Pass a few days, and this dull darkling globe
Must yield Him from her sight; —
Brighter and brighter streams His glory-robe,
And He is lost in light.
Then, when through yonder everlasting arch,
Ye in innumerous choir
Poured, heralding Messiah’s conquering march,
Lingered around His skirts two forms of fire:
With us they stayed, high warning to impart;
“The Christ shall come again
E’en as He goes; with the same human heart,
With the same godlike train.” —
Oh! jealous God! how could a sinner dare
Think on that dreadful day,
But that with all Thy wounds Thou wilt be there,
And all our angel friends to bring Thee on Thy way?
Since to Thy little ones is given such grace,
That they who nearest stand
Alway to God in Heaven, and see His face,
Go forth at His command,
To wait around our path in weal or woe,
As erst upon our King,
Set Thy baptismal seal upon our brow,
And waft us heavenward with enfolding wing:
Grant. Lord, that when around th’ expiring
Our seraph guardians wait,
While on her death-bed, ere to ruin hurled,
She owns Thee, all too late,
They to their charge may turn, and thankful see
Thy mark upon us still;
Then all together rise, and reign with Thee,
And all their holy joy o’er contrite hearts fulfil!
Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. Colossians iv. 14. Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world . . . Only Luke is with me. 2 Timothy iv. 10, 11.
Two clouds before the summer gale
In equal race fleet o’er the sky:
Two flowers, when wintry blasts assail,
Together pins, together die.
But two capricious human hearts —
No sage’s rod may track their ways.
No eye pursue their lawless starts
Along their wild self-chosen maze.
He only, by whose sovereign hand
E’en sinners for the evil day
Were made—who rules the world He planned,
Turning our worst His own good way;
He only can the cause reveal,
Why, at the same fond bosom fed,
Taught in the self-same lap to kneel
Till the same prayer were duly said,
Brothers in blood and nurture too,
Aliens in heart so oft should prove;
One lose, the other keep, Heaven’s clue;
One dwell in wrath, and one in love.
He only knows—for He can read
The mystery of the wicked heart —
Why vainly oft our arrows speed
When aimed with most unerring art;
While from some rude and powerless arm
A random shaft in season sent
Shall light upon some lurking harm,
And work some wonder little meant.
Doubt we, how souls so wanton change,
Leaving their own experienced rest?
Need not around the world to range;
One narrow cell may teach us best.