“Now, Christians, hold your own—the
land before ye
Is open—win your way, and take your rest.”
So sounds our war-note; but our path of glory
By many a cloud is darkened and unblest:
And daily as we downward glide,
Life’s ebbing stream on either side
Shows at each turn some mouldering hope or joy,
The Man seems following still the funeral of the Boy.
Open our eyes, Thou Sun of life and gladness,
That we may see that glorious world of Thine!
It shines for us in vain, while drooping sadness
Enfolds us here like mist: come Power benign,
Touch our chilled hearts with vernal smile,
Our wintry course do Thou beguile,
Nor by the wayside ruins let us mourn,
Who have th’ eternal towers for our appointed bourne.
Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. 1 St. John iii. 13, 14.
The clouds that wrap the setting sun
When Autumn’s softest gleams are ending,
Where all bright hues together run
In sweet confusion blending: —
Why, as we watch their floating wreath
Seem they the breath of life to breathe?
To Fancy’s eye their motions prove
They mantle round the Sun for love.
When up some woodland dale we catch
The many-twinkling smile of ocean,
Or with pleased ear bewildered watch
His chime of restless motion;
Still as the surging waves retire
They seem to gasp with strong desire,
Such signs of love old Ocean gives,
We cannot choose but think he lives.
Wouldst thou the life of souls discern?
Nor human wisdom nor divine
Helps thee by aught beside to learn;
Love is life’s only sign.
The spring of the regenerate heart,
The pulse, the glow of every part,
Is the true love of Christ our Lord,
As man embraced, as God adored.
But he, whose heart will bound to mark
The full bright burst of summer morn,
Loves too each little dewy spark,
By leaf or flow’ret worn:
Cheap forms, and common hues, ’tis true,
Through the bright shower-drop’ meet his view;
The colouring may be of this earth;
The lustre comes of heavenly birth.
E’en so, who loves the Lord aright,
No soul of man can worthless find;
All will be precious in his sight,
Since Christ on all hath shined:
But chiefly Christian souls; for they,
Though worn and soiled with sinful clay,
Are yet, to eyes that see them true,
All glistening with baptismal dew.
Then marvel not, if such as bask
In purest light of innocence,
Hope against mope, in love’s dear task,
Spite of all dark offence.
If they who hate the trespass most,
Yet, when all other love is lost,
Love the poor sinner, marvel not;
Christ’s mark outwears the rankest blot.