If ever on the mount with Thee
I seem to soar in vision bright,
With thoughts of coming agony,
Stay Thou the too presumptuous flight:
Gently along the vale of tears
Lead me from Tabor’s sunbright steep,
Let me not grudge a few short years
With thee t’ward Heaven to walk and weep:
Too happy, on my silent path,
If now and then allowed, with Thee
Watching some placid holy death,
Thy secret work of love to see;
But, oh! most happy, should Thy call,
Thy welcome call, at last be given —
“Come where thou long hast storeth thy all
Come see thy place prepared in Heaven.”
Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw the under the fig-tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. St. John i. 50.
Hold up thy mirror to the sun,
And thou shalt need an eagle’s gaze,
So perfectly the polished stone
Gives back the glory of his rays:
Turn it, and it shall paint as true
The soft green of the vernal earth,
And each small flower of bashful hue,
That closest hides its lowly birth.
Our mirror is a blessed book,
Where out from each illumined page
We see one glorious Image look
All eyes to dazzle and engage,
The Son of God: and that indeed
We see Him as He is, we know,
Since in the same bright glass we read
The very life of things below. —
Eye of God’s word! where’er we turn
Ever upon us! thy keen gaze
Can all the depths of sin discern,
Unravel every bosom’s maze:
Who that has felt thy glance of dread
Thrill through his heart’s remotest cells,
About his path, about his bed,
Can doubt what spirit in thee dwells?
“What word is this? Whence know’st
All wondering cries the humbled heart,
To hear thee that deep mystery,
The knowledge of itself, impart.
The veil is raised; who runs may read,
By its own light the truth is seen,
And soon the Israelite indeed
Bows down t’ adore the Nazarene.
So did Nathanael, guileless man,
At once, not shame-faced or afraid,
Owning Him God, who so could scan
His musings in the lonely shade;
In his own pleasant fig-tree’s shade,
Which by his household fountain grew,
Where at noon-day his prayer he made
To know God better than he knew.
Oh! happy hours of heavenward thought!
How richly crowned! how well improved!
In musing o’er the Law he taught,
In waiting for the Lord he loved.
We must not mar with earthly praise
What God’s approving word hath sealed:
Enough, if might our feeble lays
Take up the promise He revealed;
“The child-like faith, that asks not sight,
Waits not for wonder or for sign,
Believes, because it loves, aright —
Shall see things greater, things divine.