That, dearest of Thy bosom Friends,
Into the wavering heart descends:-
“What? fallen again? yet cheerful rise.
Thine Intercessor never dies.”
The eye of Faith, that waxes bright
Each moment by thine altar’s light,
Sees them e’en now: they still abide
In mystery kneeling at our side:
And with them every spirit blest,
From realms of triumph or of rest,
From Him who saw creation’s morn,
Of all Thine angels eldest born,
To the poor babe, who died to-day,
Take part in our thanksgiving lay,
Watching the tearful joy and calm,
While sinners taste Thine heavenly balm.
Sweet awful hour! the only sound
One gentle footstep gliding round,
Offering by turns on Jesus’ part
The Cross to every hand and heart.
Refresh us, Lord, to hold it fast;
And when Thy veil is drawn at last,
Let us depart where shadows cease,
With words of blessing and of peace.
Where is it mothers learn their love? —
In every Church a fountain springs
O’er which th’ Eternal Dove
Hovers out softest wings.
What sparkles in that lucid flood
Is water, by gross mortals eyed:
But seen by Faith, ’tis blood
Out of a dear Friend’s side.
A few calm words of faith and prayer,
A few bright drops of holy dew,
Shall work a wonder there
Earth’s charmers never knew.
O happy arms, where cradled lies,
And ready for the Lord’s embrace,
That precious sacrifice,
The darling of His grace!
Blest eyes, that see the smiling gleam
Upon the slumbering features glow,
When the life-giving stream
Touches the tender brow!
Or when the holy cross is signed,
And the young soldier duly sworn,
With true and fearless mind
To serve the Virgin-born.
But happiest ye, who sealed and blest
Back to your arms your treasure take,
With Jesus’ mark impressed
To nurse for Jesus’ sake:
To whom—as if in hallowed air
Ye knelt before some awful shrine —
His innocent gestures wear
A meaning half divine:
By whom Love’s daily touch is seen
In strengthening form and freshening hue,
In the fixed brow serene,
The deep yet eager view. —
Who taught thy pure and even breath
To come and go with such sweet grace?
Whence thy reposing Faith,
Though in our frail embrace?
O tender gem, and full of Heaven!
Not in the twilight stars on high,
Not in moist flowers at even
See we our God so nigh.
Sweet one, make haste and know Him too,
Thine own adopting Father love,
That like thine earliest dew
Thy dying sweets may prove.