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Soms 



of a Parish Priest. 



Pei). Basil Edwards. 




THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 







SONGS 



OF A 



PARISH PRIEST, 



SONGS 



A PARISH PRIEST, 



BY 

REV. BASIL EDWARDS, M. A 

Late of Gonville and Cains College, Cambr: 
Rector of Blaisdon, 
Nevmham-on-Severn, Gloucestershire. 



GEORGE ALLEN, 

SUNNYSIDE", ORPINGTON, KENT. 
1888. 



Printed by Hazell, Watson, &■ Viney, Ld„ London and Aylesbury . 






Co 
ALEXANDER MACKAY, Esq., J. P., 

HOLT MANOR, WILTS, 

FOR WHOM 
ALL THE SACRED ASSOCIATIONS WHICH CLUSTER ROUND 
A PARISH CHURCH 
ARE, AS THE WRITER KNOWS, FULL OF INTEREST, 

THESE 

"SONGS OF A PARISH PRIEST" 

ARE AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED, 
AS A VERY SLIGHT TOKEN OF A VERY DEEP REGARD. 



9179:= 



PREFACE. 



HP HAT beautiful, but to many, little-known, prayer 
-*■ called the " Bidding Prayer," invites our suffrages 
for Christ's Holy Catholic Church, and especially for 
that pure and Apostolic branch of it established in 
these realms. It has seemed to the writer of this little 
book, that in every parish and every country village 
there are, besides the living voice of the Church, num- 
berless silent witnesses which appeal to her sons' and 
daughters' hearts ; and that all the associations, even 
of the material things which form part of and surround 
the " houses of God in the land," are intensely sacred, 
and are full of teaching. 

The quiet of a country charge has enabled the writer 
to endeavour to link together many of the objects most 
prominently connected with sacred thought in a rural 
parish, and to present the results to the reader in 
somewhat of a sequence, leading step by step from 
the Lych Gate to the Altar. If this endeavour serves 
at all to deepen the love of sacred things in the hearts 
of any of the sons and daughters of the Church, he 
will be more than repaid. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

PREFACE V 

PART I. 

THE VILLAGE CROSS 1 

THE VILLAGE SCHOOL 3 

THE LYCH GATE 5 

THE SATURDAY OF FLOWERS 7 

THE CLOCK 9 

THE VANE IJ 

THE BELLS I 3 

THE VESTRY l 5 

THE PORCH l 7 

THE FONT l 9 

THE FALD-STOOL 20 

THE LECTERN 22 

THE PULPIT 2 4 

THE ORGAN 26 

THE ALTAR .... 28 

THE CROSS 3° 

THE ALTAR LIGHTS 3 2 

THE PATEN 34 

THE CHALICE 3 6 

THE CHALICE VEIL . . 3 8 



xn 



CONTENTS. 



THE HOLY COMMUNION . 

THE COMMUNION OF THE SICK 

THE ALMS DISH 

A FLOWER SERVICE 

MINISTERING SPIRITS 

SILENT VOICES 

THE RECTORY .... 

THE OLD PATHS 

OUR MOTHER CHURCH OF ENGLAN 

BATTLE MUSIC 

AT THE THRESHOLD 

WHILE THE EMBERS GLOW . 

DOMUM, DULCE DOMUM ! 

INTERCESSION .... 

SHADOWS ON THE WALL 

ALTA QUIES .... 

ANASTASIS .... 

THROUGH THE RIFTS 

THE TWO SPOTS 

COMFORT 

PRESSING TOWARD THE MARK 

SOON 

THE OTHER SIDE . 

" DE PROFUNDIS " . 

THE LAND BEYOND THE SEA 

THE VIGIL .... 

SHADOW-LAND 

EVENTIDE .... 

REUNION 

THE MORNING WATCH , 



CONTENTS. 



PART II. 



the righi sunset 
the name in sand 
the broken flower . 
little evelyn 
a mother's arms . 
maky's voyage 
flowers amid the corn 
lux e tenebris . 
the everlasting shore 
a child's matins . 
a child's evensong 
new year's morning . 
divers paths 

PAX DEI .... 

COMPASSION' . 

RAYS .... 

BEHIND THE VEIL . 



PAGE 

107 

109 
III 
"3 

117 
119 

121 
123 

125 
127 
129 
131 
133 
135 
137 
I4O 



PART I, 



THE VILLAGE CROSS. 

IN the centre of the village, 
Where the well-worn roadways meet, 
And the shadows from the sunset 

Fall slanting o'er the street, 
Among the passing people, 

With their ceaseless ebb and Mow, 
Still rise the ancient stones which bore 
The cross in years ago. 

The steps are cut in sevens, 

They are smooth and worn with age, 
The relics of a far off time 

Writ in an elder page. 
And here in careless gladness 

The village children play 
Where their forefathers' fathers 

Were wont to kneel and pray. 

Here, in the westering sunlight, 

Beneath the sacred rood. 
In days now long departed, 

The wandering friar has stood, 
With arms and voice uplifted, 

To tell of Mary's Son, 
Through whose dear cross and passion 

The whole wide world was won. 

I 



THE VILLAGE CROSS. 

The burgher from the city, 

The franklin from the grange, 
The palmer back from travel 

In countries far and strange, 
With village hinds would gather, 

While tears would sometimes rise, 
And gentle looks come softly 

To unaccustomed eyes. 

Here, when the waves of battle 

Had broken all in blood, 
The flying and the dying 

Would cling around the rood ; 
The bitter sword of vengeance 

Would turn its edge aside, 
And brother bend with brother 

Before the "Crucified." 

Like some high tower at midnight, 

From which there streams the ray 
That cheers and guides the toilers 

O'er ocean's storm-tossed way ; 
So, 'midst the lurid darkness 

Of those red feudal skies, 
The one great Church was pointing 

The path to Paradise. 

And still these stones are standing 

In witness of the past, 
With mute appeal to heaven, 

Though skies be overcast. 
They tell our children's children, 

'Mid earthly gain or loss, 
How their forefathers' fathers 

Built up the village cross. 



THE SCHOOL, 



■*l HEN the clock is striking- twelve, 



w 



Before the last note dies, 
How merry are the children, 
With happy, eager eyes ! 

And clatter go their footsteps 
Adown the village street ; 

Ah ! well if in the years to come 
Life might be found as sweet ! 

And chatter go their voices, 
The tones arise and fall — 

But yet the melody of life 
Is rippling thro' them all. 

Oh, happy burst of laughter, 

Amid the leafy lanes ! 
Oh, ringing mirth that eddies round 

The latticed window-panes ! 

Oh, dear unsullied gladness ! 

Oh, eyes so innocent ! 
Ye surely have not dreamed as yet 

What sin and sorrow meant. 



THE SCHOOL. 

The fresh, fair sunlight glances 
On each unruffled, brow ; 

O that the stress and strain of life 
Might leave you pure as now ! 



THE LYCH-GATE. 

AT the entrance of the Churchyard, 
Where the graves are green and fair, 
The old lych gateway standeth 
Above the low mounds there. 
A good old oaken gateway, 

Where the priest receives the dead 
When first the mourners' footsteps 
Pause in their solemn tread. 

On one side lies the trampling 

And the noise of the village street, 
But within is the holy quiet 

Of a hushed and calm retreat, 
Where the very air is clearer, 

And the deep, deep sky more blue ; 
For the doors of heaven seem nearer, 

As if God were coming through. 

Beneath that gabled archway, 

While bells ring sofc and clear, 
The happy congregations 

Have passed for many a year. 
Yet sometimes there in silence 

The eyes of love run o'er, 
As some are borne beneath it 

Who come back nevermore. 



THE LYCH-GATE. 

Yet hence, in youthful gladness, 

The bridegroom leads the bride, 
The while the village children 

Gaze on them sunny-eyed. 
And words of kindliest greeting 

Full many a time are said, 
As friend with friend is meeting 

Beneath the Lych-gate's shade. 

The path that winds beneath it 

Is bordered with the sod, 
And echoed once with footsteps 

That rest them now with God. 
Age after age is travelling 

Along that sacred way, 
And where we tread, our fathers 

Were passing yesterday. 

And thus that old lych gateway 

Is witness day by day 
When we pass into the churchyard 

To muse awhile and pray 
That in God's gracious keeping 

We too may close our eyes, 
And pass beyond its portals 

To sunny Paradise. 



THE SATURDAY OF FLOWERS. 

" Dydd Sadwrn y Blodan." 

T LOVE that old Welsh custom, 
1 "The Saturday of Flowers," 
Which renders to the hallowed dead 

A few regretful hours. 
Before the bells of Easter 

Are throbbing - on the air, 
Our steps are drawn to holy ground, 

And those who slumber there. 

'Twas in Saint Joseph's garden 

They laid Our Lord to rest, 
And meetly 'neath the stainless flowers 

His people slumber best. 
With God's free winds around them, 

And the soft blue skies above, 
While our tender thoughts surround them 

E'en in their graves with love. 

Each mound is like a garden : 

In clusters here and there, 
The simple-hearted country folk 

Their treasured offerings bear. 
They have wreaths of pure, pale primrose, 

The emblem meet of rest, 
And crosses of Lent lilies 

To lie upon the breast. 



THE SATURDAY OF FLOWERS. 

They pass in silence, softly, 

Among the quiet dead, 
The village children, sunny-eyed, 

With gentle, reverent tread. 
And the father trims the hillock, 

While the mother, near the spot, 
Is bending o'er the bright fresh tufts 

Of blue "forget-me-not." 

There are miners from the "Forest," 

Stained with the rich red ore, 
And fisher-folk from far away 

Beside the Severn shore. 
The "fathers of the hamlet" 

Lie 'neath the sacred sod. 
They dress the graves, and pause awhile, 

To think of them— and God. 

The parish priest among them 

In quiet converse walks, 
And, mingling with the changing groups, 

In kindly wise he talks. 
His words are to the living, 

Then of the dead, anon,— 
Full well of those who slumber there 

He mindeth many a one. 

Then, as the soft spring sunset 

Fades on the time-worn towers, 
The hues of evening gather round 

The Saturday of Flowers, 
All in God's gracious keeping 

We leave the dead to rest, 
With the crosses of Lent lilies 

That lie upon the breast. 



THE CLOCK. 

THE dial on the good grey tower 
Meteth Time's fleeting measure ; 
The halves, the quarters, and the hour, 
Or bring they pain or pleasure. 

The gilded hands before the face, 

In gladness or affliction, 
Like sainted fingers fraught with grace, 

Uplift their benediction. 

To some its flying moments flit, 
Touched with a tinge of glory, 

To others as they muse on it 
Life shows a sombre story. 

Of all the faces far and near, 

While Time swings onward slowly ; 

The features, be they loved or dear, 
Yet change in part or wholly. 

But yet that well-known face ere now 
Unlined by care or sadness, 

Has looked upon the old man's brow 
And on his infant gladness. 



io THE CLOCK. 

Like one whose ever-watchful eye 
" Nor slumbereth nor sleepeth," 

This old-world dial placed on high 
Its solemn vigil keepeth. 

The notes are borne in eddying sighs, 
When the red sun is setting, 

And witness as the daylight dies, 
In spite of our forgetting. 

And some day, when those silver chimes 

On other ears are falling, 
And we and all our earthly times 

Are passed beyond recalling, 

Then in the clearer light that streams 
Where nought of Time can sever, 

May we arise from mists and dreams 
To have a part for ever ! 



II 



THE VANE. 

O SLENDER cross that soarest high 
Towards the thunderous skies, 
The -while the rolling clouds go by, 

In which the lightning lies ; 
The tempest rocks thee, far-off rood, 
Thou bravest all the winds of God. 

From sunlit East the breeze ma)' blow, 

From South or icy North, 
Or sweep across the Western seas, 

With wild tempestuous wrath. 
But yet, whate'er the wind that blows, 
The cross nor change nor danger knows. 

O blessed sign, beheld afar, 
Whene'er the day grows old, 

Athwart yon clear horizon bar 
A living gleam of gold ; 

In witness, as the daylight dies, 

That yonder there are fadeless skies. 

Thy shadow falls on holy ground, 

Across each rounded grave, 
While far beneath the gilded vane 

The giant elm trees wave, 
But soaring still thro' shine or mist, 
The village spire looks up to Christ. 



12 THE VANE. 

Earth's mists lie brooding- o'er the ground, 

But as they rise they fade ; 
The eye of faith can aye discern 

The cross above the shade, 
As though to teach us even here 
The calm of that high atmosphere. 

Thus reaching thro' the clouds of earth, 

As time is hurrying by, 
Christ's Holy Church uplifts her face 

To far eternity ; 
And though the mists may lie below, 
God's awful light is on her brow. 

Amid the tumult and the storm 

Of worldly gain or loss, 
Although the tempests rage and swell, 

She lifts His steadfast cross, 
Until shall dawn that longed-for day 
When all the shadows flee away. 



13 



THE BELLS. 

OHOLY Bells ! O happy Bells ! 
How clear your music floats, 
As though the tones that wander by 
Had caught some angel notes ! 

In smiling country far away, 

Or by the salt sea foam, 
Ye fall like songs of Paradise, 

O hallowed Bells of home ! 

I see once more the good grey tower 
Stand stately 'mid the trees, 

And hear for one short sacred hour 
The chimes upon the breeze. 

The joy bells on a Christmas morn ; 

The peal on Easter Day ; 
The silver voice that, morn by morn, 

Calls "two or three" to pray. 

The notes that throb upon the air, 

With echoes far and wide, 
As down the churchyard green and fair 

The bridegroom leads the bride. 



i 4 THE BELLS. 

Or when away amid the hills 

Rings out the plaintive knell ; 
As through each rugged bosom thrills 

Thy note, O passing bell ! 

The labourer stays his sunburnt hand 

To hear the great bell toll ; 
A neighbour nears the silent land, — 

"God speed the passing soul." 

And through the hamlet far away, 
With measured beat and dread, 

The knell from yonder steeple grey 
Goes sounding for the dead. 

And some day, when those changing chimes 

Are throbbing thro' the air, 
And fill men's ears in aftertimes, 

Though we shall not be there, 

All in a country far away, 

Beyond the salt sea foam, 
O that we hear in Paradise 

The blessed notes of Home ! 



i5 



THE VESTRY. 

A PEACEFUL chamber, hushed and calm, 
Where tempered light serenely falls. 
And sound floats softly like a psalm 
That dies at eve in holy walls. 

A presence fills the shadowy room, 
A fragrance breathes upon the air, 
As though there lingered in the gloom 
The incense of a good man's, prayer. 

There many a bride, with winsome grace, 
In which a guileless heart bore sway, 
Has looked upon her true love's face 
And signed her maiden name away. 

And here are numbered lists which show 
How, though the world is waxing old, 
The cross still gleams on childhood's brow 
And lambs are gathered to the fold. 

While yonder clasps enclose the leaves 
Which tell how surely, day by day, 
The tireless reaper binds the sheaves 
And bears the wheat and tares away. 



1 6 THE VESTRY. 

And here the white-robed choristers 
Raise reverent voices sweet and low ; 
Till, as the deep-toned organ stirs, 
They wend forth softly two and two. 

Then, after "benediction" falls, 
A moment's space they all draw nigh, 
And pray within these peaceful walls, 
Before they lay those white robes by. 

And thus this hallowed chamber seems 
A portal to Our Father's home ; 
To which at length, beyond our dreams, 
The footsteps of His children come, — 

Where saints shall wear the robes of white 
And never lay them more aside, 
But gladdened by eternal light 
The pure in heart are satisfied. 



17 



THE PORCH. 

WHEN once within the harbour, 
Its sure protection gained, 
The storm-bound vessels anchor, 
Though every cord be strained. 
Although the foam is flying 

Beyond the surf-beat "bar," 
The mariners are lying 

Where peace and safety are. 

And thus those time-worn portals, 

That rise so calm and grey, 
Hold out to wistful mortals 

Their shelter day by day. 
Without may be the burden 

Of a life of pain and care, 
But within the calm and quiet 

Of Our Father's House of Prayer. 

The happy village children 

Pass in with softened tread, 
The maiden and the matron, 

The hoary good grey head. 
Some think to enter often 

For years and years to come, 
And some, a few more footsteps 

They know will bring them home. 



1 8 THE PORCH. 

So through the vaulted archway 

That leads to yonder door 
Men pass alike as brothers, 

And shall do evermore. 
All in the same High Presence, 

Within the same grey walls, 
Kneel high-born men and lowly, 

As Absolution falls. 

And some day, when our footsteps 

No longer tread this way, 
Or seek those sacred portals 

Through which they pass to-day, - 
When other knees are bending, 

And other voices rise, 
Oh to have part unending 

Of praise in Paradise ! 



19 



THE FONT 

O ANCIENT stone where, one by one, 
Each village mother brings her child, 
To bathe beneath the cleansing flood, 
From whence she bears it undefiled ! 

The generations come and go, 
And heads of down are heads of grey ; 
While those who here were prayed for, come 
Themselves in turn to kneel and pray. 

Wave after wave of mortal life 
Breaks round thee, O thou timeworn stone ; 
Wave after wave of strain and strife, 
But still the tide is rolling on. 

The pleading priest, the white-robed choir, 
The locks with sacred waters wet, 
The infant chrisomvestured forms, 
The brows whereon the cross is set. 

And still the ancient grace prevails, 
Although the world is waxing old, 
" By water and the word,"' and thus 
The lambs are gathered to the fold. 



20 



THE FALDSTOOL. 

BETWEEN the porch and altar, 
Where the people kneel and pray, 
As you pass towards the chancel, 

The Fald-stool stands alway. 
And there that intercession 

Which time the more endears 
Rolls on its pleading accents 
Through all the changing years. 

The voices of our fathers 

Have swelled that tide of prayer, 
That mighty supplication 

Has softened man}' a care. 
And surely still those pleadings 

On yon eternal shore 
In waves of intercession 

Keep breaking evermore. 

Oh, none so high and stately, 

Oh, none so mean and poor, 
But both alike are welcomed 

Within the church's door. 
The monarch in his splendour, 

The poor man wandering by, 
Alike have place and portion 

In that grand Litany. 



THE FALDSTOOL. 21 

As God's blue sky is bending 

Upon the far-off hills, 
Or as the dew descending 

That feeds a thousand rills, 
Or like the mighty ocean 

That washes every shore, 
So here each heart's emotion 

Finds echo evermore. 

O waves of intercession, 

O suffrages that rise 
In lofty, long procession 

Towards eternal skies, 
How tender are the memories 

Your holy voices bear, 
In all the measured cadence 

Of this so matchless prayer ! 

Soft as a mother's accents, 

When for her child she pleads, 
The voice of our true Mother, 

As thus she intercedes. 
And thus her sons and daughters, 

As life is eddying by, 
Pour out their hearts in worship 

And bless her Litany. 



THE LECTERN. 

WITHIN our village chancel, 
Inside the dark oak choir, 
Is a spot where the great east window 

Floods all the floor with fire, 
Where the gold and crimson glories 

Of its painted lights are thrown, 
As the shadows from the altar 
Lie floating on the stone. 

There stands the wide-wing'd eagle, 

The symbol cf Saint John ; 
Though some who were gathered round it 

Are into silence gone, 
Yet it stands with tireless pinions, 

As it bears God's word of grace, 
With an onward gaze and upward 

Upon its changeless face. 

And, like some silver clarion, 

From where that lectern stands, 
Ring daily, softly, clearly, 

The notes of Christ's commands. 
The Sower's hand is sowing 

Whene'er he turns those leaves ; 
Oh that the last great harvest 

May show the whitening sheaves ! 



THE LECTERN. 23 

Here no caprice or passion 

Can urge its changeful sway, 
God's very words — they only — 

Are set forth day by day. 
Oh, wisdom of our fathers, 

To give us daily bread, 
As in the Church's order 

Our Master's words are said ! 

Around that lectern gather, 

While pass the fleeting years, 
Eyes that are bright with gladness, 

Some that are soft with tears ; 
The light of children's faces, 

Youth, with its open brow, 
The earnest gaze of manhood, 

The old man's crown of snow. 

So on that spot for ever 

God's message ringeth clear, 
Though changing tones and voices 

May bear it to the ear. 
And one day, ah ! so surely, 

Although the ages wane, 
The bread cast on the waters 

Shall all be found again. 



24 



THE PULPIT. 

IT is but a village pulpit, 
It has stood where it stands for years, 
And footsteps that now are silent 

Have trodden those oaken stairs ; 
But at last they have reached a region 
Where the preacher's voice is hushed, 
Where stilled is all passionate pleading 
And the eloquent lips are dust. 

It has rung with the soaring echoes 

Of a voice that is far away, 
And those panels have thrilled with the music 

Of a tongue that is turned to clay. 
But the thoughts which were brave and kindly, 

And the flash of the fearless eye, 
Like the love of the Christlike spirit, 

Are things that can hardly die. 

It may be some words were homely, 

But they flowed from a true, brave heart, 
Which could throb with a brother's gladness 

Or ache with a sister's smart. 
If they knew not the pointless phrases 

Of a school that was Low or High, 
Yet they taught of a God Who loved us, 

And they branded a lie, a lie. 



THE PULPIT. 25 

There's many a toilworn peasant, 

When the work of the week is done, 
Who will gaze at this old oak pulpit, 

And sigh for a face that's gone, 
For the voice that rang out like silver, 

For the locks like the silver too, 
For the eyes which were calm and kindly, 

Which God's light was shining through. 

It is but a village pulpit, 

It has stood where it stands for years, 
But some, as they gaze upon it, 

See dimly through mists of tears, 
As they long for the pleading music 

Of a voice that is far away ; 
For the seed that was sown in weakness 

Lives on in some hearts to-day. 



26 



THE ORGAN. 

IN the placid depths of ocean 
Giant forces are at rest ; 
All the tumult of the tempest 

Underlies that peaceful breast. 
Storm and whirlwind, crested billow, 

Wreathen foam, all white and free, 
Mighty force that is resistless, 
Slumber in a summer sea. 

So within these quiet portals 

What a storm of music floats, 
As the organ's thunder rolleth 

Upward with exultant notes ; 
While the great "Amen" goes throbbing 

Through the arches high and dim, 
Till the chords that rise so grandly 

Wander towards the seraphim ! 

Onwards, like a tide of glory, 

Waves of sound go rolling by, 
Clinging to the clerestory, 

Soaring to the songs on high ; 
Till the soul, awhile transfigured, 

Seemeth for a moment's space 
To have cast aside its raiment, 

And to touch some far-off place. 



THE ORGAN. 27 

Soon this fleeting generation, 

Where we play awhile our part, 
Shall have swept into the silence 

That shall hush each restless heart ; 
But that high triumphant music 

Through these vaulted aisles shall roll, 
And each deep "Amen" resounding 

Waken echoes in the soul. 

When our barque has reached the haven, 

Other ships shall sail the seas ; 
When our feeble touch is silent, 

Other fingers sweep the keys ; 
When the wave has burst in splendour, 

Other billows reach the shore : 
Thus the round of laud and worship 

Rolleth onwards evermore. 

But within that region saintly, 

Hidden from our eager eyes, 
Which we scan in part and faintly, 

Known to us as Paradise, 
There are sweeter voices singing 

Than we hear within the choir, 
Fuller, richer notes are ringing, 

Grander music, soaring higher. 

When the organ's tones no longer 

Fall upon our listening ears, 
Or its mighty chords of passion 

Thrill the kneeling worshippers, 
May the trembling "vox humana " 

Change into the " voix celeste," 
And the songs that know not sorrow 

Be our loudest — grandest — best ! 



28 



THE ALTAR. 

SIX cities stood in Holy Land : 
Within their walls dwelt peace, 
The fierce avenger stayed his hand, 

The flying' footsteps cease ; 
Nor sword, nor scaith, nor peril waits 
The fugitive within those gates. 

And so, amidst the storms of life, 

One place alone is found 
Where reverent hearts and feet may press, 

And find it " Holy Ground " ; 
One spot on earth is free from care, — 
Thine altar, Lord, when Thou art there ! 

It may be but a village shrine, 
Where two or three may meet 

With Him, Whose tender love divine 
Would woo them to His feet ; 

But yet, what awe and rapture thrill 

The faithful few who worship still ! 

When, wrapped in deep adoring awe, 

The soul to God draws near, 
The mists of time are rolled away, 

The lights of heaven appear ; 
And e'en on earth, a moment's space, 
Our eyes are on "Our Father's" face. 



THE ALTAR. 29 

The mystery of mysteries 

Upon that altar lies ; 
Bow down, O heart, bow down, O head ! 

But faith uplift thine eyes : 
The very God is at thy side — 
Thy gaze is on the Crucified ! 

And so, amidst our daily cares, 

One harbour lies secure, 
Where souls may anchor in the peace 

Of God for evermore. 
A shelter where awhile is given 
To breathe on earth the air of heaven. 

O one tremendous Sacrifice, 

We plead Thee yet again; 
In life and in the days of health, 

In death or mortal pain, 
We still would keep Thy sacred tryst, 
And meet Thee in Thy Eucharist. 



3° 



THE CROSS. 
"In Hoc Sfgno." 

GLIDING through the shadows, 
Goes the cross of Christ, 
Through the dreary darkness, 

Through the driving mist. 
Lo ! the storms are rising; 

Hark ! the winds are shrill ; 
But the cross is moving 
Onwards, onwards still. 

Onwards, upwards, homewards 

Through the striving air, 
Press the streaming pennons 

Of that standard fair ; 
Tens and tens of thousands, 

Martyr, child, and maid, 
March beneath the shelter 

Of its sacred shade. 

Round that waving banner, 

While the war goes on, 
Deeds of saintly daring 

Have been wrought and won. 
O for feet to follow ! 

O for hands to fight ! 
O for strength to wrestle 

Onwards into light ! 



THE CROSS. 

Onwards where the battle 

Fierce and fiercer grows, 
Where the air is parted 

With a thousand blows, 
See the swords are flashing, 

See the spears are wet, 
But that lofty banner 

Surgeth onwards yet. 

Down the darksome valley 

Streams that sacred sign, 
'Midst the gloom and blackness 

How its splendours shine ! 
Lighting yonder waters, 

Swift and deep and chill, 
As its rays are passing 

Onwards, onwards still. 

By Thy pangs and passion, 

By Thy pain and loss, 
Crucified, we cry Thee, 

Draw us by that cross ; 
By the wounds of pity, 

By the nail-pierced hand, 
Lead Thy pilgrim soldiers 

Into Holy Land. 



THE ALTAR LIGHTS. 

TWIN lights upon the altar, 
O emblems meet and right, 
Ye speak of One whose radiance 

Gives all His people light ; 
The altar were ungarnished 
Without your sacred ray ; 
The Church's gold were tarnished 
If He were far away. 

Like two clear lamps whose splendour 

Glows softly near and far, 
Your rays unite and witness 

The Bright and Morning Star ; 
They tell of One whose mercy 

Is linked with each behest, — 
"My presence shall go with thee, 

And I will give thee rest." 

There's light upon the altar, 

And light within the heart 
That, like the Holy Mary, 

Pursues the better part. 
And, as that sacred Presence 

Breathes like an air divine, 
In contrite hearts and humble 

It makes its wondrous shrine. 



THE ALTAR LIGHTS. 

In many a vast cathedral 

Your rays fall full and fair, 
And flood the kneeling thousands, 

While God Himself is there ; 
Or in some village chancel 

The sacred sign is set, 
Within the same high Presence, 

Where "two or three are met." 

And so ye deck our altars, 

Though ages come and go, 
The Church nor stoops nor falters, 

But shines with steadfast glow, — 
The guide to yonder city, 

Upon the sinless shore, 
Where light of earthly candle 

Is needed nevermore. 



33 



34 



THE PATEN. 

O PATEN, smooth with use 
Of service years ago, 
A purer ray is thine to-day 
Than earthly splendours show ! 

No Caesar's lofty seat, 
Or throne of emperor, 
Hath e'er been pressed by such a Guest 
As thou art wont to bear. 



For hands that grasp the palm 
Have held thy living bread ; 
Around thee gleam, as in a dream, 
The shadowy featured dead. 

Oh, what an atmosphere 
Of rapture and of prayer, 
In awe profound hath dwelt around 
The burden thou dost bear ! 



The generations pass, 
And day succeeds to day ; 
Tho' art is long, yet death is strong ; 
The river glides away. 



THE P. IT EX. 35 



But still the Cross retains 
Its high unbending faith ; 
Tho' ebb and flow lay kingdoms low- 
Yet life o'ercometh death. 

The yearning souls of men 
Are fed with heavenly food ; 
'Mid pain and strife, they taste of life 
Christ's Body and His Blood. 



36 



THE CHALICE. 

I LIKE to think this slender rim, 
Which holds that crimson flow, 
Was pressed by our forefathers' lips 
Two hundred years ago, — 

That while the world goes rolling by, 

In dull or fevered mood, 
The one true Church is nurtured on 

Christ's Body and His Blood. 

And thus this cup, where tremble still 
Those drops so dearly shed, 

Was often held by holy hands, 
Now folded with the dead ; 

And lips that gently touched this rim 

Of silver worn and bright 
Are singing with the seraphim 

In everlasting light. 

The wistful, reverent, yearning eyes, 

That fell before the rail, 
Have opened since in Paradise, 

And see beyond the veil. 



THE CHALICE. 37 

While we are chanting in the choir, 

Those sweeter voices raise 
The soaring songs that wander far 

Beyond our mortal praise. 

But still those hearts that rest them now 

In that serener air 
Beat on in unison with ours, 

That sometimes ache with care. 

So well we love this chalice bright, 

Our fathers pressed before ; 
But oh, to drink the wine of God 

On high for evermore ! 



38 



THE CHALICE VEIL. 

\\ /"HEN downwards from the Holy Mount 
VV The feet of Moses trod, 
There glowed upon his radiant brow 

The awful light of God ; 
And none of all the chosen race 
Could gaze into that shining face. 

When o'er the outspread mere}* seat 

The bright Shekinah shone, 
One footstep through the rolling year 

Might enter there alone, 
And pass unseen by mortal eye 
Beyond that veil of mystery. 

Yet faith the same high Presence hails 

Within these courts to-day, 
Thy people at Thy altar rails 

(Ah, who so blest as they !) 
May kneel and keep Thy sacred tryst, 
And Thou art with them, Saviour-Christ. 

And though a veil of spotless white 

Doth hide the heavenly food, 
And screen from man's too eager sight 

The Body and the Blood, 
Yet still where sense and sight must cease 
The soul can rest herself in peace,— 



THE CHALICE VEIL. 39 

In perfect peace that questions not 

Of either how or where, 
But dwells in the stupendous truth 

That Thou Thyself art there ; 
And in the joy that knowledge brings 
Is lost to sense of smaller things. 

And some day, in God's perfect time, 

Our last communion made, 
That Presence, all revealed, shall shine 

With rays that cannot fade, 
And lighten that tremendous day 
Which rends the veil of life away. 



4 o 



HOLY COMMUNION. 
I Believe ... in the Communion of Saints. 

BEFORE one altar kneeling 
We worshipped side by side. 
Thy sacred Presence feeling, 

O Jesu Crucified ! 
With angels and archangels 

We offered praise and prayer, 
But some who knelt beside us 
No more may worship there. 

Yet in the high thanksgiving 

We deem they bear their part ; 
The blessed dead, the living, 

Alike are one in heart ; 
Although their holy voices 

Have soared to loftier strains, 
The one great Church rejoices, 

That fellowship remains. 

Then pray we for the living, 

Then plead we for the dead, 
(For quick and dead are gathered 

In one, the only Head,) 
From "glory unto glory" 

That those may take their way ; 
For grace that these may follow 

To greet them if they may. 



HOLY COMMUNION. 4' 

The family hath members 

That dwell 'neath sundered skies, 
And some are here as pilgrims, 

And some in Paradise. 
For though awhile divided 

The severed hosts may be, 
'Tis still the same great army 

On either side the sea. 

And so in full communion 

We offer praise and prayers, 
They in our hearts remembered, 

As we are borne in theirs. 
At one High Altar kneeling, 

We worship side by side ; 
The same dread Presence feeling. 

O Jesu Crucified ! 



42 



THE POCKET COMMUNION SERVICE. 

ONLY a silver paten, 
Such as a priest may bear 
When he treads in men's darkened chambers 

In the hours of their pain and care. 
But the eyes that have watched that circlet, 

Where the heavenly food hath lain, 
Have opened at length in gladness, 
And for ever have done with pain. 

Only a slender chalice, 

With a worn and a shining rim, 
But it may be the lips that pressed it 

Now join in the angels' hymn ; 
That the words of that last communion, 

As they faded and died away, 
Were the notes of Our Father's welcome 

To a feast that is spread for aye. 

Only a sound of weeping, 

And the rush of the blinding tears, 
While the touch of an angel's fingers 

Unloosened the ties of years, 
As the chamber was full of a Presence 

That the watchers might hardly see, 
And the breezes were ruffled a moment 

With the breath of eternity. 



THE POCKE T COMM I \\1< >A SEN 1 7 ( E. 43 

Only a silver chalice, 

A paten a priest might bear, 
But -it may be some souls were strengthened 

By the Presence that lingered there. 
As they gleamed on some bedside altar, 

Ah ! sceptre and diadem 
Were dull to the awful radiance 

Of the splendour that clung to them. 

At the end of the toilworn pathway, 

On the shore of eternal things, 
Where the shadows of time are shaken 

With the rush of the angels' wings, 
There may shine on the wasted features 

A light from a far-off place, 
And a nimbus that falls from heaven 

Will gleam for a moment's space. 

Some day, when our last communion 

And the story of life are o'er, 
When the touch of those sacred vessels 

Can come to our lips no more, 
Then the light of that long-loved Presence, 

Here worshipped awhile by faith, 
Will guide us beyond the shadows, 

Through the grave and the gate of death. 



44 



THE ALMS DISH. 

A WIDOW'S hand in days of old 
■T\ Gave more than all beside ; 
Her gift more costly far than gold, 

Bestowed with careless pride. 
So love that yieldeth all must be 
The first free gift we bear to Thee. 

Thy treasury is open still, 

And there our gifts may pour : 

The contrite heart, the subject will 
Are offerings evermore, 

Which even Thine all-searching eyes 

May gaze upon and not despise. 

Within one broadening stream unite 

The alms of rich and poor, 
All equal in Thy holy sight, 

Who press Thy temple floor ; 
How vain all earthly pride and place, 
When God and man are face to face ! 

The silver and the gold are Thine, 
We give Thee but Thine own, 

Whene'er within Thy sacred shrine 
We lay our offerings down ; 

Yet pleading, Great High Priest, receive 

The lowly gifts Thy children give. 



THE ALMS DISH. 45 

They lie upon Thine altar now. 
The while we kneel in prayer; 

O knit again each broken vow. 
That faith may conquer care ; 

Grant grace and peace, that life may be 

An offering sacred all to Thee. 



46 



A FLOWER SERVICE. 

'Thou hast the dew of thy youth." — Psalm ex. 3. 

THE myrtles and the lilies, 
The roses red and white, 
In all their blended sweetness, 

Within these walls unite ; 
From many a stately mansion, 

From many a poor man's home, 
As gifts upon God's altar, 
The buds and flowerets come. 

Sweet is the scent of violets, 

Borne on the breath of spring, 
But sweeter children's praises, 

That rise with heavenward wing ; 
And clearer than the dewdrop, 

That trembles on the spray, 
The holy eyes of childhood, 

When it kneels down to pray. 

And some have brought the lily, 

The Blessed Virgin's flower, 
And some the soft moss roses 

From sheltered nook and bower ; 
While others searched with gladness 

In many a lonely spot, 
To bring as offerings, masses 

Of blue " forget-me-not." 



A FLOWER SERVICE. 47 

And One, be sure, observeth 

The lightest service done, 
The cup of water offered 

To cheer some suffering- one ; 
And He who watched the lilies, 

And notes the wild bird's wing, 
It may be, will remember 

The flowers the children bring. 

The fast unrolling future, 

Amid its fleeting hours, 
Will scatter round their pathway 

Its sunshine or its showers ; 
And as on yonder altar 

The summer wreath is laid, 
May those who brought them blossom 

Where nothing bright can fade ! 

There is a radiant garden, 

Though no man yet may see, 
In all that far-off country, 

How fair its flowers may be ; 
Oh that the sunny faces 

Amid these buds to-day 
May there be safely gathered, 

For ever and for aye ! 



4 8 



MINISTERING SPIRITS. 

TO MY ANGEL. 

"Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to 
them who shall be heirs of salvation ? " — Heb. i. 14. 

I CANNOT see thy shining wings, 
Or note thy raiment white, 
Or greet thee when the morning brings 

Its flood of golden light. 
I may not hear thy glorious voice, 

On yon serener air, 
But yet I bless thee, angel mine, 
For all thy wistful care. 

Thou gazest on "Our Father's" face, 

I may not gaze on thine, 
Or meet those sinless eyes, or trace 

Thy features line by line, 
Enough for me that far away, 

In yonder holy land, 
The Lord of angels bids me know, 

My elder brethren stand. 

Thine eyes and mine have never met, 

They may not meet for years, 
Until mine own are closing fast 
To earthly smiles and tears. 



MINISTERING SPIRITS. 49 

Perchance, in that stupendous hour, 

The veil of flesh may lift, 
And show the nimbus round thy brow, 

Like sunlight through a rift. 

Thy gentle hands, perchance, e'er now, 

Have folded to thy breast 
The passing souls that sped their way 

To everlasting rest. 
The fair, far land of Paradise 

Glowed softly through the mist, 
Till thou hadst laid them gently down 

Before the feet of Christ. 

I know not yet how much I owe 

To thy sweet ceaseless care, 
What foes thy arm has warded off, 

O warrior angel fair; 
But ah ! the waywardness of years 

Might move thee well to scorn, 
But that thy love is wonderful, 

My brother elder born. 

The Lord of angels and of men 

In one sweet chain of love 
Hath bound his lowly brethren here 

With those who serve above. 
And thus I hail thee, far away, 

Till faith be changed to sight, 
Until I greet thee face to face, 

O guardian angel bright ! 



So 



SILENT VOICES. 

" He being dead yet speaketh." — Heb. xi. 4. 

ONLY a pile of sermons, 
Dim with the dust of years, 
But yet they once were watered 

With loving thoughts and prayers. 
And perhaps the voice that uttered 

The truths still written here, 
With God's own radiant angels 
Has spoken many a year. 

You may say that the views seem narrow, 

But I know that the heart was wide, 
And the clear keen truth fell kindly 

From a tongue that never lied ; 
You may call them, now, old-fashioned, 

But they checked some sins, I know, 
And they led some steps towards heaven, 

In the days so long ago. 

They are only the earnest pleadings 

Of a faithful parish priest, 
Which breathe in these faded writings, 

Dusty and worn and creased. 
But Truth is the Truth for ever, 

And though he has passed away, 
The words of these faded sermons 

Will start into life some day. 



SILENT VOICES. 51 

Ears that once heard them lightly, 

Hearts that were cased in pride, 
Hands that clasped gain so tightly, 

Feet that have stepped aside : 
All at the last must gather, 

Keeping the one great tryst, 
Neighbour and friend and father, 

All at the feet of Christ. 

Only a pile of sermons, 

Bread on the waters thrown ; 
"Vox et prseterea nihil," 

Scattered, and lost, and gone. 
But Truth is the Truth for ever, 

And these hidden seeds shall rise 
When the sheaves are brought home with 
shouting 

To the garner of Paradise. 



52 



THE RECTORY. 

A GABLED house amid the tr,ees, 
A porch, an ever-open door ; 
The peaceful murmur of the bees, 
A pathway trodden by the poor. 

A garden all the children love, 
An orchard, and a brook thereby ; 
A stone's throw from the ancient walls 
God's Acre, where we all must lie. 

A home in which to spend by faith 
Life's little round of hopes and fears ; 
A home to which in after days 
The children's hearts shall turn for years. 

Old rooms where fresh young voices rise, 
Stone mullions where gold lichens grow, 
And casements which the westering skies 
Touch with their own far roseate glow. 

The study wainscot, dark with age, 
Has something sacred in its gloom ; 
What hands have turned the sacred page ! 
What prayers ascended from the room ! 



THE RECTORY. 53 

And some day, when the windows white 
Tell all the hamlet " parson's gone," 

O that within the countiy bright 
The Master's lips may say "Well done!" 

Amen. 



54 



THE OLD PATHS. 

" Ask for the old paths." — Jer. v. 16. 

THE good old Church of England, 
The ancient Faith and Line, 
She draws her strength and virtue 
From Christ the Heavenly Vine. 
This Church, which was our fathers', 

Is ours, — nor ours alone, 
For it shall be our children's 
When we ourselves are crone. 



s v 



Her threefold cord abideth, 

The links lead back to Christ ; 
She breathes Her Master's message, 

And all may heed who list. 
For still His gracious accents 

Ring in His servants' ears, 
" Lo, I am with you alway 

Throughout the changing years." 

The battle grows around her, 

The sounds of strife are shrill, 
But yet the Cross her banner 

Goes surging onwards still. 
Though error's Babel legions 

Conspire to lay her low, 
Yet " in hoc signo vinces " 

Is shining on her brow. 



THE OLD PATHS. 55 

What though the love of many 

Perchance is waxing- cold, 
And robber hands would plunder 

Her silver and her srold ? 
Ten thousand times ten thousand, 

Her own true children rise 
To meet the world in conflict, 

With eager fearless eyes. 

O mighty Church of England, 

Through thee our land is blessed, 
Thy myriad sons and daughters 

Yet love their mother's breast. 
For thee our fathers witnessed, 

In blood and fire and flame ; 
For thee their children's children 

Would even dare the same. 

They kneel before thy altars, 

Their voices rise to God, 
They walk within those pathways 

Which sainted feet have trod. 
The suffrages of ages 

Breathe on their lips to-day, 
When in thy holy places 

Thy children kneel and pray. 

They prize thine ancient Order, 

They hold the three great Creeds, 
That Litany of ages 

Which still so softly pleads : 
And come what may of trial, 

Of storm or strife or ill, 
Christ's ancient Church in England 

Shall be our children's still. 



56 



O 1 



OUR MOTHER CHURCH OF ENGLAND. 

" Which is the mother of us all." — Galatiam iv. 26. 

k UR Mother Church of England 
A faithful witness bears, 
'Midst peace and happy sunshine, 
Or strife and storm and tears : 
The world may rage around her, 
Or Tempest's voice may roar, 
But One who stills the tumults 
Ts with her evermore. 

Built on the sure foundation 

Of Christ th' eternal Word, 
She shows the need of cleansing 

By water and by blood : 
Taught by the sacred pages, 

She holds the Orders three, 
That those who preach glad tidings 

May serve in just degree. 

Within her grand Communion, 

Throughout the ages gone, 
The noblest hearts of England 

Have rested, one by one : 
Her very dust is sacred, 

Her very stones are dear, 
Her hallowed shrines have witnessed 

The prayer, the praise, the tear. 



OUR MOTHER CHURCH OF ENGLAND. 57 

Within her walls our fathers 

Have often knelt in prayer, 
And mothers for their children 

Have softly pleaded there : 
Voice after voice grows silent, 

Age after age goes by, 
And still our lips are breathing 

The same sweet Liturgy. 

The battle cry is sounding, 

Sad schism holds her tryst, 
And hell makes fiery onslaughts 

Against the fold of Christ. 
But, like her glorious Master, 

She scarcely deigns reply, — 
And while her foes malign her 

She lifts the cross on high. 



t> x 



There may be foes around her 

Who make an angry stir, 
But thousands more would offer 

Their hearts' best blood for her ; 
It is not yet extinguished — 

The ardour of our sires, 
The faith that trod the scaffold 

And fed the martyr-fires. 

Our Mother Church of England, — 

O Saviour, keep her pure ! 
O Holy Spirit, guide her, 

And lead her evermore ! 
O Triune God, defend her 

Till earth's long night be past, 
And o'er the seething waters 

The daybreak stream at last ! 



58 



BATTLE MUSIC. 

Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward." 
Exodus xiv. 15. 

THE golden gates are parted, 
The awful veil is torn ; 
The path is plain to follow 

Which sainted steps have worn. 
Now, who will bear Christ's armour, 

And with His sword on thigh, 
Beneath His shining standard 
Be bold to do or die ? 



The spears are sharp and eager 

That hedge Emmanuel's land ; 
The foes are keen and countless 

As grains of ocean sand. 
No pathway strewn with roses, 

The track is stern and strait, 
But yet it leadeth upwards 

To yonder gleaming gate. 



Not one swift rush of battle, 
Not one fierce wrench of pain, 

But years and years of fighting 
May mark the long campaign. 



BATTLE MUSIC. 59 

The hero hearts beside us 

Fall righting one by one, 
Full weary are the warriors 

Before the march is done. 



Not always open conflict, 

But ofttimes secret war,— 
The toil, the snare, the ambush, 

The sting, the scorn, the scar. 
Hell's fiery darts are hurtling, 

Not only in the light, 
But in each darkened chamber, 

Beneath the curtains white. 



Hands that are hot with fever, 

Fyes that are wet with tears, 
Hearts that are sorely riven 

With pangs and pains and fears, 
Feet that are very weary, 

All have their part to play 
Before the tides of battle 

Shall roll their waves away. 



The serried ranks are frowning, 

Yet some have safely pass'd, 
And laid the dinted armour 

Aside in peace at last. 
Our elder warrior brethren 

Around the gateway stand, 
And grasp the guerdon given 

By yonder nail-pierced Hand. 



60 BATTLE MUSIC. 

The festal halls are lighted, 

Our feet may win them too ; 
What saints have borne and suffered 

Still saints may dare and do. 
The foemen's swords are flashing: 

How keen each angry blow ! 
But soon the peaceful garlands 

Shall bind the patient brow. 

Then lift the drooping standards, 

And fight the fight of God. 
The solemn march we travel 

The victor hosts have trod. 
Courage, true hearts ! and onwards ! 

Look up, ye tear-dimmed eyes, 
And join the shining legions 

That press to Paradise ! 



6i 



AT THE THRESHOLD. 

Behold, I stand at the door and knock.'' — Rev. iii. 20. 
HAND is on the latch, 



A 



A foot is at the door ; 
A pleading voice entreats 
To cross the threshold o'er ; 
But awful words 
Resound within : 
" Pass on, nor break 
The dream of sin." 

Is it the evening breeze 
That wanders softly by ? 
Or was that whispered moan 
A deep soul-breathed sigh ? 

The hour is late, 

The dews are chill, 

But yonder feet 

Are patient still. 

Beside the lintel yet, 
Though all unbid to stay ! 
What urgent business binds ? 
What tokens, stranger, say ? 

" My love compels : 

For tokens, see 

The scars I gained 

On yonder tree. 



62 AT THE THRESHOLD. 

" Behold, I stand and knock, 
I may not knock for long ; 
The flying- moments haste, 
But love is deep and strong. 
Once more I knock, 
Once more I pray : 
Man ! wilt thou turn 
Thy God away ? " 

And then a Hand is raised, 
It bears a wan, deep scar ; 
Back roll the stubborn bolts, 
Down falls each ponderous bar. 
The door is moved, 
It shifts its place : 
The twain are standing 
Face to face. 

No words, but with a smile, 
He goes at once within, 
Amidst the shades and gloom, 
In spite of stain and sin. 
And lit by love 
And power divine, 
The darkened hearth 
Becomes a shrine. 



WHILE THE EMBERS GLOW. 

"God requireth that which is past.'' — Eccles. iii. 15. 

WHEN the curtains of the twilight 
Close around us one by one, 
While the deepening shadows whisper 

That the toils of day are done, 
Then our thoughts seem purer, clearer 

Than, alas ! they often are, 
Brightening, as they draw the nearer 

To the land beheld afar ; 
Then reflection gladly wanders 

From the daily toil and strife, 
As the musing spirit ponders 

On the fallen sands of life. 

As we slowly turn the pages 

Of our changeful days and years, 
Oh, how many leaves are sullied, 

Blotted with repentant tears ! 
Oh, how few there are whose whiteness 

Uncondemned may meet the eye ! 
Oh, how few there are whose brightness 

Must not lose by scrutiny ! 
Soiled and tarnished, marred and clouded, 

All their light and glory gone; 
Strangely mingled are our musings, 

As we search them, one by one, 



64 WHILE THE EMBERS GLOW. 

Yet, amidst our self- wrought sorrows, 

Nature teacheth holy things : 
What a gentle placid glory 

Goes through all her communings ! 
Still along life's chequered pathway 

Varied lights and shadows play, 
And to-day some eyes are smiling 

Through the tears of yesterday. 
Not for ever lasts the weeping, 

Not in vain our hearts well o'er ; 
E'en the very waves of anguish 

Waft us to a brighter shore. 

Just a little nearer heaven 

Day by day we trust we are ; 
Just a very little closer 

To the coast that seems so far ; 
Just a little less of sinning, 

Fewer clouds to fleck the sky ; 
Just a little nearer winning 

The eternal victory; 
Just a very little purer, 

Cleansed from some defiling blot ; 
Just, we hope, a little surer 

Of the crown that fadeth not. 

Day by day, perhaps, our footsteps 

Falter in the weary road ; 
Yet each print is leading upwards 

To the Paradise of God ; 
To the house of many mansions, 

To the kingdom of the blest, 
Where the wicked cease from troubling, 

Where the weary are at rest. 



65 



DOMUM, DULCE DOMUM ! 

" In my Father's house are many mansions.'' — St. John xiv. 

BEYOND the changeful splendours 
Where west winds softly play, 
And wave the dappled curtains 

Which fringe the far-away, 
The "house of many mansions" 
Lifts up its fair array. 



Beyond life's restless surges 
The crystal sea gleams bright, 

And there the strings are sounding 
Which radiant harpers smite, 

Where now the saved are walking 
In sheeny robes of white. 



The lambent air is gleaming 
With angels' lustrous wings, 

And there are eyes that gaze on 
A thousand glorious things, 

The outskirts of the splendour 
Which veils the King of kings. 



66 DOMUM, DULCE DOMUM ! 

And there are voices singing 
The other side that sea ; 

But here, ah ! no man showeth 
How sweet those songs may be 

The echoes of that music 
Sound in an unknown key. 

But still beyond our sorrows, 
So sad, so hard to bear, 

Are fresh and bright to-morrows 
Which wait us over there, 

And ah ! to those who journey, 
That far-off home is fair. 



Beyond the yellow sunsets 

Which streak the storm-tossed main, 
The golden gates are gleaming 

Through all the mist and rain ; 
And none whose feet may win them 

Shall feel the storms again. 



6 7 



INTERCESSION. 

' Pray for one another." — St. James v. 16. 

PRAY for one another : 
Surely we might bear 
More each other's burdens 
On the wings of prayer. 
Many a trembling teardrop 

Might be wiped away, 
If the friends who loved us 
Did but kneel and pray. 

Pray for one another : 

If we did but know- 
Prayers were hovering round us 

Wheresoe'er we go, 
Death would lose its shadows, 

Life would lose its cares, 
Were we more supported 

By our loved ones' prayers. 

Pray for one another : 

Jesus prays for you ; 
Follow those dear footsteps, 

Pray for others too. 
Think how, hanging anguished 

On that cross, He cried, 
" Father, O forgive them ! " 

Just before He died. 



68 INTERCESSION. 

Pray for one another : 

Well we need these prayers, 
'Midst our toils and strivings, 

'Midst our fears and cares ; 
Many a heart were lighter, 

Many a tear were dry, 
Many a robe were whiter, 

Did they scale the sky. 

Pray for one another ; 

Keep that sacred tryst, 
" Bear each other's burdens" 

To the feet of Christ. 
Plead we each for other 

Through the little while, 
Till our upturned faces 

Catch the angels' smile. 



6 9 



SHADOWS ON THE J FALL. 

••' Until the day break, and the shadows flee away." — Can/, ii. 17. 

WHEN the light is softly waning, 
Comes a time for thought and prayer, 
While the soul unbinds the burden 
Of her daily cross and care. 

Then, amidst the ghostly shadows 

Flickering faintly on the floor, 
Memory with her tender fingers 

Turns life's pages o'er and o'er, 

Bringing back the vanished sunshine, 
Bringing back the childish mirth, 

Echoes soft as angel footsteps 
Sound once more again on earth. 

Tones whose gentle winning pleadings 

Never may be quite forgot, 
Though the loving lips that spoke them 

Slumber on and answer not. 

Day by day the cross grows lighter, 
While we keep our evening tryst, 

Kneeling softly in the twilight 
At the gentle feet of Christ. 



70 SHADOWS ON THE WALL. 

Some we miss are lying silent, 
With their feet towards the east, 

Waiting till the day-star rising 
Call them to the bridal feast. 

And we too in faith are waiting, 

Though our faith be mixed with pain, 

Till the dead who sleep in Jesus 
Shall be given us back again, — 

Given back in life and beauty, 
Given back in deed and truth, 

In their resurrection garments 
Radiant with eternal youth. 

All we loved in them expanded, 

All the reunited ties 
Knit again to last for ever, 

With their tender sympathies. 

Oh the holy raptured greetings 
That shall thrill yon fragrant air ! 

Oh the blessed words of welcome 
Waiting wanderers over there ! 

Oh how silver-sweet the voices ! 

Oh how fair the features grown ! 
" Changed from glory into glory," 

Changed, but still our own, our own. 

As the light is softly waning, 
And we kneel awhile in prayer, 

Upwards, like the clouds of incense, 
Float our thoughts to meet them there. 



SHADOWS ON THE WALL. 71 

Sweet it is to pass a moment 
Thus beyond our sighs and tears, 

Past the sad reproachful voices 
Of the wistful weary years ! 

Sweet to close the eyes, while fancy, 
Soaring through these changeful skies, 

Basks awhile in yonder regions 
Warm with tints of Paradise, 

Treads awhile the golden pathway, 

Wanders by the crystal sea, 
In the far-off deathless splendour 

Of that glory that shall be 

When these fleeting earthly sunsets 

Shall be lost in fadeless day, 
When the former things of sorrow 

Pass for evermore away ! 



72 



ALT A QUIES. 

" He giveth His beloved sleep." — Psalm cxxvii- 2. 

A FEW more nights of languor, 
A few more days of pain, 
A few more pulses' beatings 

And throbbings of the brain ; 
A few more sins and sorrows, 

A few more falls and fears, 
A few to-days, to-morrows ; 

And then an end to tears. 
For Jesus, the Good Shepherd, 

Shall claim His wandering sheep : 
He giveth His beloved 

The quiet gift of sleep. 

A little more of conflict, 

Although perhaps my share, 
Instead of active service, 

May only be to bear ; 
A little farther onwards 

The burden must be borne ; 
Night lasts a little longer, 

And then the streaks of morn. 
Then He, the great Good Shepherd, 

Shall claim His wandering sheep, 
And give to His beloved 

The quiet gift of sleep. 



ALT A OUIES. 73 

Oh, sweet, at early morning, 

To watch the golden sun 
Light up the silent valleys 

With glory, one by one. 
Or sweeter still at even, 

To seaward, when the light 
Gleams like the gates of heaven, 

So golden and so bright. 
But sweeter still when Jesus 

Shall throw those gates aside, 
A.nd call within their portals 

The souls for whom He died, — 
When He, their own Good Shepherd, 

Shall claim each wandering sheep, 
And give to His beloved 

The quiet gift of sleep. 

For me the morn is breaking, 

Light floodeth all the vale, 
The gentle hands that hold me 

I know can never fail. 
And though my sun is setting 

Like evening in the west, 
The ocean where it hideth 

Is this — the Saviour's breast. 
And Jesus, the Good Shepherd, 

Shall claim His wandering sheep : 
He giveth His beloved 

The quiet gift of sleep. 



74 



w 



ANASTASIS. 

" From glory to glory." — 2 Cor. iii. 18. 

HAT strange sights shall meet our eyes 



When they wake beyond the skies ! 
Splendour past our best surmising, 
At that mighty rearising ; 
When our long-lost loved ones greet us, 
When the dead in Christ shall meet us, 
While the startled air is bright, 
Trembling with excess of light. 

What slight fetters hold us here ! 
Time how short may take us there, — 
Take us from this land of sorrow- 
To that ever bright to-morrow. 
One breath wanting, only one, 
And we stand beyond the sun, 
Finding with that failing breath 
Life begin to live in death. 

Soon beyond the rolling hours, 
Past the sunlight and the showers, 
Free from links of earth that bound us, 
With those spells life wove around us. 
Just one strange electric shiver, 
And we stand beyond the river ; 
In that moment snatched from time 
Life begins to be sublime. 



ANASTASIS. 75 

Soon within the narrow bound 
Of some unremembered mound, 
Anxious aim and high endeavour 
Lie at rest — at rest for ever. 
Offsprings of the fever' d brain 
Passed to nothingness again, 
While our earth)' mother's breast 
Hides her earthy children's rest. 

Then the scales of flesh shall fall 
From the eyes they held in thrall, 
As the spirit's powers expand 
In the mystic spirit-land. 
With our feet beyond the portal 
Of the broadening life immortal, 
What eternal progress waits, 
Through and past the golden gates! 

Round that cross to which we cling 
Brightens an eternal spring : 
Oh to touch with tightening clasp ! 
Oh to hold with firmer grasp ! 
Whiter garments here to wear, 
Till we gain the vesture there, 
In that solemn hour when we 
Sail on yonder shoreless sea ! 



7 6 



THROUGH THE RIFTS. 

" The blue sky bends over all." — Christabcl. 

THE dreary mist is cold and grey, 
The gentle rain begins to fall, 
But not so very far away 

The blue sky bendeth over all. 

Though dark the rolling drift appears, 
And bitter sweets that turn to gall, 

Yet could we pass beyond our fears, 
The blue sky bendeth over all. 

Some eyes with wistful tears are wet, 
And grief holds many a heart in thrall, 

For time and death are strong — but yet 
The blue sky bendeth over all. 

When through the parting clouds of care, 
Our ears shall catch the angels' call, 

How sweet to reach the regions where 
The blue sky bendeth over all ! — 

When all the sharpest pangs are past, 

As pain itself begins to pall, 
To find in God's own peace at last, 

The blue sky bending over all ! 



77 



THE TWO SPOTS. 

"Thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days."— Dan. xii. i; 

THERE is a little plot of ground, 
Though where I cannot tell, 
But yet within its shelt'ring calm 

I think to slumber well. 
The sun shall shine, the sun shall set, 

The shadows rise and fall, 
While I shall lie there, hushed and still, 
At peace beyond them all. 



Perhaps amid the bright green fields 

This unknown spot may lie, 
Where some grey village spire uplifts 

The cross toward the sky; 
Or else within the busy haunts 

Of toiling, striving men, 
The trampling of whose restless feet 

Will not disturb me then. 



The pleasant breath of early spring 
May touch this plot of ground, 

Or autumn, with her golden sheaves, 
May spread her tints around, 



THE TWO SPOTS. 

Or wintry clouds may hide the sky, 
And tempest's voice may roar ; 

But I shall be beyond the reach 
Of storm for evermore. 

The matins of the joyous lark, 

The thrush's evensong, 
The whispering of the twilight breeze, - 

These sounds shall steal along ; 
And when the midnight bells ring out, 

In tones so sweet and clear, 
The chimings of the better land 

Shall sound within mine ear. 



There is a spot,— it is on high, 

I cannot tell you where ; 
But oh ! 'tis in the light of God, 

And Jesus will be there ! 
I cannot say how bright it is, 

Or how its glories shine, 
But it has been prepared for me, 

And some day shall be mine, — 

My very own for evermore : 

For time, and sin, and death 
Have never touched this blessed spot, 

With their polluting breath. 
The sands of time are wet with tears, 

But those dear shores are bright ; 
These toilworn feet shall tread them soon, 

'Mid resurrection light. 



THE TWO SPOTS. 79 

I cannot tell what gentle eyes 

From thence are gazing now ; 
I cannot tell what rainbow hues 

Throw halos round the brow ; 
I cannot say what accents make 

Soft music on that air, 
Until shall come the changeful hour, 

And I myself be there. 

But yet, sweet home in Paradise, 

I greet thee from afar ; 
Safe in thy calm unruffled peace, 

The dead in Jesus are. 
Fair harbour o'er the stormy sea, 

How bright thy light appears ! 
Although we sometimes catch thy gleams 

Behind a rain of tears. 



8o 



COMFORT. 

As thy days so shall thy strength be."— Deut. xxxiii. 35. 

WHEN in sorrow's furnace tried, 
Lean thee on the Crucified ; 
When thy heart is sore dismayed, 
Wrestle on, nor be afraid : 
Listen, this is writ for thee, — 
"As thy day, thy strength shall be." 

When thine eyes with tears are wet, 
Then remember Olivet ! 
Know that He who, prostrate there, 
Poured away His soul in prayer, 
Counts thy pangs and notes thy sighs, 
Though He reigns beyond the skies. 

If beneath the curtains white 
Thou must wake the weary night, 
While the awful fangs of pain 
Fasten on the shrinking brain, 
Still abides the firm decree— 
"As thy day, thy strength shall be." 

When the morning's wished-for gleams 
Wake thy fitful, fever' d dreams, 
And the daily cross appears 
Looming through a mist of tears, 
Turn thy weary heart aside : 
Rest thee on the Crucified. 



COMFORT. 8 1 

By each anguished throb and throe 
Borne so meekly years ago, 
By the gentle hands outspread, 
By the patient thorn- crowned head, 
Kneel at yonder nail-pierced feet, 
Till the bitter cup grow sweet. 

Take the comfort there bestowed : 
It will lighten all thy load ; 
Succours sought and surely given, 
Smooth the weary way to heaven. 
Know that this was writ for thee, — 
"As thy day, thy strength shall be." 

When with features drawn and pale, 

Thou must dare the darksome vale ; 

As the closing eyelid falls, 

'Tis the voice of Jesus calls : 

" Parting soul, arise, be free ! 

As thy day, thy strength shall be." 



82 



PRESSING TOWARD THE MARK. 

"Faint, yet pursuing them." — Judges viii. 4. 

I'M faint, but yet pursuing; 
Far off my home appears ; 
Sometimes its lights shine dimly 

Behind a veil of tears ; 
But be it midday splendour, 
Or drear beclouded noon, 
'Mid shine or storm or shadow, 
I'm slowly wrestling on. 

Sometimes the way seems rugged, 

Sometimes the path is sweet, — 
Some steps must aye be trodden 

With wearied, bleeding feet ; 
But be it smoothed with mercies, 

Or rough with thorn and stone, 
Each step is one step nearer, 

And so I'm journeying on. 

It is not always Marah, 

Not always desert ground, 
But Elims with their palm-trees 

Are ofttimes gladly found. 
And as in Israel's wanderings, 

Where'er the pillar shone 
The tribes might safely travel, 

'Tis thus I'm journeying on. 



PRESSING TOWARD THE MARK. 83 

My footsteps are but feeble, 

And sometimes leave the track, 
But One whose eyes are on me 

In mercy leads me back. 
Deep stains are on my garments, 

But till those stains are gone. 
In spite of falls and failures 

I'm slowly wrestling on. 

Some who once trod beside me 

Have passed me in the race ; 
They wait within the shelter 

Of yonder meeting-place. 
Their ship has made the harbour, 

Their storms are past and gone ; 
Yet, 'mid the waves and tempests, 

I still am struggling on. 

What steps must yet be taken, 

'Tis not for me to say,— 
Perhaps the journey's ending 

Is not so far away ; 
But be it just before me, 

Or in long years to come, 
May each step take me nearer 

To Christ, and rest, and home ! 



8 4 



o 



SOON. 
" A little while." — Hebrews x. 37. 
H, what wilt thou be soon, 



O fluttering soul of mine ? 
A little while, and thou must pass 
Beyond the bounds of time. 
Life's sands are falling 
One by one, 
But what when all 
Those sands are done ? 

I shall be sinless soon : 
Oh high majestic joy — 
A heart that only beats for God, 
And knows not sin's alloy! 

A stainless robe, 

A soul all pure, 

And thoughts all white 

For evermore. 

I shall be tearless soon ; 

Now each day brings its pain, 
But soon these wistful weary eyes 

Shall never weep again. 
O mortal grief, 
How short thy sway, 
Ere God shall wipe 
All tears away ! 



SOON. «5 

I shall be deathless soon : 
To-morrow's sun shall rise, 
Yet I, or e'er it sets, may be 
Beyond its purpled skies. 

O truer life — 

Eternity — 

How soon my soul 

May dwell with thee ! 

I shall be glorious soon : 
My face is lined by care, 
But you shall search these features o'er 
In vain for sorrow there. 

Soon shall each stain 

Be cast aside — 

I, like my Master, 

Glorified. 

I shall see angels soon — 
Those elder sons of light — 
And gaze upon each awful face, 
Unutterably bright. 

How soon those pure 

Benignant eyes 

May welcome speak 

To Paradise ! 

And I shall soon behold 
The dear ones of the past, 
The friends who died long years ago, 
And those I loved the last : 

In Jesus they 

Sleep one by one, 

And I in Him 

Shall slumber soon. 



86 SOON. 

I shall see Jesus soon, 
And here all words must cease, 
His gaze will fill this throbbing heart 
With deep unchanging peace. 

For e'en on earth 

The little while 

Is lighted by 

His tender smile. 



8 7 



THE OTHER SIDE. 

The land that is very far off." — Isaiah xxxiii. 17. 

JUST beyond the river, 
Oh how sweet and pure 
Is the peace that circles 

All the sinless shore ! 
Never sigh or sadness 

Wounds the gentle air, 
Only words of gladness 
Make the language there. 

Just beyond the river, 

What a welcome waits 
Those who once but enter 

Through the shining gates ! 
What sweet eyes may glisten 

In that distant home ! 
What quick ears may listen 

Till each loved one come ! 

Just beyond the river 

Childish feet have trod, 
Wafted o'er the waters, 

To the peace of God. 
In the regions yonder 

What a fadeless glow, 
Circles with its wonder 

Many an infant brow ! 



88 THE OTHER SIDE. 

Just beyond the river 

Voices we may hear, — 
Tones for which we've wearied 

Many and many a year ! 
Lips we kissed so sadly 

In those tearful days 
There are parted gladly 

In the strain of praise. 

Just beyond the river 

Glows immortal light ; 
While we watch and wonder, 

All the strand is bright : 
See, the tints are streaming 

Through the trembling air ; 
Flashing forms are gleaming 

'Mid the glories there. 

Just beyond the river 

There is One who stands 
With the nail prints written 

In His tender hands, — 
One whose voice is calling, 

"Weary wanderers, come!" 
Yes, those sweet words, falling, 

Float across the foam. 

Just beyond the river 

There is room for you : 
Will you reach those regions 

Jesus asks you to ? 
Are your sins as scarlet ? 

He is one, you know, 
Who can wash those garments 

Whiter than the snow. 



THE OTHER SIDE. 89 

Just beyond the river, 

Or to gain or loss, 
In a few swift seasons 

One by one we cross : 
Though we shrink and shiver, 

As we face the tide, 
Just beyond the river 

Lies the brightest side. 



9 o 



DE PROFUNDIS. 

" In the hour of death and in the day of judgment, good Lord 
deliver us." — Litany. 

AS day by day the lessening thread 
Of life frays out its golden strands, 
Our hours are numbered with the dead, 
Our glass is filled with fallen sands. 

The vessel speeds with flashing keel, 
And bears the buffets of the waves ; 
But soon the quivering ship must reel 
On yonder shore all thick with graves. 

The warmest blood must lose its heat, 
The surest feet go down the hill, 
The strongest pulse must cease to beat, 
And all the stormy heart be still. 

Our eyes are wet with wistful tears, 
Our brows are bent with brooding thought ; 
We scan our sheaf of changeful years, 
And all our musings come to nought. 

The air is filled with taunting cries, 
The bitter cup o'erflows the brim ; 
The gloom of death is in the skies, 
And all the shining shore is dim. 



DE PROFUNDIS. 91 

Oh, mighty strength that cannot fail. 
Oh, love that knowest how and why, 
In pity stoop and rend the veil, 
And tell us what it is to die ! 

We hear those awful accents call 
Our lives that wander to and fro, 
But let some gleams of sunshine fall 
Amid the shadows as we go. 

Oh, gentle hands that hold the cross 
Before the glazing eye in death, 
Let gain be perfected in loss, 
And strengthen all the cords of faith. 

The tangled riddles all unread, 
The things too hard to understand, 
The mysteries that time has bred, 
We leave within that nail-pierced Hand. 

For love can read the scroll aright, 
The bitter cross can give the key, — 
From Calvary there streams a light 
That flashes o'er the shoreless sea. 



92 



THE LAND BEYOND THE SEA. 

" Homesick we are for thee, 
Calm land beyond the sea !" — Faber. 

BEYOND the sunset, far away, 
Beyond the heather-tinted lea, 
There glows a country strangely sweet, 
A land that lies beyond the sea. 

Beyond the crests which rise and fall, 
Past clouds whose purple pales to grey, 
Outstretch those shores more bright than all, 
Fair shores that shine so far away ! 

The sun may set in crimson haze, 
His dying splendours streak the tide, 
But yet no shades of evening dim 
The brightness of that further side. 

And while the drifting cloud-wrack falls, 
As breakers thunder on the shore, 
The feet that tread yon golden sands 
Have done with storms for evermore. 

Anon, when ocean's breast is hushed, 
As daybreak waketh fresh and fair ; 
No sunlight tints those far-off hills, 
'Tis everlasting morning there. 



THE LAND BEYOND THE SEA. 93 

The wistful eyes are over there : 

Tears dimmed them oft this side the sea ; 

But in the land they gaze on now 

Nor sorrowing' nor sigh can be. 

The weary feet are over there, 
Which here were often pained and sore, 
But now they tread those peaceful shores, 
And shall feel weary nevermore. 

The loving hands are over there : 
Of friends, the trusted and the tried, 
And they shall grasp our own ere long, 
When we ourselves have passed the tide. 

The quiet hearts are over there : 

Here ofttimes throbbed each fluttering breast ; 

But now eternal peace is theirs 

Within that better land of rest. 

Beyond the mists which float and rise, 
And fill this sorrow-laden air, 
Outstretch the ever cloudless skies 
Of that dear country over there. 

Like some tired mariner, whose bark 
Drops anchor where he fain would be, 
May we, when strife and storm are past, 
Reach that fair land beyond the sea ! 



94 



THE VIGIL. 

" Let me go, for the day breaketh." — Genesis xxxii. 26. 

JESUS each night is watching 
Beside each sufferer's bed; 
Oft as the shadows darken 
Around each aching head 
He notes those weary tossings 
Which seek for rest in vain, 
And whispereth "In heaven 
There shall be no more pain." 

Oh, some of His lie wakeful 

On beds as soft as down, 
And some on hard rough pallets 

In country or in town ; 
But yet there's One who's watching 

Where'er His people lie, — 
Amid the shadows, Jesus 

Is surely standing by. 

The gold without the furnace 

Were else all dulled and dim ; 
Some hearts alone by anguish 

Grow fit and meet for Him. 
Our souls shrink back in weakness 

When first the flames they view, 
But we forget that Jesus 

Walks 'mid the burning too. 



THE VIGIL. 95 

In many a far-off chamber, 

Though hid from mortal sight, 
The gleaming angel pinions 

Are folded soft to-night. 
And feet that halt and tremble 

With fear to stem the tide 
Will pass the waters safely 

If Jesus stand beside. 

Far in the east the starlight 

Grows faint and fainter still, 
As gleams that tell of daybreak 

Creep up the window-sill. 
The lattices are shaking, 

A soft wind moves the door, 
And lo ! the watching angels 

Spread wide their wings once more. 

A shout of welcome yonder, 

A wail from earth below — 
The disembodied spirits 

Float on the sunrise glow. 
In many an earthly chamber 

The salt, salt tears well o'er, 
But the house of many mansions 

Is fuller than before. 



9 6 



SHADOW-LAND. 

EACH heart has a haunted room, 
Where, amidst the hallowed gloom, 
Deep within its shelter laid, 
Dwell the memories of the dead. 
Sometimes in the twilight hours 
Shadowy lips seem pressed to ours ; 
Sometimes round th' unconscious head 
Footsteps as of angels tread, 
Palms that in the years ago 
Sought our own in weal or woe. 
Towards us stretch with waving hand 
From that death-divided strand. 
Accents strangely sweet and clear, 
Silent many and many a year, 
In and out the wearied brain 
Wander like a soft refrain ; 
As the tones which gently sound 
Fall and float on holy ground. 
Ah ! this chamber in the breast 
Harbours many a longed-for guest : 
Some are young, and some are old ; 
Some lie pale beneath the mould : 
Yet within this chamber door 
We can meet them all once more. 
Little hands so soft and clinging, 
Little voices blithe and ringing, 



SHADOW-LAND. 97 

Brows all bright with manhood's glory, 
Brows so patient, seamed, and hoary. 
Lips on which the turf has lain 
Whisper kindly words again ; 
Eyes that scan yon angel bowers 
Turn once more to answer ours; 
Feet the waves of death have wet 
Turn and walk beside us yet. 
While they in this chamber tread, 
We may hardly deem them dead. 
Called to earth from shadow-land. 
Fresh and beautiful they stand : 
Buds that withered years ago 
Seem once more to bloom and blow ; 
Hopes so sweet they faded fast, 
Ere the morning's dews were past — 
Hopes perchance to blossom still 
In the land invisible. 
Seeds we watered oft with tears 
Yield in those eternal years 
An unshaded world of bliss, 
Sought, but vainly sought, in this. 
Hei'e on earth they had their root, 
There beyond they bear their fruit ; 
Here the sowing and the weeping, 
There the harvest-tide and reaping : 
Here they faded like the leaves, 
There the Master binds the sheaves. 
Yes, this chamber in the breast 
Glows with many a wondrous guest, 
Tender gleams and glints that come 
From the many-mansioned home. 



98 



EVENTIDE. 
" At evening time it shall be light." — Zech. xiv . 7. 

AS the day's declining gleams 
Fall upon some tree or tower, 
Increase of each beauty seems 
Yielded in that fleeting hour. 

When the summer's splendour fades, 
Ere the wintry blasts are near, 
With what witching tints and shades 
Does the autumn gold appear ! 

When the strains of music die, 
Ere the soaring echoes fall, 
How the latest soft-breathed sigh 
Seems the sweetest of them all ! 

When we bend, all succour past, 
Over lips so pale and dead, 
How the tones that thrilled them last 
Seem the dearest words they said ! 

When the beating clock of Time 
Points to midnight with its hands, 
How the straining woof of life 
Woven seems with golden strands ! 



EVENTIDE. 

When asleep on Jesus' breast 
Sinks the Christian's wearied brow 
Gleams from yon celestial hills 
Spread around a fadeless glow. 

Calm upon the quiet eyes, 
Rest upon the forehead fair : 
Those who scan the wasted face 
Feel the peace of God is there. 



99 



IOO 



REUNION. 
I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." — zSam.xn. 23. 

MET again to part no more, 
After all the weary years ; 
Met again, the weeping o'er, 
After all the scalding tears, — 

After sin's delusive snares, 
After struggles, hopes and sighs ; 
After sorrows calmed by prayers, 
Met again, in Paradise. 

Met again in fullest light, 
" Heart to heart, and hand to hand," 
After wanderings in the night, 
Wanderings God can understand. 

After all the smiles and tears, 
After all the hushed, low prayers ; 
After all the hopes and fears, 
Life's bewildering, blinding cares. 

Met within that Presence high, 
Where our chains are cast aside 
By the strength that stooped to die, 
To be scourged and crucified. 



REUNION. 101 

In His presence evermore 
Who has burst sin's galling bands, 
Torn from death the sting it bore, 
Writ our names upon His hands. 

Here all minor chords shall die, 
Life's weird notes so sad and dreaiy, — 
"Jubilates" now on high 
Take the place of "Miserere." 



102 



THE MORNING WATCH. 

Until the day break, and the shadows flee away." 
Canticles ii. 17. 

A SILVER shield in sapphire set 
Upon the lone, lone sea : 
The charmed moon, with drowsy spell, 

Sheds splendour dreamily ; 
A trembling pathway o'er the tide, 

Her faint, sweet light is led, 
Like that wan, wistful beauty lent 
The features of the dead. 

The soft white scud goes floating by, 

Like some bright, fleecy veil, 
In which the haughty moon has wrapped 

Her fair, proud face so pale. 
And sadly sweet the chill light falls, 

'Mid clouds like drifting snow, 
Or gleams of awful radiance flashed 

From fallen angels' brow. 

And far away the noiseless ships 

Go sailing to and fro, 
Their spectral shrouds all ghostly white 

Beneath the moonlit glow. 
While on the gleaming wet sea-sand, 

With measured, echoing moan, 
The weird eternal ocean rolls 

Its strange, deep undertone. 



THE MORNING WATCH. 

O summer sea, sweet summer sea ! 

Thy spell is deep and lone ; 
The surges on thy silver sands 

Fall flashing, one by one. 
Yet, could I claim the seabird's wing, 

And climb yon radiant stair, 
My baffled hope and heart must find 

But disappointment there. 

Soon, like some hues of Paradise 

Faint in the puq^le east, 
The "roseate tints of dewy morn" 

Will blush on ocean's breast ; 
But when shall that dear morning come, 

The answer to her tears, 
Which this sad earth has wearied for 

Full eighteen hundred years ? 



PART II 



io7 



RIG HI SUNSET. 

" Until the day break, and the shadows flee away." 
Canticles ii. 17. 

SOFT light upon the Righi, 
Upon the lakes below ; 
The witching, transient, roseate tints 

Which Alpine sunsets know. 
Mountains in purple glory, 

Dark valleys robed in grey, 
Red streaks and gleams of splendour, — 
But all to pass away. 

Soft light upon the Righi, 

Clouds edged with crimson fire, 
Red bars with orange blending 

Each flickering lance and spire, 
A thousand shapes of beauty, 

A thousand tints and glows, 
And like some angel's robe on earth 

Those far-off Alpine snows. 

Soft light upon the Righi, 

Though fair thy sun and shine, 
Yet earth shall know a fairer scene, 

A splendour passing thine. 
Though gemmed with light and beauty, 

Lucerne, thy wavelets be, 
Yet what their flashing brightness 

To thine, O crystal sea ? 



io8 RIGHI SUNSET. 

Oh, brighter than the " Glarnisch," 

With all its silvery sheen, 
The land no stain can tarnish, 

Which eye hath not yet seen ! 
Soft light upon the Righi, 

How fair thy roseate skies ! 
But oh the fadeless, deathless glow 

That circles Paradise ! 



io9 



THE NAME IN SAND. 

I WROTE a name upon the sand, 
Beside the moaning surf; 
'Twas but the empty name of one 

Long silent 'neath the turf. 
I watched the rippling, laughing waves 

Break softly on the shore ; 
But love and life looked desolate, — 
My heart was sad and sore. 

'Twas sunset on the purpled sea ; 

I watched that thrice-loved name, 
As far to westward sank the light 

In one broad blaze of flame ; 
While near and nearer crept the tide, 

Until at last, effaced, 
That name that was the world to me 

Lay blotted and erased. 

" Ah ! thus," thought I, " Eternity 

Blots out Time's golden sands ; 
The waves of that tremendous sea 

Part hopes and hearts and hands." 
But from the westward then there flashed 

A ray so pure and sweet : 
A message from that far-off shore 

Was lying at my feet. 



i io THE NAME IN SAND. 

A message without voice, and yet 

I knew its meaning well ; 
For Nature sometimes writes her thoughts 

Too deep for words to tell, 
And in that opal-tinted streak, 

That flashed across the sea, 
God's finger, tipped with living light, 

Was writing words for me. 

"In vain,'' it said, "thy love would strive 

To write that name in sand ; 
'Tis graven in the roll of those 

Who tread the deathless land. 
And thou, whene'er thy heart is sad, 

When life seems hard to bear, 
Then think of that dear, far-off home, 

And one who waits thee there." 

Long years ago, long years ago, 

Those streaks of splendour died, 
Like tresses which the golden sun 

Trailed o'er the shimmering tide. 
But still, whene'er that tender light 

Glows over shore and lea, 
I think of that sweet message flashed 

That evening o'er the sea. 



1 1 1 



THE BROKEN FLOWER. 

" He shall carry the lambs in His bosom." — Isaiah xl. n. 

OH, bind her hair with roses, 
Wreathe clusters o'er that brow ; 
The sleep where death reposes 

Has mantled o'er its snow; 
And joy, and pride, and sorrow 

Have died from out those eyes, — 
They gaze on Life's to-morrow, 
And see in Paradise. 

The things we dare not fathom, 

The thoughts we may not know, 
In all their perfect beauty 

Our darling knoweth now. 
No dream of sorrow darkling 

May cloud the eye of faith, 
For shade is lost in lustre, 

And life begins in death. 

Her hands are meekly folded 

Across her gentle breast, 
Her fingers twined for ever 

For one unbroken rest. 
And in a dreamless slumber, 

With marbled brow and chill. 
She lieth, veiled in silence, 

And passionless and still. 



112 THE BROKEN FLOWER. 

The white rose nestles softly 

Beside that cold, cold cheek, 
Which lieth pale and changeless, 

So wan, and pure, and meek. 
The myrtle's spray is peeping 

From out that golden hair, 
But ah ! the fairest floweret 

Lies crushed and broken there, — 

A flower amid the flowerets, 

A pale and broken flower, 
Now sown in tearful weakness, 

Then raised in wondrous power ; 
Though these shall fade and wither, 

Like rosebuds on the pall, 
She hears the "Come up hither," 

And blooms beyond them all. 

A lovely star has fallen 

From our terrestrial sky, 
And with a blaze of beauty 

Has swept its glory by. 
But oh ! it gleameth brighter, 

With purer, clearer glow, 
Amid the shining circlet 

That binds the thorn-crowned Brow. 



II" 



LITTLE EVELYN. 

" Is it well with the child ? " — 2 Kings iv. 26. 

LITTLE Evelyn, where is she ? 
Ask where last year's rosebuds be ? 
Where the songs so sweet and low 
Breathed but one short hour ago ? 
Where the changeful opal light 
Of the sunset yesternight ? 
Where the tints on yonder lea ? 
Where the hues that streaked the sea ? — 
Live these on, though lost to view ? 
Little Evelyn lives so too. 



Little Evelyn, where is she ? 
Who knows where the angels be ? 
Who can say how soft the breast 
Where the lambs are lulled to rest ? 
Who can tell how pure the flowers 
Wreathing those eternal bowers, 
Or how fair 'neath yonder skies 
Grow the plants of Paradise ? 
Questions these we cannot tell : 
Maybe Evelyn knows them well. 



U4 LITTLE EVELYN. 

Little Evelyn, where is she ? 
Ask, but who shall answer thee ? 
Who can tell how sweet and wise 
Shine those childish, wistful eyes ? 
Or how bright those features now, 
With the rays around her brow? 
Who may say what raiment white 
Wraps those tender limbs to-night ? 
Love and grief are hushed ; I wist, 
Little Evelyn is with Christ. 



"5 



A MOTHER'S ARMS, 

(founded upon a well-known story.) 
"As one whom his mother comfortcth.'' — Isa/ak lxvi. 13. 

A LITTLE child was dying ; 
A mother watched beside ; 
With wistful gaze of anguish 
The blue eyes open wide. 
A mother's tears were falling 

Beside that restless bed, 
As all in vain she tried to soothe 
The tossing golden head. 

She spoke of all the brightness 

Of that eternal place, 
Where little children's angels 

Look on our Father's face ; 
Of all its sheeny splendour, 

Of more than rainbow skies. 
"But, mother," sighed a little voice, 

" The light would hurt my ej-es." 

In grief she changed her story, 

And told the suffering child 
What music fills those golden halls 

By sorrow un defiled — 
The voice of many waters 

So rich and deep and free — 
And of the white-robed harpers 

Beside the crystal sea ; 



n6 A MOTHER'S ARMS. 

Of that sweet song that ringeth 

With more than silver notes, 
Of all that glad rejoicing, 

God's melody, that floats 
Through all the streets of Zion, 

'Mid merry girls and boys. 
But then there came a little sob : 

" I could not bear the noise." 

And then, in grief and anguish, 

With salt tears blinding fast, 
She took the little fevered head 

Upon her breast at last ; 
While from that restful shelter 

There came the whispered prayer,- 
" Mother, if heaven is like this, 

May Jesus take me there ! 



ii7 



MARY'S VOYAGE. 
"Jesus called a little child unto Him." — St. Matt, xviii. 2. 

THREE fair-haired little maidens 
Were playing by the sea 
One golden summer's evening - , 
As blithe as blithe could be. 
Their guardian angels near them 
Beheld their childish glee. 

Loud rang their sunn)' laughter, 
For each in turn would dare 

A raid upon old ocean. 
As, wild with tossing hair, 

The)- chased the murmuring wavelets, 
With feet all pink and bare. 

Said rosy blue -eyed Una, 

" I wish the stones around 
Were changed to gold and silver, 

As on Tom Tiddler's ground : 
I'd gather handfuls of them, 

And keep them, I'll be bound." 

"And I," said pretty Ida, 

" Wish I were rich and great, 

To buy the castle yonder, 
With all its fair estate ; 

And there I'd live in grandeur," 
Said little miss, sedate. 



nS MARYS VOYAGE. 

Said gentle, soft-eyed Mary, 
" I wonder where the sun 

Can go to every evening, 
As soon as day is done : 

If I'd a ship, I'd follow,— 
And wouldn't that be fun ? 

The sails should each be purple, 

The seats all ivory, 
The oars should all be golden, 

And you should come with me. 
Then we would go a-sailing 

Across the dear old sea." 



Mary has gone a-sailing, 
But has not come again 

To tell us of the country 

She found across the main, — 

The everlasting sunshine, 
Beyond the mists and rain. 

The sails were not all purple, 
But white and cold were they ; 

The oars were not all golden, 
But soiled with mould and clay; 

And they have wafted Mary, 
Oh, somewhere far away ! 

Mary has gone a-sailing : 
The sunlight she may see 

Is all too bright and peaceful 
For earth to bring to me. 

Those little feet are resting 
The other side the sea. 



Iig 



FLOWERS AMID THE CORN. 

[ Of such is the kingdom of heaven."— St. Matt. xix. 14. 

A BROTHER died long years ago, — 
God's glory hides him now, — 
Nor sin nor pain, had time to stain 

My little kinsman's brow, 
Upon that childish head of down 
The cross so soon became a crown ; 
How sweet its light and glow ! 



A little maid with gentle eyes 

Sings by a far-off sea, 
And when I dream, I think they seem 

To turn and gaze on me. 
When Christian children sink to rest, 
They slumber on their Saviour's breast, 

And so, I know, doth she. 



Long years ago, in Syrian land, 

His lips said, "A0ere, 
Let children dear to Me draw near, 

kol hi) KaXvere : 
My life for theirs is freely given, 
They see My Father's face in heaven 

ra Trai8ia ci(f)€Te . 



!2o FLOWERS AMID THE CORN. 

Our earthly flowers amid the corn 

Have angels pure and wise, 
Whose loving guard keeps watch and ward 

Before the awful eyes 
Of Him whose Son, the Virgin-born, 
Partook our weakness and its scorn : 

O depth of mysteries ! 

Perhaps in that tremendous hour, 
When, worn by years and pain, 

Our eyelids close in that repose 
Which waketh not again, — 

To bid us to the far-off home 

The little loving feet may come, 
For which our hearts are fain. 

A few swift rolling seasons here, 
How short their span appears ! 

And we shall press with soft caress 
The lips we've mourned for years ! 

As round us smile the long shut eyes 

That meet our own with sweet surprise 
Last seen through mists and tears. 

O King of that dear far-off land, 
Upon whose glittering shore 

The children wait within that gate 
Through which they pass no more : 

Oh, grant that, purified from sin, 

Our feet may each be planted in 
Thy footsteps gone before ! 



121 



LUX E TENEBR1S. 

" Why art thou cast down, O my soul?" — Psalm xlii. 5. 

O WEARY heart so sad and sore, 
O eyes that tears will sometimes dim, 
O toilworn feet that seek the shore 

Where those in white shall walk with Him 
The little while will soon be past, 
And God's own peace be gained at last. 

Amidst the thronging world ye press, 
Yet lonely oft your pulses beat ; 

But oh, what joy wlien face to face 
The gathered hosts of God shall meet ! 

There will be company enow 

In yonder multitude, I trow. 

As day by day the sun goes down, 
As night by night the darkness falls, 

Ye weary for the golden sheen 

Which floods the everlasting halls; 

And cry, "Oh, roll the gates aside 

Which those unfading splendours hide ! " 

O knees that faint beneath the cross, 
O eyes that weary for the light, 

O arms that hang so feebly down, 
A little longer urge the fight : 

A few more strokes against the foe, 

And then the rest which victors know ! 



122 LUX E TENEBRIS. 

How fair the sunshine after rain ! 

How glad the smiles that follow tears ! 
But sweeter far the sacred peace 

Which waits beyond our storm-tossed years 
The cross is hard to bear to-day ; 
The crown is bright that shines for aye. 

The strand is not so far away ; 

And though the awful waves may fall, 
The vessel, spite of storm and spray, 

Shall reach the haven after all ; 
The harbour bar will soon be passed, 
And anchorage be gained at last. 



12: 



THE EVERLASTING SHORE. 

" The land that is very far off." — Isaiah xxxiii. 17. 

SOME notes of my heart's music 
Are hushed for evermore, 
They have floated past the river 
To the everlasting shore. 

They have crossed the restless torrents 
Of the turbid stream of time ; 

But they sound beyond the waters 
With measured dulcet chime. 

Some flowers, so wan and drooping-, 
I thought they wholly died, 

Are blooming fresh and radiant 
Across the swollen tide. 

Some lightsome feet whose echoes 
I thought were hushed and dead 

Now throng those far-off portals 
Where saints and anarels tread. 



*&' 



Soft hands whose loving pressure 
Once soothed each restless mood 

May yet enfold my fingers 
Beyond the rolling flood. 



124 THE EVERLASTING SHORE. 

Dear lips, whose pallid beauty 

Like faded rosebuds lies, 
May yet pronounce my welcome 

Where nothing lovely dies ; 

And gentle eyes whose glances 
Lie veiled and hushed in night 

Shall look once more upon me 
In resurrection light. 

The shattered hopes I cherished, 
The thoughts once fresh and free, 

Are only garnered yonder, 
The other side the sea. 

There are some notes whose sweetness 

Must die away in pain, 
And some whose tender gladness 



May not return again. 



s* 



And though on earth their music 
Be heard, alas ! no more, 

It has floated o'er the river 
To the everlasting shore. 



12 = 



A CHILD'S MATINS. 

ALL in the morning's golden sun 
I kneel me down in pra) r er, 
And thank Thee that Thy tender love 

Hath made the world so fair. 
As Thou hast kept me through the night, 
So guard me in the hours of light. 

With folded hands and bended knee 

A little maiden calls ; 
O Father, let her voice approach 

Thine everlasting halls. 
Thou hear'st the ravens when they cry, 
And dearer to Thine heart am I. 

My body guard from hurt and pain, 

My soul from soil of sin ; 
Oh ! let no seeds of evil rest 

My childish heart within. 
May pride and anger take their flight, 
And e'en my very thoughts be white. 

Let Thy sweet love compassionate 
Reach all for whom I pray: — 

My father and my mother bless, 
Both this and every day ; 

My brothers and my sisters dear. 

And all I love both far and near. 



i 2 6 A CHILD'S MATINS. 

A little maiden, in the light 
Of this sweet summer morn 

I kneel, and know Thou will not treat 
My simple cry with scorn ; 

For while I plead and ask Thy grace, 

The children's angels see Thy face. 

And so, for His dear sake who died 
Such long, long years ago, 

A little trustful maiden kneels 
In this fair sunrise glow : 

O Father, keep her good and pure 

Until the sunlight fades no more. 



127 



A CHILD'S EVENSONG. 

A LITTLE maiden at Thy feet, 
I bend my knees in prayer, 
And plead that Thou, for Jesus' sake, 

Wilt keep me in Thy care : 
But ere the gloom of night begins 
I ask forgiveness for my sins : — 

For all that I have said or done 
That has been wrong and bad, 

For all the vain and idle thoughts 
My childish heart has had, 

Father, forgive Thy little lamb, 

And make me holier than I am. 

My father and my mother bless, 
Those whom I love so well ; 

My brothers and my sisters dear, 
And all with whom I dwell. 

heavenly Father, keep them all, 
And let no evil hap befall. 

A little maiden at Thy feet, 
Before Thy throne I fall ; 

1 open wide my childish heart 
And simply tell Thee all : 

Secure that Thou wilt deign to bless 
Thy little handmaid's trustfulness. 



128 A CHILD'S EVENSONG. 

So now, for His dear sake who died 
That I might die to sin, 

Who opened wide the golden gates 
That I might enter in, 

Father, preserve Thy little child, 

And keep her good and undefiled. 



129 



NEW YEAR'S MORNING. 



O 



LD Father Time is resting 



His scythe beside the door, 
As he crieth, "Little children, 

I bring you one year more, 
A gift all white and sinless, — 

Rut when I come again, 
I shall find some marks upon it, 

Some trace of toil and stain. 
Yet take this year and keep it 

As white as best you may, 
Till I claim it for my Master 

When next I pass this way." 



Old Father Time is shaking 

His glass beside the door, 
And the golden sands are falling, 

They are falling evermore. 
They are falling in the daytime, 

When the sun is warm and high ; 
They are falling in the midnight, 

When the stars are in the sky. 
Falling, for ever falling, 

While new years come and pass, 
As old Father Time is shaking 

The sands within the glass. 



i 3 o NEW YEARS MORNING. 

Old Father Time has taken 

His glass, and scythe, and all, 
And the year he carrieth with him 

Is gone beyond recall. 
But the bright new gift he bringeth 

Lies spread before your door : 
God help you, little children, 

To keep it white and pure, 
To guard it well for Jesus, 

Until you reach the place 
Where little children's angels 

Behold the Father's face. 



MI 



DIVERS PATHS. 

I will bring the blind by a way which they know not. '" — ha. xlii. 16. 

SOME footsteps climb the mountains, 
While others tread the vale ; 
On some the sunlight falleth, 
On some the sleet and hail. 
These tracks, how stern and rugged ! 
Those, smooth and quickly passed ! 
But in the golden city 

The King's ways meet at last. 

Across the burning deserts 

Some pilgrim footsteps go, 
While others press in silence 

The noiseless fields of snow. 
With some the way is weary, 

With some it flies so fast ; 
Yet in the golden city 

The King's ways meet at last. 

On some, sweet voices singing 

Make music far and near ; 
On some, the stones are watered 

With many and many a tear. 
Some wind in shade and quiet, 

Some bear a throng so vast ; 
Yet in the golden city 

The King's ways meet at last. 



132 DIVERS PATHS. 



Some on the curling billows 



Which sweep the angry sea 
Are borne towards the haven 

In which they fain would be ; 
Some by the softest breezes 

That wanton round the mast ; 
Yet in the golden city 

The King's ways meet at last. 

Some in the sunset glories 

Float down the peaceful flood, 
While others' toilworn footsteps 

Are tracked by tears and blood. 
For each the same bright welcome, 

When voyage or march are past, 
For in the golden city 

The King's ways meet at last. 

Eternal hands have planned it ; 

Whate'er the path, I know 
It leadeth to the country 

To which I fain would go. 
So, be it shine or shadow, 

Aside let fear be cast, 
Since in the golden city 

The King's ways meet at last. 



13: 



PAX DEL 

' With Christ, which is far better." — Phil, i- 23. 

THEY are gone to be with Jesus, 
We cannot wish them here ; 
We would not dim their radiant lot 

With mortal stain or tear ; 
For they are folded safely 
Upon that gentle breast, 
Where many a weary lamb of earth 
Has found eternal rest. 

They are gone to be with Jesus, 

To be in that sweet home 
Where want, and wistfulness, and pain 

Can never, never come. 
Their steps are with the angels, 

'Mid paths all fair and bright, 
Where never stain of sin can fall 

Like shadows on the light. 

They are gone to be with Jesus, 

So who would wish them back 
To tread the rugged stones that lie 

In life's uncertain track ? 
Their fears and falls are over, — 

Nor falls nor fears were vain, — 
But who would wish those lips to taste 

The bitter cup again ? 



134 PAX DEI. 

They are gone to be with Jesus ; 

Ah ! would that we were there ! 
That these so anxious hearts were hushed, 

With all their pain and care ! 
They rest in yonder regions : 

Oh that we too might go 
To stand beside life's crystal stream, 

Where healing waters flow ! 

They are gone to be with Jesus ; 

And when the time is best, 
Those loving arms that shelter them 

Shall take us there to rest ; 
And we shall be with Jesus, 

Redeemed from stain and sin : 
Those noiseless gates shall open wide, — 

We, too, shall enter in. 



l J3 



COMPASSION. 

'The long-suffering of our Lord is salvation.' - — 2 St. Peter w. 15. 

THERE are some deep feelings, 
Which we scarce disclose ; 
Be this thought borne with them : 
There is One Who knows, — 

Knows our faults and failings, 

Soiling day by day ; 
Yet His deep compassion 

Doth not turn away. 

Not to friends the dearest, 

On whose love we call, 
Tell we all our vileness : 

Jesus knows it all, — 

All our stains and strivings, 

All our wants and woes : 
Oh, how sweet that Jesus 

Loves us though He knows ! 

Oft our wayward footsteps 

Turn to leave the fold, 
Yet the hands that clasp us 

Do not loose their hold. 



I3 6 COMPASSION. 

Human love, though tender, 
Yields to years at last ; 

But that love we lean on 
Holdeth firm and fast. 

Human eyes, though eager, 
Fail their watch to keep ; 

But the eyes of Jesus 
Slumber not nor sleep. 

Human ears, though patient, 
Turn at last away ; 

But the ear we plead with 
Bendeth down for aye. 

May His gentle pleadings 
Wean our hearts from ill, 

As we think with wonder — 
"Jesus loves me still." 



137 



RAYS. 

'The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man." — Psalm xciv. n. 

THEY pass in silence from the brain, 
And some are clothed in light ; 
Then in a moment earth and sky 

Seem beautiful and bright. 
Fair flying moments sometimes given 
Make earth seem scarcely earth, but heaven 
So beautiful, so bright ! 



Some thoughts lie hidden deep and sure, 

Within the far recess 
Of many a rugged simple heart, 

That keeps its tenderness. 
Such thoughts, methinks, are ofttimes hid 
Beneath some mouldering coffin lid, 

Sacred through tenderness. 



A little thing may bring them forth : 

A lock of flaxen hair ; 
The chime of far-off village bells 

Upon the summer air ; 
Some old-time ballad's soft refrain, 
Which pale hushed lips may ne'er again 

Breathe on that summer air. 



i *8 RA YS. 



l o 



Some thoughts lie buried in the past, 
Beneath the load of years, 

And some lie hid within the breast, 
Too deep, too deep for tears. 

The years may come, the years may go, 

Yet undertones like these we know 
Lie all too deep for tears. 



Some thoughts seem borne on angels' wings, 

Beyond the purple light 
That edges, like a braid of gold, 

The soft grey robe of night. 
So wild, so weird, so pure, so free, 
They wander through eternity, 

Beyond earth's cloud and night. 



No seraph at those sunset gates 
Guards now life's healing tree, 

The crimson of those far-off clouds 
Speaketh of Calvary. 

A thought may pass those golden bars, 

May wing a path beyond the stars, 
Towards the crystal sea. 



I hear a voice beside that sea 

I've longed to hear for years ; 

I see a face whose gentle light 
I last beheld through tears ; 

And fingers clasp mine own again, 

Though o'er their touch the turf has lain, 
All wet with mourners' tears. 



RAYS. 139 

Thus thoughts go flashing through the soul, 

To cause the prayer, the sigh ; 
And earth and air and life are changed 

I know not how, or why. 
Some seem of madness, some of mirth, 
And some seem far too sweet for earth, — 

God knoweth how and why. 



140 



BEHIND THE VEIL. 

It doth not yet appear what we shall be."— 1 St. Join/ iii. 2. 
r E know not what we shall be, 



w 



Or what the radiant guise 
In which mortality is clothed 

When wafted to the skies ; 
What rays of fadeless splendour 

May tint that wondrous shore, 
Where trouble's seething stormy waves 

Shall break and fret no more. 

O kingdom of the deathless ! 

O land that holdeth all 
The best, the brightest of our race ! 

The good, the beautiful, 
The gentle, the true-hearted 

For ages past have gone 
To swell thy garner, where the sheaves 

Are gathered one by one. 

O kingdom of the sinless, 

Where never stain shall be, 
To soil with its corroding blot 
The cleansed heart's purity ! 
What high immortal splendour 
May wrap the raiment white, 
In which thy children meet the blaze 
Of God's eternal light ! 



BEHIND THE VEIL. 141 

O kingdom of the tearless, 

Where never grief or care, 
Or sigh, or aught that symbols pain, 

Shall wound the peaceful air ! 
The links once lost and broken, 

From "love's electric chain," 
Are gathered in one perfect round, 

And all restored again. 

O land without a sorrow ! 

O light beyond the sun ! 
O day that know'st no eventide, 

Where all life's cares are done ! 
Fair house beyond the waters ! 

Bright home of fadeless flowers ! 
Within thine arms lie sheltered those 

We miss with tears from ours. 

We know not what we shall be ; 

"It doth not yet appear," 
That wondrous garb of glory 

The dead in Christ shall wear. 
Full oft with eager search ings 

Both thought and eyes grow dim ; 
Yet those who meet on yonder shore 

Shall be for aye "like Him." 



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