Sweet thoughts are theirs, that
breathe serenest calms,
Of holy offerings timely paid,
Of fire from heaven to bless their votive alms
And passions on god’s altar laid.
The world to them is closed, and now they shine
With rays of love divine,
Through darkest nooks of this dull earth
Pouring, in showery times, their glow of “quiet mirth.”
New hearts before their Saviour’s
feet to lay,
This is their first, their dearest joy:
Their next from heart to heart to clear the way
For mutual love without alloy:
Never so blest as when in Jesus’ roll
They write some hero-soul,
More pleased upon his brightening road
To wait, than if their own with all his radiance glowed.
O happy spirits, marked by God and
Their messages of love to bear,
What though long since in Heaven your brows began,
The genial amarant wreath to wear,
And in th’ eternal leisure of calm love
Ye banquet there above;
Yet in your sympathetic heart
We and our earthly griefs may ask and hope a part.
Comfort’s true sons! amid
the thoughts of down
That strew your pillow of repose,
Sure ’tis one joy to muse, how ye unknown
By sweet remembrance soothe our woes;
And how the spark ye lit, of heavenly cheer,
Lives in our embers here,
Where’er the cross is borne with smiles,
Or lightened secretly by Love’s endearing wiles:
Where’er one Levite in the
The watch-fire of his midnight prayer,
Or issuing thence, the eyes of mourners steeps
In heavenly balm, fresh gathered there;
Thus saints, that seem to die in earth’s rude strife,
Only win double life:
They have but left our weary ways
To live in memory here, in Heaven by love and praise.
ST. JOHN BAPTIST’S DAY
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers. Malachi iv. 5, 6.
Twice in her season of decay
The fallen Church hath felt Elijah’s eye
Dart from the wild its piercing ray:
Not keener burns, in the chill morning sky,
The herald star,
Whose torch afar
Shadows and boding night-birds fly.
Methinks we need him once again,
That favoured seer—but where shall he be found?
By Cherith’s side we seek in vain,
In vain on Carmel’s green and lonely mound:
Angels no more
From Sinai soar,
On his celestial errands bound.
But wafted to her glorious place
By harmless fire, among the ethereal thrones,
His spirit with a dear embrace
Thee the loved harbinger of Jesus owns,
Well-pleased to view
Her likeness true,
And trace, in thine, her own deep tones.
Deathless himself, he joys with
To commune how a faithful martyr dies,
And in the blest could envy be,
He would behold thy wounds with envious eyes,
Star of our morn,
Who yet unborn
Didst guide our hope, where Christ should rise.