Not for this Pastor’s gracious
Stretched out to bless—a Christian charm
To dull the shafts of worldly harm:-
Nor, sweetest, holiest, best of all
For the dear feast of Jesus dying,
Upon that altar ever lying,
Where souls with sacred hunger sighing
Are called to sit and eat, while angels prostrate fall:-
No, not for each and all of these,
Have our frail spirits found their ease.
The gale that stirs the autumnal trees
Seems tuned as truly to our hearts
As when, twelve weary months ago,
’Twas moaning bleak, so high and low,
You would have thought Remorse and Woe
Had taught the innocent air their sadly thrilling parts.
Is it, Christ’s light
is too divine,
We dare not hope like Him to shine?
But see, around His dazzling shrine
Earths gems the fire of Heaven have caught;
Martyrs and saints—each glorious day
Dawning in order on our way —
Remind us, how our darksome clay
May keep th’ ethereal warmth our new Creator brought.
These we have scorned, O false and
And now once more th’ appalling tale,
How love divine may woo and fail,
Of our lost year in Heaven is told —
What if as far our life were past,
Our weeks all numbered to the last,
With time and hope behind us cast,
And all our work to do with palsied hands and cold?
O watch and pray ere Advent dawn!
For thinner than the subtlest lawn
’Twixt thee and death the veil is drawn.
But Love too late can never glow:
The scattered fragments Love can glean
Refine the dregs, and yield us clean
To regions where one thought serene
Breathes sweeter than whole years of sacrifice below.
He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias . . . And he brought him to Jesus. St. John i. 41, 42.
When brothers part for manhood’s race,
What gift may most endearing prove
To keep fond memory its her place,
And certify a brother’s love?
’Tis true, bright hours together told,
And blissful dreams in secret shared,
Serene or solemn, gay or bold,
Shall last in fancy unimpaired.
E’en round the death-bed of the good
Such dear remembrances will hover,
And haunt us with no vexing mood
When all the cares of earth are over.
But yet our craving spirits feel,
We shall live on, though Fancy die,
And seek a surer pledge—a seal
Of love to last eternally.
Who art thou, that wouldst grave thy name
Thus deeply in a brother’s heart?
Look on this saint, and learn to frame
Thy love-charm with true Christian art.
First seek thy Saviour out, and dwell
Beneath this shadow of His roof,
Till thou have scanned His features well,
And known Him for the Christ by proof;