England's Antiphon eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 247 pages of information about England's Antiphon.

  “SHE LOVED MUCH.”

  She sat and wept beside his feet.  The weight
  Of sin oppressed her heart; for all the blame,
  And the poor malice of the worldly shame,
  To her was past, extinct, and out of date;
  Only the sin remained—­the leprous state. 
  She would be melted by the heat of love,
  By fires far fiercer than are blown to prove
  And purge the silver ore adulterate. 
  She sat and wept, and with her untressed hair
  Still wiped the feet she was so blest to touch;
  And he wiped off the soiling of despair
  From her sweet soul, because she loved so much. 
  I am a sinner, full of doubts and fears: 
  Make me a humble thing of love and tears.

CHAPTER XXII.

THE FERVOUR OF THE IMPLICIT.  INSIGHT OF THE HEART.

The late Dean Milman, born in 1791, best known by his very valuable labours in history, may be taken as representing a class of writers in whom the poetic fire is ever on the point, and only on the point, of breaking into a flame.  His composition is admirable—­refined, scholarly, sometimes rich and even gorgeous in expression—­yet lacking that radiance of the unutterable to which the loftiest words owe their grandest power.  Perhaps the best representative of his style is the hymn on the Incarnation, in his dramatic poem, The Fall of Jerusulem.  But as an extract it is tolerably known.  I prefer giving one from his few Hymns for Church Service.

  EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.

  When God came down from heaven—­the living God—­
    What signs and wonders marked his stately way? 
  Brake out the winds in music where he trod? 
    Shone o’er the heavens a brighter, softer day?

  The dumb began to speak, the blind to see,
    And the lame leaped, and pain and paleness fled;
  The mourner’s sunken eye grew bright with glee,
    And from the tomb awoke the wondering dead.

  When God went back to heaven—­the living God—­
    Rode he the heavens upon a fiery car? 
  Waved seraph-wings along his glorious road? 
    Stood still to wonder each bright wandering star?

  Upon the cross he hung, and bowed his head,
    And prayed for them that smote, and them that curst;
  And, drop by drop, his slow life-blood was shed,
    And his last hour of suffering was his worst.

The Christian Year of the Rev. John Keble (born in 1800) is perhaps better known in England than any other work of similar church character.  I must confess I have never been able to enter into the enthusiasm of its admirers.  Excellent, both in regard of their literary and religious merits, true in feeling and thorough in finish, the poems always remind me of Berlin work in iron—­hard and delicate.  Here is a portion of one of the best of them.

  ST. MATTHEW.

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England's Antiphon from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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