Ah! little dream our listless eyes
What glorious presence they despise,
While, in our noon of life,
To power or fame we rudely press. —
Christ is at hand, to scorn or bless,
Christ suffers in our strife.
And though heaven’s gate long since have closed,
And our dear Lord in bliss reposed,
High above mortal ken,
To every ear in every land
(Thought meek ears only understand)
He speaks as he did then.
“Ah! wherefore persecute ye Me?
’Tis hard, ye so in love should be
With your own endless woe.
Know, though at God’s right hand I live,
I feel each wound ye reckless give
To the least saint below.
“I in your care My brethren left,
Not willing ye should be bereft
Of waiting on your Lord.
The meanest offering ye can make —
A drop of water—for love’s sake,
In Heaven, be sure, is stored.”
O by those gentle tones and dear,
When thou hast stayed our wild career,
Thou only hope of souls,
Ne’er let us cast one look behind,
But in the thought of Jesus find
What every thought controls.
As to Thy last Apostle’s heart
Thy lightning glance did then impart
Zeal’s never-dying fire,
So teach us on Thy shrine to lay
Our hearts, and let them day by day
Intenser blaze and higher.
And as each mild and winning note
(Like pulses that round harp-strings float
When the full strain is o’er)
Left lingering on his inward ear
Music, that taught, as death drew near,
Love’s lesson more and more:
So, as we walk our earthly round,
Still may the echo of that sound
Be in our memory stored
“Christians! behold your happy state:
Christ is in these, who round you wait;
Make much of your dear Lord!”
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall
see God. St.
Matthew v. 8.
Bless’d are the pure in heart,
For they shall see our God,
The secret of the Lord is theirs,
Their soul is Christ’s abode.
Might mortal thought presume
To guess an angel’s lay,
Such are the notes that echo through
The courts of Heaven to-day.
Such the triumphal hymns
On Sion’s Prince that wait,
In high procession passing on
Towards His temple-gate.
Give ear, ye kings—bow
Ye rulers of the earth —
This, this is He: your Priest by grace,
Your God and King by birth.
No pomp of earthly guards
Attends with sword and spear,
And all-defying, dauntless look,
Their monarch’s way to clear;
Yet are there more with Him
Than all that are with you —
The armies of the highest Heaven,
All righteous, good, and true.
Spotless their robes and pure,
Dipped in the sea of light,
That hides the unapproached shrine
From men’s and angels’ sight.