No distance breaks this tie of blood;
Brothers are brothers evermore;
Nor wrong, nor wrath of deadliest mood,
That magic may o’erpower;
Oft, ere the common source be known,
The kindred drops will claim their own,
And throbbing pulses silently
Move heart towards heart by sympathy.
So it is with true Christian hearts;
Their mutual share in Jesus’ blood
An everlasting bond imparts
Of holiest brotherhood:
Oh! might we all our lineage prove,
Give and forgive, do good and love,
By soft endearments in kind strife
Lightening the load of daily life.
There is much need; for not as yet
Are we in shelter or repose,
The holy house is still beset
With leaguer of stern foes;
Wild thoughts within, bad men without,
All evil spirits round about,
Are banded in unblest device,
To spoil Love’s earthly paradise.
Then draw we nearer day by day,
Each to his brethren, all to God;
Let the world take us as she may,
We must not change our road;
Not wondering, though in grief, to find
The martyr’s foe still keep her mind;
But fixed to hold Love’s banner fast,
And by submission win at last.
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. St. Luke xv. 10.
O hateful spell of Sin! when friends are nigh,
To make stern Memory tell her tale unsought,
And raise accusing shades of hours gone by,
To come between us and all kindly thought!
Chilled at her touch, the self-reproaching soul
Flies from the heart and home she dearest loves,
To where lone mountains tower, or billows roll,
Or to your endless depth, ye solemn groves.
In vain: the averted cheek in loneliest dell
Is conscious of a gaze it cannot bear,
The leaves that rustle near us seem to tell
Our heart’s sad secret to the silent air.
Nor is the dream untrue; for all around
The heavens are watching with their thousand eyes,
We cannot pass our guardian angel’s bound,
Resigned or sullen, he will hear our sighs.
He in the mazes of the budding wood
Is near, and mourns to see our thankless glance
Dwell coldly, where the fresh green earth is strewed
With the first flowers that lead the vernal dance.
In wasteful bounty showered, they smile unseen,
Unseen by man—but what if purer sprights
By moonlight o’er their dewy bosoms lean
To adore the Father of all gentle lights?
If such there be, O grief and shame to think
That sight of thee should overcloud their joy,
A new-born soul, just waiting on the brink
Of endless life, yet wrapt in earth’s annoy!
O turn, and be thou turned! the selfish tear,
In bitter thoughts of low-born care begun,
Let it flow on, but flow refined and clear,
The turbid waters brightening as they run.