Sweet is the infant’s waking smile,
And sweet the old man’s rest —
But middle age by no fond wile,
No soothing calm is blest.
Still in the world’s hot restless gleam
She plies her weary task,
While vainly for some pleasant dream
Her wandering glances ask. —
O shame upon thee, listless heart,
So sad a sigh to heave,
As if thy saviour had no part
In thoughts, that make thee grieve.
As if along His lonesome way
He had not borne for thee
Sad languors through the summer day,
Storms on the wintry sea.
Youth’s lightning flash of joy secure
Passed seldom o’er His spright, —
A well of serious thought and pure.
Too deep for earthly light.
No spring was His—no fairy gleam —
For He by trial knew
How cold and bare what mortals dream,
To worlds where all is true.
Then grudge not thou the anguish keen
Which makes thee like thy Lord,
And learn to quit with eye serene
Thy youth’s ideal hoard.
Thy treasured hopes and raptures high —
Unmurmuring let them go,
Nor grieve the bliss should quickly fly
Which Christ disdained to know.
Thou shalt have joy in sadness soon;
The pure, calm hope be thine,
Which brightens, like the eastern moon,
As day’s wild lights decline.
Thus souls, by nature pitched too high,
By sufferings plunged too low,
Meet in the Church’s middle sky,
Half way ’twixt joy and woe,
To practise there the soothing lay
That sorrow best relieves;
Thankful for all God takes away,
Humbled by all He glass.
The sea of consolation, a Levite. Acts iv. 36.
The world’s a room of sickness,
where each heart
Knows its own anguish and unrest;
The truest wisdom there, and noblest art,
Is his, who skills of comfort best;
Whom by the softest step and gentlest tone
Enfeebled spirits own,
And love to raise the languid eye,
When, like an angel’s wing, they feel him fleeting by:-
Feel only—for in
silence gently gliding
Fain would he shun both ear and sight,
’Twixt Prayer and watchful Love his heart dividing,
A nursing-father day and night.
Such were the tender arms, where cradled lay,
In her sweet natal day,
The Church of Jesus; such the love
He to His chosen taught for His dear widowed Dove.
Warmed underneath the Comforter’s
They spread th’ endearing warmth around:
Mourners, speed here your broken hearts to bring,
Here healing dews and balms abound:
Here are soft hands that cannot bless in vain,
By trial taught your pain:
Here loving hearts, that daily know
The heavenly consolations they on you bestow.