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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 142 pages of information about The Christian Year.

Then keep the softening veil in mercy drawn,
   Thou who canst love us, thro’ Thou read us true;
As on the bosom of th’ aerial lawn
   Melts in dim haze each coarse ungentle hue.

So too may soothing Hope Thy heave enjoy
   Sweet visions of long-severed hearts to frame: 
Though absence may impair, or cares annoy,
   Some constant mind may draw us still the same.

We in dark dreams are tossing to and fro,
   Pine with regret, or sicken with despair,
The while she bathes us in her own chaste glow,
   And with our memory wings her own fond prayer.

O bliss of child-like innocence, and love
   Tried to old age! creative power to win,
And raise new worlds, where happy fancies rove,
   Forgetting quite this grosser world of sin.

Bright are their dreams, because their thoughts are clear,
   Their memory cheering:  but th’ earth-stained spright,
Whose wakeful musings are of guilt and fear,
   Must hover nearer earth, and less in light.

Farewell, for her, th’ ideal scenes so fair —
   Yet not farewell her hope, since thou hast deigned,
Creator of all hearts! to own and share
   The woe of what Thou mad’st, and we have stained.

Thou knowst our bitterness—­our joys are Thine —
   No stranger Thou to all our wanderings wild: 
Nor could we bear to think, how every line
   Of us, Thy darkened likeness and defiled,

Stands in full sunshine of Thy piercing eye,
   But that Thou call’st us Brethren:  sweet repose
Is in that word—­the Lord who dwells on high
   Knows all, yet loves us better than He knows.

TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.  Proverbs xvi. 31.

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.

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