Look in, and see Christ’s chosen saint
In triumph wear his Christ-like chain;
No fear lest he should swerve or faint;
“His life is Christ, his death is gain.”
Two converts, watching by his side,
Alike his love and greetings share;
Luke the beloved, the sick soul’s guide,
And Demas, named in faltering prayer.
Pass a few years—look in once more —
The saint is in his bonds again;
Save that his hopes more boldly soar,
He and his lot unchanged remain.
But only Luke is with him now:
Alas! that e’en the martyr’s cell,
Heaven’s very gate, should scope allow
For the false world’s seducing spell.
’Tis sad—but yet ’tis well,
We on the sight should muse awhile,
Nor deem our shelter all secure
E’en in the Church’s holiest aisle.
Vainly before the shrine he bends,
Who knows not the true pilgrim’s part:
The martyr’s cell no safety lends
To him who wants the martyr’s heart.
But if there be, who follows Paul
As Paul his Lord, in life and death,
Where’er an aching heart may call,
Ready to speed and take no breath;
Whose joy is, to the wandering sheep
To tell of the great Shepherd’s love;
To learn of mourners while they weep
The music that makes mirth above;
Who makes the Saviour all his theme,
The Gospel all his pride and praise —
Approach: for thou canst feel the gleam
That round the martyr’s death-bed plays:
Thou hast an ear for angels’ songs,
A breath the gospel trump to fill,
And taught by thee the Church prolongs
Her hymns of high thanksgiving still.
Ah! dearest mother, since too oft
The world yet wins some Demas frail
E’en from thine arms, so kind and soft,
May thy tried comforts never fail!
When faithless ones forsake thy wing,
Be it vouchsafed thee still to see
Thy true, fond nurslings closer cling,
Cling closer to their Lord and thee.
That ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. St. Jude 3.
Seest thou, how tearful and alone,
And drooping like a wounded dove,
The Cross in sight, but Jesus gone,
The widowed Church is fain to rove?
Who is at hand that loves the Lord?
Make haste, and take her home, and bring
Thine household choir, in true accord
Their soothing hymns for her to sing.
Soft on her fluttering heart shall breathe
The fragrance of that genial isle,
There she may weave her funeral wreath,
And to her own sad music smile.
The Spirit of the dying Son
Is there, and fills the holy place
With records sweet of duties done,
Of pardoned foes, and cherished grace.