The Christian Year eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 203 pages of information about The Christian Year.


Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:  but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as he is.  St. John iii. 2.

   There are, who darkling and alone,
   Would wish the weary night were gone,
   Though dawning morn should only show
   The secret of their unknown woe: 
   Who pray for sharpest throbs of pain
   To ease them of doubt’s galling chain: 
   “Only disperse the cloud,” they cry,
“And if our fate be death, give light and let us die.”

   Unwise I deem them, Lord, unmeet
   To profit by Thy chastenings sweet,
   For Thou wouldst have us linger still
   Upon the verge of good or ill. 
   That on Thy guiding hand unseen
   Our undivided hearts may lean,
   And this our frail and foundering bark
Glide in the narrow wake of Thy beloved ark.

   ’Tis so in war—­the champion true
   Loves victory more when dim in view
   He sees her glories gild afar
   The dusky edge of stubborn war,
   Than if the untrodden bloodless field
   The harvest of her laurels yield;
   Let not my bark in calm abide,
But win her fearless way against the chafing tide.

   ’Tis so in love—­the faithful heart
   From her dim vision would not part,
   When first to her fond gaze is given
   That purest spot in Fancy’s heaven,
   For all the gorgeous sky beside,
   Though pledged her own and sure to abide: 
   Dearer than every past noon-day
That twilight gleam to her, though faint and far away.

   So have I seen some tender flower
   Prized above all the vernal bower,
   Sheltered beneath the coolest shade,
   Embosomed in the greenest glade,
   So frail a gem, it scarce may bear
   The playful touch of evening air;
   When hardier grown we love it less,
And trust it from our sight, not needing our caress.

   And wherefore is the sweet spring-tide
   Worth all the changeful year beside? 
   The last-born babe, why lies its part
   Deep in the mother’s inmost heart? 
   But that the Lord and Source of love
   Would have His weakest ever prove
   Our tenderest care—­and most of all
Our frail immortal souls, His work and Satan’s thrall.

   So be it, Lord; I know it best,
   Though not as yet this wayward breast
   Beat quite in answer to Thy voice,
   Yet surely I have made my choice;
   I know not yet the promised bliss,
   Know not if I shall win or miss;
   So doubting, rather let me die,
Than close with aught beside, to last eternally.

   What is the Heaven we idly dream? 
   The self-deceiver’s dreary theme,
   A cloudless sun that softly shines,
   Bright maidens and unfailing vines,
   The warrior’s pride, the hunter’s mirth,
   Poor fragments all of this low earth: 
   Such as in sleep would hardly soothe
A soul that once had tasted of immortal Truth.

Project Gutenberg
The Christian Year from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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