sinless Child,
  Thy very heart was riven:
And yet, what mourning matron here
Would deem thy sorrows bought too dear
  By all on this side Heaven?

A Son that never did amiss,
That never shamed His Mother’s kiss,
  Nor crossed her fondest prayer:
E’en from the tree He deigned to bow,
For her His agonised brow,
  Her, His sole earthly care.

Ave Maria! blessed Maid!
Lily of Eden’s fragrant shade,
  Who can express the love
That nurtured thee so pure and sweet,
Making thy heart a shelter meet
  For Jesus’ holy dove?

Ave Maria!  Mother blest,
To whom, caressing and caressed,
  Clings the eternal Child;
Favoured beyond Archangels’ dream,
When first on Thee with tenderest gleam
  Thy new-born Saviour smiled:-

Ave Maria! thou whose name
All but adoring love may claim,
  Yet may we reach thy shrine;
For He, thy Son and Saviour, vows
To crown all lowly lofty brows
  With love and joy like thine.

Blessed is the womb that bare Him—blessed
The bosom where His lips were pressed,
  But rather blessed are they
Who hear His word and keep it well,
The living homes where Christ shall dwell,
  And never pass away.

Is it not strange, the darkest hour
     That ever dawned on sinful earth
  Should touch the heart with softer power
     For comfort than an angel’s mirth?
That to the Cross the mourner’s eye should turn
Sooner than where the stars of Christmas burn?

  Sooner than where the Easter sun
     Shines glorious on yon open grave,
  And to and fro the tidings run,
     “Who died to heal, is risen to save?”
Sooner than where upon the Saviour’s friends
The very Comforter in light and love descends?

  Yet so it is:  for duly there
     The bitter herbs of earth are set,
  Till tempered by the Saviour’s prayer,
     And with the Saviour’s life-blood wet,
They turn to sweetness, and drop holy balm,
Soft as imprisoned martyr’s deathbed calm.

  All turn to sweet—but most of all
     That bitterest to the lip of pride,
  When hopes presumptuous fade and fall,
     Or Friendship scorns us, duly tried,
Or Love, the flower that closes up for fear
When rude and selfish spirits breathe too near.

  Then like a long-forgotten strain
     Comes sweeping o’er the heart forlorn
  What sunshine hours had taught in vain
     Of JESUS suffering shame and scorn,
As in all lowly hearts he suffers still,
While we triumphant ride and have the world at will.

  His pierced hands in vain would hide
     His face from rude reproachful gaze,
  His ears are open to abide
     The wildest storm the tongue can raise,
He who with one rough word, some early day,
Their idol world and them shall sweep for aye away.

  But we by Fancy may assuage
     The festering sore by Fancy made,
  Down in some lonely hermitage
     Like wounded pilgrims safely laid,
Where gentlest breezes whisper souls distressed,
That Love yet lives, and Patience shall find rest.

  O! shame beyond the bitterest thought
     That evil spirit ever framed,
  That sinners know what Jesus wrought,
     Yet feel their haughty hearts untamed -
That souls in refuge, holding by the Cross,
Should wince and fret at this world’s little loss.

  Lord of my heart, by Thy last cry,
     Let not Thy blood on earth be spent -
  Lo, at Thy feet I fainting lie,
     Mine eyes upon Thy wounds are bent,
Upon Thy streaming wounds my weary eyes
Wait like the parched earth on April skies.

  Wash me, and dry these bitter tears,
     O let my heart no further roam,
  ’Tis Thine by vows, and hopes, and fears.
     Long since—O call Thy wanderer home;
To that dear home, safe in Thy wounded side,
Where only broken hearts their sin and shame may hide.

See Lucifer like lightning fall,
        Dashed from his throne of pride;
     While, answering Thy victorious call,
        The Saints his spoils divide;
  This world of Thine, by him usurped too long,
Now opening all her stores to heal Thy servants’ wrong.

     So when the first-born of Thy foes
        Dead in the darkness lay,
     When Thy redeemed at midnight rose
        And cast their bonds away,
  The orphaned realm threw wide her gates, and told
Into freed Israel’s lap her jewels and her gold.

     And when their wondrous march was o’er,
        And they had won their homes,
     Where Abraham fed his flock of yore,
        Among their fathers’ tombs; -
  A land that drinks the rain of Heaven at will,
Whose waters kiss the feet of many a vine—clad hill;—

     Oft as they watched, at thoughtful eve,
        A gale from bowers of balm
     Sweep o’er the billowy corn, and heave
        The tresses of the palm,
  Just as the lingering Sun had touched with gold,
Far o’er the cedar shade, some tower of giants old;

        It was a fearful joy, I ween,
     To trace the Heathen’s toil,
        The limpid wells, the orchards green,
     Left ready for the spoil,
  The household stores untouched, the roses bright
Wreathed o’er the cottage walls in garlands of delight.

     And now another Canaan yields
        To Thine all-conquering ark:  -
     Fly from the “old poetic” fields,
        Ye Paynim shadows dark!
  Immortal Greece, dear land of glorious lays,
Lo! here the “unknown God” of thy unconscious praise.

     The olive-wreath, the ivied wand,
        “The sword in myrtles drest,”
     Each legend of the shadowy strand
        Now wakes a vision blest;
  As little children lisp, and tell of Heaven,
So thoughts beyond their thought to those high Bards were given.

     And these are ours:  Thy partial grace
        The tempting treasure lends:
     These relies of a guilty race
        Are forfeit to Thy friends;
  What seemed an idol hymn, now breathes of Thee,
Tuned by Faith’s ear to some celestial melody.

     There’s not a strain to Memory dear,
        Nor flower in classic grove,
     There’s not a sweet note warbled here,
        But minds us of Thy Love.
  O Lord, our Lord, and spoiler of our foes,
There is no light but Thine:  with Thee all beauty glows.

The year begins with Thee,
  And Thou beginn’st with woe,
To let the world of sinners see
  That blood for sin must flow.

  Thine infant cries, O Lord,
  Thy tears upon the breast,
Are not enough—the legal sword
  Must do its stern behest.

  Like sacrificial wine
  Poured on a victim’s head
Are those few precious drops of Thine,
  Now first to offering led.

  They are the pledge and seal
  Of Christ’s unswerving faith
Given to His Sire, our souls to heal,
  Although it cost His death.

  They to His Church of old,
  To each true Jewish heart,
In Gospel graces manifold
  Communion blest impart.

  Now of Thy love we deem
  As of an ocean vast,
Mounting in tides against the stream
  Of ages gone and past.

  Both theirs and ours Thou art,
  As we and they are Thine;
Kings, Prophets, Patriarchs—all have part
  Along the sacred line.

  By blood and water too
  God’s mark is set on Thee,
That in Thee every faithful view
  Both covenants might see.

  O bond of union, dear
  And strong as is Thy grace!
Saints, parted by a thousand year,
  May thus in heart embrace.

  Is there a mourner true,
  Who fallen on faithless days,
Sighs for the heart-consoling view
  Of those Heaven deigned to praise?

  In spirit may’st thou meet
  With faithful Abraham here,
Whom soon in Eden thou shalt greet
  A nursing Father dear.

  Would’st thou a poet be?
  And would thy dull heart fain
Borrow of Israel’s minstrelsy
  One high enraptured strain?

  Come here thy soul to tune,
  Here set thy feeble chant,
Here, if at all beneath the moon,
  Is holy David’s haunt.

  Art thou a child of tears,
  Cradled in care and woe?
And seems it hard, thy vernal years
  Few vernal joys can show?

  And fall the sounds of mirth
  Sad on thy lonely heart,
From all the hopes and charms of earth
  Untimely called to part?

  Look here, and hold thy peace:
  The Giver of all good
E’en from the womb takes no release
  From suffering, tears, and blood.

  If thou would’st reap in love,
  First sow in holy fear:
So life a winter’s morn may prove
  To a bright endless year.

Awake—again the Gospel—trump is blown—
From year to year it swells with louder tone,
  From year to year the signs of wrath
  Are gathering round the Judge’s path,
Strange words fulfilled, and mighty works achieved,
And truth in all the world both hated and believed.

Awake! why linger in the gorgeous town,
Sworn liegemen of the Cross and thorny crown?
  Up from your beds of sloth for shame,
  Speed to the eastern mount like flame,
Nor wonder, should ye find your King in tears,
E’en with the loud Hosanna ringing in His ears.

Alas! no need to rouse them:  long ago
They are gone forth to swell Messiah’s show:
  With glittering robes and garlands sweet
  They strew the ground beneath His feet:
All but your hearts are there—O doomed to prove
The arrows winged in Heaven for Faith that will not love!

Meanwhile He passes through th’ adoring crowd,
Calm as the march of some majestic cloud,
  That o’er wild scenes of ocean-war
  Holds its still course in Heaven afar:
E’en so, heart-searching Lord, as years roll on,
Thou keepest silent watch from Thy triumphal throne:

E’en so, the world is thronging round to gaze
On the dread vision of the latter days,
  Constrained to own Thee, but in heart
  Prepared to take Barabbas’ part:
“Hosanna” now, to-morrow “Crucify,”
The changeful burden still of their rude lawless cry.

Yet in that throng of selfish hearts untrue
Thy sad eye rests upon Thy faithful few,
  Children and childlike souls are there,
  Blind Bartimeus’ humble prayer,
And Lazarus wakened from his four days’ sleep,
Enduring life again, that Passover to keep.

And fast beside the olive-bordered way
Stands the blessed home where Jesus deigned to stay,
  The peaceful home, to Zeal sincere
  And heavenly Contemplation dear,
Where Martha loved to wait with reverence meet,
And wiser Mary lingered at Thy sacred feet.

Still through decaying ages as they glide,
Thou lov’st Thy chosen remnant to divide;
  Sprinkled along the waste of years
  Full many a soft green isle appears:
Pause where we may upon the desert road,
Some shelter is in sight, some sacred safe abode.

When withering blasts of error swept the sky,
And Love’s last flower seemed fain to droop and die,
  How sweet, how lone the ray benign
  On sheltered nooks of Palestine!
Then to his early home did Love repair,
And cheered his sickening heart with his own native air.

Years roll away:  again the tide of crime
Has swept Thy footsteps from the favoured clime
  Where shall the holy Cross find rest?
  On a crowned monarch’s mailed breast:
Like some bright angel o’er the darkling scene,
Through court and camp he holds his heavenward course serene.

A fouler vision yet; an age of light,
Light without love, glares on the aching sight:
  Oh, who can tell how calm and sweet,
  Meek Walton, shows thy green retreat,
When wearied with the tale thy times disclose,
The eye first finds thee out in thy secure repose?

Thus bad and good their several warnings give
Of His approach, whom none may see and live:
  Faith’s ear, with awful still delight,
  Counts them like minute-bells at night.
Keeping the heart awake till dawn of morn,
While to her funeral pile this aged world is borne.

But what are Heaven’s alarms to hearts that cower
In wilful slumber, deepening every hour,
  That draw their curtains closer round,
  The nearer swells the trumpet’s sound?
Lord, ere our trembling lamps sink down and die,
Touch us with chastening hand, and make us feel Thee nigh.

Sit down and take thy fill of joy
  At God’s right hand, a bidden guest,
Drink of the cup that cannot cloy,
  Eat of the bread that cannot waste.
O great Apostle! rightly now
  Thou readest all thy Saviour meant,
What time His grave yet gentle brow
  In sweet reproof on thee was bent.

“Seek ye to sit enthroned by me?
  Alas! ye know not what ye ask,
The first in shame and agony,
  The lowest in the meanest task -
This can ye be? and came ye drink
  The cup that I in tears must steep,
Nor from the 'whelming waters shrink
  That o’er Me roll so dark and deep?”

“We can—Thine are we, dearest Lord,
  In glory and in agony,
To do and suffer all Thy word;
  Only be Thou for ever nigh.” -
“Then be it so—My cup receive,
  And of My woes baptismal taste:
But for the crown, that angels weave
  For those next Me in glory placed,

”I give it not by partial love;
  But in My Father’s book are writ
What names on earth shall lowliest prove,
  That they in Heaven may highest sit.”
Take up the lesson, O my heart;
  Thou Lord of meekness, write it there,
Thine own meek self to me impart,
  Thy lofty hope, thy lowly prayer.

If ever on the mount with Thee
  I seem to soar in vision bright,
With thoughts of coming agony,
  Stay Thou the too presumptuous flight:
Gently along the vale of tears
  Lead me from Tabor’s sunbright steep,
Let me not grudge a few short years
  With thee t’ward Heaven to walk and weep:

Too happy, on my silent path,
  If now and then allowed, with Thee
Watching some placid holy death,
  Thy secret work of love to see;
But, oh! most happy, should Thy call,
  Thy welcome call, at last be given -
“Come where thou long hast storeth thy all
  Come see thy place prepared in Heaven.”

When brothers part for manhood’s race,
  What gift may most endearing prove
To keep fond memory its her place,
  And certify a brother’s love?

’Tis true, bright hours together told,
  And blissful dreams in secret shared,
Serene or solemn, gay or bold,
  Shall last in fancy unimpaired.

E’en round the death-bed of the good
  Such dear remembrances will hover,
And haunt us with no vexing mood
  When all the cares of earth are over.

But yet our craving spirits feel,
  We shall live on, though Fancy die,
And seek a surer pledge—a seal
  Of love to last eternally.

Who art thou, that wouldst grave thy name
  Thus deeply in a brother’s heart?
Look on this saint, and learn to frame
  Thy love-charm with true Christian art.

First seek thy Saviour out, and dwell
  Beneath this shadow of His roof,
Till thou have scanned His features well,
  And known Him for the Christ by proof;

Such proof as they are sure to find
  Who spend with Him their happy days,
Clean hands, and a self-ruling mind
  Ever in tune for love and praise.

Then, potent with the spell of Heaven,
  Go, and thine erring brother gain,
Entice him home to be forgiven,
  Till he, too, see his Saviour plain.

Or, if before thee in the race,
  Urge him with thine advancing tread,
Till, like twin stars, with even pace,
  Each lucid course be duly aped.

No fading frail memorial give
  To soothe his soul when thou art gone,
But wreaths of hope for aye to live,
  And thoughts of good together done.

That so, before the judgment-seat,
  Though changed and glorified each face,
Not unremembered ye may meet
  For endless ages to embrace.

The mid-day sun, with fiercest glare,
Broods o’er the hazy twinkling air:
  Along the level sand
The palm-tree’s shade unwavering lies,
Just as thy towers, Damascus, rise
  To greet you wearied band.

The leader of that martial crew
Seems bent some mighty deed to do,
  So steadily he speeds,
With lips firm closed and fixed eye,
Like warrior when the fight is night,
  Nor talk nor landscape heeds.

What sudden blaze is round him poured,
As though all Heaven’s refulgent hoard
  In one rich glory shone?
One moment—and to earth he falls:
What voice his inmost heart appalls? -
  Voice heard by him alone.

For to the rest both words and form
Seem lost in lightning and in storm,
  While Saul, in wakeful trance,
Sees deep within that dazzling field
His persecuted Lord revealed,
  With keen yet pitying glance:

And hears time meek upbraiding call
As gently on his spirit fall,
  As if th’ Almighty Son
Were prisoner yet in this dark earth,
Nor had proclaimed His royal birth,
  Nor His great power begun.

“Ah! wherefore persecut’st thou Me?”
He heard and saw, and sought to free
  His strained eyes from the sight:
But Heaven’s high magic bound it there,
Still gazing, though untaught to bear
  Th’ insufferable light.

“Who art Thou, Lord?” he falters forth:-
So shall Sin ask of heaven and earth
  At the last awful day.
“When did we see Thee suffering nigh,
And passed Thee with unheeding eye?
  Great God of judgment, say!”

Ah! little dream our listless eyes
What glorious presence they despise,
  While, in our noon of life,
To power or fame we rudely press. -
Christ is at hand, to scorn or bless,
  Christ suffers in our strife.

And though heaven’s gate long since have closed,
And our dear Lord in bliss reposed,
  High above mortal ken,
To every ear in every land
(Thought meek ears only understand)
  He speaks as he did then.

“Ah! wherefore persecute ye Me?
’Tis hard, ye so in love should be
  With your own endless woe.
Know, though at God’s right hand I live,
I feel each wound ye reckless give
  To the least saint below.

”I in your care My brethren left,
Not willing ye should be bereft
  Of waiting on your Lord.
The meanest offering ye can make -
A drop of water—for love’s sake,
  In Heaven, be sure, is stored.”

O by those gentle tones and dear,
When thou hast stayed our wild career,
  Thou only hope of souls,
Ne’er let us cast one look behind,
But in the thought of Jesus find
  What every thought controls.

As to Thy last Apostle’s heart
Thy lightning glance did then impart
  Zeal’s never-dying fire,
So teach us on Thy shrine to lay
Our hearts, and let them day by day
  Intenser blaze and higher.

And as each mild and winning note
(Like pulses that round harp-strings float
  When the full strain is o’er)
Left lingering on his inward ear
Music, that taught, as death drew near,
  Love’s lesson more and more:

So, as we walk our earthly round,
Still may the echo of that sound
  Be in our memory stored
“Christians! behold your happy state:
Christ is in these, who round you wait;
  Make much of your dear Lord!”