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  • 1904
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The smiling infant in his hand shall take The crested basilisk and speckled snake, Pleased, the green lustre of the scales survey, And with their forky tongue shall innocently play. Rise, crowned with light, imperial Salem, rise! Exalt thy towery head, and lift thy eyes! See a long race thy spacious courts adorn: See future sons and daughters yet unborn, In crowding ranks on every side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies! See barbarous nations at thy gates attend, Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend! See thy bright altars thronged with prostrate kings, And heaped with products of Sabean springs! For thee Idume’s spicy forests blow,
And seeds of gold in Ophir’s mountains glow. See Heaven his sparkling portals wide display, And break upon thee in a flood of day!
No more the rising Sun shall gild the morn, Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn; But lost, dissolved in thy superior rays, One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze
O’erflow thy courts: the Light himself shall shine Revealed, and God’s eternal day be thine! The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay, Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away! But fixed his word, his saving power remains; Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reigns!


* * * * *


“That day, a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers!”–ZEPHANIAH i. 15, 16.

Day of vengeance, without morrow!
Earth shall end in flame and sorrow, As from Saint and Seer we borrow.

Ah! what terror is impending,
When the Judge is seen descending, And each secret veil is rending!

To the throne, the trumpet sounding, Through the sepulchres resounding,
Summons all, with voice astounding.

Death and Nature, mazed, are quaking, When, the grave’s long slumber breaking, Man to judgment is awaking.

On the written Volume’s pages,
Life is shown in all its stages–
Judgment-record of past ages.

Sits the Judge, the raised arraigning, Darkest mysteries explaining,
Nothing unavenged remaining.

What shall I then say, unfriended,
By no advocate attended,
When the just are scarce defended?

King of majesty tremendous,
By thy saving grace defend us,
Fount of pity, safety send us!

Holy Jesus, meek, forbearing,
For my sins the death-crown wearing, Save me, in that day, despairing!

Worn and weary, thou hast sought me; By thy cross and passion bought me–
Spare the hope thy labors brought me!

Righteous Judge of retribution,
Give, O give me absolution
Ere the day of dissolution!

As a guilty culprit groaning,
Flushed my face, my errors owning, Hear. O God, Thy suppliant moaning!

Thou to Mary gav’st remission,
Heard’st the dying thief’s petition, Bad’st me hope in my contrition.

In my prayers no worth discerning,
Yet on me Thy favor turning,
Save me from that endless burning!

Give me, when Thy sheep confiding
Thou art from the goals dividing.
On Thy right a place abiding!

When the wicked are rejected,
And by bitter flames subjected,
Call me forth with Thine elected!

Low in supplication bending.
Heart as though with ashes blending; Cure for me when all is ending.

When on that dread day of weeping
Guilty man in ashes sleeping
Wakes to his adjudication,
Save him, God! from condemnation!

From the Latin of THOMAS A CELANO.

Translation of JOHN A. DIX. [A]

[Footnote A: General Dix’s first translation of the “Dies Irae” was made in 1863; the revised version (given above) appeared in 1875. Bayard Taylor wrote of the earlier one: “I have … heretofore sought in vain to find an adequate translation. Those which reproduced the spirit neglected the form, and _vice versa_. There can be no higher praise for yours than to say that it preserves both.”]

* * * * *


My God, I love thee! not because
I hope for heaven thereby;
Nor because those who love thee not Must burn eternally.

Thou, O my Jesus, thou didst me
Upon the cross embrace!
For me didst bear the nails and spear, And manifold disgrace,

And griefs and torments numberless,
And sweat of agony,
Yea, death itself,–and all for one That was thine enemy.

Then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,
Should I not love thee well?
Not for the hope of winning heaven, Nor of escaping hell;

Not with the hope of gaining aught,
Not seeking a reward;
But as thyself hast loved me,
O everlasting Lord!

E’en so I love thee, and will love,
And in thy praise will sing,–
Solely because thou art my God,
And my eternal King.

From the Latin of ST. FRANCIS XAVIER.

Translation of EDWARD CASWALL.

* * * * *


[Sometimes attributed to the Emperor Charlemagne. The better opinion, however, inclines to Pope Gregory I., called the Great, as the author, and fixes its origin somewhere in the sixth century.]

Creator Spirit, by whose aid
The world’s foundations first were laid, Come visit every pious mind.
Come pour thy joys on human kind;
From sin and sorrow set us free,
And make thy temples worthy thee.

O source of uncreated light.
The Father’s promised Paraclete!
Thrice holy fount, thrice holy fire. Our hearts with heavenly love inspire;
Come, and thy sacred unction bring, To sanctify us while we sing.

Plenteous of grace, descend from high, Rich in thy seven-fold energy!
Thou strength of his almighty hand. Whose power does heaven and earth command! Proceeding Spirit, our defence,
Who dost the gifts of tongues dispense, And crown’st thy gift with eloquence!

Refine and purge our earthly parts;
But, O, inflame and fire our hearts! Our frailties help, our vice control,
Submit the senses to the soul;
And when rebellious they are grown, Then lay thy hand and hold ’em down.

Chase from our minds the infernal foe, And peace, the fruit of love, bestow;
And, lest our feet should step astray, Protect and guide us on the way.

Make us eternal truths receive,
And practise all that we believe;
Give us thyself, that we may see
The Father and the Son by thee.

Immortal honor, endless fame,
Attend the Almighty Father’s name; The Saviour Son be glorified,
Who for lost man’s redemption died; And equal adoration be,
Eternal Paraclete, to thee.

From the Latin of ST. GREGORY.

Translation of JOHN DRYDEN.

* * * * *


[Written in the tenth century by Robert II., the gentle son of Hugh Capet. It is often mentioned as second in rank to the _Dies Irae_.]

Come, Holy Ghost! thou fire divine!
From highest heaven on us down shine! Comforter, be thy comfort mine!

Come, Father of the poor, to earth;
Come, with thy gifts of precious worth; Come Light of all of mortal birth!

Thou rich in comfort! Ever blest
The heart where thou art constant guest, Who giv’st the heavy-laden rest.

Come, thou in whom our toil is sweet, Our shadow in the noonday heat,
Before whom mourning flieth fleet.

Bright Sun of Grace! thy sunshine dart On all who cry to thee apart,
And fill with gladness every heart.

Whate’er without thy aid is wrought, Or skilful deed, or wisest thought,
God counts it vain and merely naught.

O cleanse us that we sin no more.
O’er parched souls thy waters pour; Heal the sad heart that acheth sore.

Thy will be ours in all our ways;
O melt the frozen with thy rays;
Call home the lost in error’s maze.

And grant us, Lord, who cry to thee, And hold the Faith in unity,
Thy precious gifts of charity;

That we may live in holiness,
And find in death our happiness,
And dwell with thee in lasting bliss!

From the Latin of KING ROBERT II. OF FRANCE.


* * * * *



O fire of God, the Comforter, O life of all that live, Holy art thou to quicken us, and holy, strength to give: To heal the broken-hearted ones, their sorest wounds to bind, O Spirit of all holiness, O Lover of mankind! O sweetest taste within the breast, O grace upon us poured, That saintly hearts may give again their perfume to the Lord. O purest fountain! we can see, clear mirrored in thy streams, That God brings home the wanderers, that God the lost redeems. O breastplate strong to guard our life, O bond of unity, O dwelling-place of righteousness, save all who trust in thee: Defend those who in dungeon dark are prisoned by the foe, And, for thy will is aye to save, let thou the captives go. O surest way, that through the height and through the lowest deep And through the earth dost pass, and all in firmest union keep; From thee the clouds and ether move, from thee the moisture flows, From thee the waters draw their rills, and earth with verdure glows, And thou dost ever teach the wise, and freely on them pour The inspiration of thy gifts, the gladness of thy lore. All praise to thee, O joy of life, O hope and strength, we raise, Who givest us the prize of light, who art thyself all praise.

From the Latin of ST. HILDEGARDE.

Translation of R.F. LITTLEDALE.

* * * * *


In the hour of my distress,
When temptations me oppress,
And when I my sins confess,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When I lie within my bed,
Sick at heart, and sick in head,
And with doubts discomforted,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the house doth sigh and weep,
And the world is drowned in sleep, Yet mine eyes the watch do keep,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the artless doctor sees
No one hope but of his fees,
And his skill runs on the lees,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When his potion and his pill
Has or none or little skill,
Meet for nothing but to kill,–
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the passing-bell doth toll,
And the Furies, in a shoal,
Come to fright a parting soul,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the tapers now burn blue,
And the comforters are few,
And that number more than true,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the priest his last hath prayed, And I nod to what is said
‘Cause my speech is now decayed,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When, God knows, I’m tost about
Either with despair or doubt,
Yet before the glass be out,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the tempter me pursu’th
With the sins of all my youth,
And half damns me with untruth,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the dames and hellish cries
Fright mine ears, and fright mine eyes, And all terrors me surprise,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the judgment is revealed,
And that opened which was sealed,– When to thee I have appealed,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!


* * * * *



God is good.
And flight is destined for the callow wing, And the high appetite implies the food, And souls most reach the level whence they spring; O Life of very life! set free our powers, Hasten the travail of the yearning hours.

Thou, to whom old Philosophy bent low, To the wise few mysteriously revealed;
Thou, whom each humble Christian worships now, In the poor hamlet and the open field:
Once an idea, now Comforter and Friend, Hope of the human heart, descend, descend!




* * * * *


Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, Uttered or unexpressed–
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burthen of a sigh,
The falling of a tear–
The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech That infant lips can try–
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach The majesty on high.

Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice, And cry, “Behold he prays!”

Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath– The Christian’s native air–
His watchword at the gates of death– He enters heaven with prayer.

The saints in prayer appear as one
In word, and deed, and mind,
While with the Father and the Son
Sweet fellowship they find.

Nor prayer is made by man alone–
The Holy Spirit pleads–
And Jesus, on the eternal throne,
For shiners intercedes.

O Thou by whom we come to God–
The life, the truth, the way!
The path of prayer Thyself hast trod; Lord, teach us how to pray!


* * * * *


When is the time for prayer?
With the first beams that light the morning’s sky, Ere for the toils of day thou dost prepare, Lift up thy thoughts on high;
Commend the loved ones to his watchful care: Morn is the time for prayer!

And in the noontide hour,
If worn by toil, or by sad cares oppressed, Then unto God thy spirit’s sorrow pour, And he will give thee rest:–
Thy voice shall reach him through the fields of air: Noon is the time for prayer!

When the bright sun hath set,–
Whilst yet eve’s glowing colors deck the skies;– When the loved, at home, again thou ‘st met, Then let the prayer arise
For those who in thy joys and sorrow share: Eve is the time for prayer!

And when the stars come forth,–
When to the trusting heart sweet hopes are given, And the deep stillness of the hour gives birth To pure, bright dreams of heaven,–
Kneel to thy God–ask strength, life’s ills to bear: Night is the time for prayer!

When is the time for prayer?
In every hour, while life is spared to thee– In crowds or solitudes–in joy or care– Thy thoughts should heavenward flee.
At home–at morn and eve–with loved ones there, Bend thou the knee in prayer!


* * * * *


To prayer, to prayer;–for the morning breaks, And earth in her Maker’s smile awakes.
His light is on all below and above,– The light of gladness, and life, and love. Oh, then, on the breath of this early air Send upward the incense of grateful prayer.

To prayer;–for the glorious sun is gone, And the gathering darkness of night comes on; Like a curtain from God’s kind hand it flows, To shade the couch where his children impose. Then kneel, while the watching stars are bright, And give your last thoughts to the Guardian of night.

To prayer;–for the day that God has blest Comes tranquilly on with its welcome rest. It speaks of creation’s early bloom;
It speaks of the Prince who burst the tomb. Then summon the spirit’s exalted powers, And devote to Heaven the hallowed hours.

There are smiles and tears in the mother’s eyes, For her new-born infant beside her lies. Oh, hour of bliss! when the heart o’erflows With rapture a mother only knows.
Let it gush forth in words of fervent prayer; Let it swell up to Heaven for her precious care.

There are smiles and tears in that gathering band, Where the heart is pledged with the trembling hand: What trying thoughts in her bosom swell, As the bride bids parents and home farewell! Kneel down by the side of the tearful pair, And strengthen the perilous hour with prayer.

Kneel down by the dying sinner’s side, And pray for his soul through Him who died. Large drops of anguish are thick on his brow; Oh, what are earth and its pleasures now! And what shall assuage his dark despair, But the penitent cry of humble prayer?

Kneel down by the couch of departing faith, And hear the last words the believer saith. He has bidden adieu to his earthly friends; There is peace in his eye that upward bends; There is peace in his calm, confiding air; For his last thoughts are God’s, his last words prayer.

The voice of prayer at the sable bier! A voice to sustain, to soothe, and to cheer. It commends the spirit to God who gave; It lifts the thoughts from the cold, dark grave; It points to the glory where he shall reign, Who whispered, “Thy brother shall rise again.”

The voice of prayer in the world of bliss! But gladder, purer, than rose from this. The ransomed shout to their glorious King, Where no sorrow shades the soul as they sing; But a sinless and joyous song they raise, And their voice of prayer is eternal praise.

Awake, awake! and gird up thy strength, To join that holy band at length!
To Him who unceasing love displays, Whom the powers of nature unceasingly praise,– To Him thy heart and thy hours be given; For a life of prayer is the life of Heaven.


* * * * *


Not on a prayerless bed, not on a prayerless bed Compose thy weary limbs to rest;
For they alone are blessed
With balmy sleep
Whom angels keep;
Nor, though by care oppressed,
Or anxious sorrow,
Or thought in many a coil perplexed For coming morrow,
Lay not thy head
On prayerless bed.

For who can tell, when sleep thine eyes shall close, That earthly cares and woes
To thee may e’er return?
Arouse, my soul!
Slumber control,
And let thy lamp burn brightly;
So shall thine eyes discern
Things pure and sightly;
Taught by the Spirit, learn
Never on a prayerless bed
To lay thine unblest head.

Hast thou no pining want, or wish, or care, That calls for holy prayer?
Has thy day been so bright
That in its flight
There is no trace of sorrow?
And thou art sure to-morrow
Will be like this, and more
Abundant? Dost thou yet lay up thy store And still make plans for more?
Thou fool! this very night
Thy soul may wing its flight.

Hast thou no being than thyself more dear, That ploughs the ocean deep,
And when storms sweep
The wintry, lowering sky,
For whom thou wak’st and weepest? Oh, when thy pangs are deepest,
Seek then the covenant ark of prayer; For He that slumbereth not is there–
His ear is open to thy cry.
Oh, then, on prayerless bed
Lay not thy thoughtless head.

Arouse thee, weary soul, nor yield to slumber, Till in communion blest
With the elect ye rest–
Those souls of countless numbers; And with them raise
The note of praise,
Reaching from earth to heaven–
Chosen, redeemed, forgiven;
So lay thy happy head,
Prayer-crowned, on blessed bed.


* * * * *



_The King_. O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven; It hath the primal eldest curse upon ‘t, A brother’s murder. Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will: My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent; And, like a man to double business bound, I stand in pause where I shall first begin, And both neglect. What if this cursed hand Were thicker than itself with brother’s blood, Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy But to confront the visage of offence?
And what’s in prayer but this twofold force, To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardoned being down? Then I’ll look up; My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer Can serve my turn? “Forgive me my foul murder?” That cannot be: since I am still possessed Of those effects for which I did the murder, My crown, mine own ambition and my queen. May one be pardoned and retain the offence? In the corrupted currents of this world Offence’s gilded hand may shove by justice. And oft ‘t is seen the wicked prize itself Buys out the law: but ‘t is not so above; There is no shuffling, there the action lies In his true nature; and we ourselves compelled, Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults, To give in evidence. What then? what rests? Try what repentance can: what can it not? Yet what can it when one cannot repent? O wretched state! O bosom black as death! O limed soul, that, struggling to be free, Art more engaged! Help, angels! Make assay! Bow, stubborn knees; and heart with strings of steel, Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe! All may be well. [_Retires and kneels_.]

* * * * *

_King (rising)._ My words fly up, my thoughts remain below; Words without thoughts never to heaven go.


* * * * *



In heavy sleep the Caliph lay,
When some one called, “Arise, and pray!”

The angry Caliph cried, “Who dare
Rebuke his king for slighting prayer?”

Then, from the corner of the room,
A voice cut sharply through the gloom:

“My name is Satan, Rise! obey
Mohammed’s law; awake, and pray!”

“Thy _words_ are good,” the Caliph said, “But their intent I somewhat dread.

For matters cannot well be worse
Than when the thief says, ‘Guard your purse!’

I cannot trust your counsel, friend, It surely hides some wicked end.”

Said Satan, “Near the throne of God, In ages past, we devils trod;

Angels of light, to us ‘t was given
To guide each wandering foot to heaven.

Not wholly lost is that first love.
Nor those pure tastes we knew above.

Roaming across a continent.
The Tartar moves his shifting tent,

But never quite forgets the day
When in his father’s arms he lay;

So we, once bathed in love divine.
Recall the taste of that rich wine.

God’s finger rested on my brow,–
That magic touch, I feel it now!

I fell, ‘t is true–O, ask not why.
For still to God I turn my eye.

It was a chance by which I fell,
Another takes me back from hell.

‘T was but my envy of mankind,
The envy of a loving mind.

Jealous of men, I could not bear
God’s love with this new race to share.

But yet God’s tables open stand,
His guests flock in from every land;

Some kind act towards the race of men May toss us into heaven again.

A game of chess is all we see,–
And God the player, pieces we.

White, black–queen, pawn,–‘t is all the same, For on both sides he plays the game.

Moved to and fro, from good to ill,
We rise and fall as suits his will.”

The Caliph said, “If this be so,
I know not, but thy guile I know;

For how can I thy words believe,
When even God thou didst deceive?

A sea of lies art thou,–our sin
Only a drop that sea within.”

“Not so,” said Satan, “I serve God,
His angel now, and now his rod.

In tempting I both bless and curse,
Make good men better, bad men worse.

Good coin is mixed with bad, my brother, I but distinguish one from the other.”

“Granted,” the Caliph said, “but still You never tempt to good, but ill.

Tell then the truth, for well I know You come as my most deadly foe.”

Loud laughed the fiend. “You know me well, Therefore my purpose I will tell.

If you had missed your prayer, I knew A swift repentance would ensue;

And such repentance would have been
A good, outweighing far the sin.

I chose this humbleness divine,
Borne out of fault, should not be thine,

Preferring prayers elate with pride
To sin with penitence allied.”


* * * * *


Darkness is thinning; shadows are retreating; Morning and light are coming in their beauty; Suppliant seek we, with an earnest outcry. God the Almighty!

So that our Master, having mercy on us. May repel languor, may bestow salvation. Granting us, Father, of thy loving-kindness Glory hereafter!

This, of his mercy, ever blessed Godhead, Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, give us,– Whom through the wide world celebrate forever Blessing and glory!

From the Latin of ST. GREGORY THE GREAT.

Translation of JOHN MASON NEALE.

* * * * *


To write a verse or two is all the praise That I can raise;
Mend my estate in any wayes,
Thou shalt have more.

I go to church; help me to wings, and I Will thither flie;
Or, if I mount unto the skie,
I will do more.

Man is all weaknesse: there is no such thing As Prince or King:
His arm is short; yet with a sling He may do more.

A herb destilled, and drunk, may dwell next doore, On the same floore,
To a brave soul: Exalt the poore, They can do more.

O, raise me then! poore bees, that work all day, Sting my delay,
Who have a work, as well as they, And much, much more.


* * * * *


O God! though sorrow be my fate,
And the world’s hate
For my heart’s faith pursue me.
My peace they cannot take away;
Prom day to day
Thou dost anew imbue me;
Thou art not far; a little while
Thou hid’st thy face, with brighter smile Thy father-love to show me.

Lord, not my will, but thine, be done; If I sink down
When men to terrors leave me,
Thy father-love still warms my breast; All’s for the best;
Shall men have power to grieve me, When bliss eternal is my goal.
And thou the keeper of my soul,
Who never will deceive me?

Thou art my shield, as saith the Word. Christ Jesus, Lord,
Thou standest pitying by me,
And lookest on each grief of mine
And if ‘t were thine:
What, then, though foes may try me. Though thorns be in my path concealed?
World, do thy worst! God is my shield! And will be ever nigh me.

Translated from MARY, QUEEN OF HUNGARY.

* * * * *


Thou, who dost dwell alone;
Thou, who dost know thine own;
Thou, to whom all are known,
From the cradle to the grave,–
Save, O, save!

From the world’s temptations;
From tribulations;
From that fierce anguish
Wherein we languish;
From that torpor deep
Wherein we lie asleep,
Heavy as death, cold as the grave,– Save, O, save!

When the soul, growing clearer,
Sees God no nearer;
When the soul, mounting higher,
To God comes no nigher;
But the arch-fiend Pride
Mounts at her side,
Foiling her high emprize,
Sealing her eagle eyes,
And, when she fain would soar,
Make idols to adore;
Changing the pure emotion
Of her high devotion,
To a skin-deep sense
Of her own eloquence;
Strong to deceive, strong to enslave,– Save, O, save!

From the ingrained fashion
Of this earthly nature
That mars thy creature;
From grief, that is but passion;
From mirth, that is but feigning;
From tears, that bring no healing; From wild and weak complaining;–
Thine old strength revealing,
Save, O, save!

From doubt, where all is doable,
Where wise men are not strong;
Where comfort turns to trouble;
Where just men suffer wrong;
Where sorrow treads on joy;
Where sweet things soonest cloy;
Where faiths are built on dust;
Where love is half mistrust,
Hungry, and barren, and sharp as the sea; O, set us free!

O, let the false dream fly
Where our sick souls do lie,
Tossing continually.
O, where thy voice doth come,
Let all doubts be dumb;
Let all words be mild;
All strife be reconciled;
All pains beguiled.
Light brings no blindness;
Love no unkindness;
Knowledge no ruin;
Fear no undoing,
From the cradle to the grave,–
Save, O, save!


* * * * *


Why thus longing, thus forever sighing For the far off, unattained, and dim,
While the beautiful, all round thee lying, Offers up its low perpetual hymn?

Wouldst thou listen to its gentle teaching, All thy restless yearnings it would still; Leaf and flower and laden bee are preaching Thine own sphere, though humble, first to fill.

Poor indeed thou must be, if around thee Thou no ray of light and joy canst throw,– If no silken cord of love hath bound thee To some little world through weal and woe;

If no dear eyes thy fond love can brighten,– No fond voices answer to thine own;
If no brother’s sorrow thou canst lighten By daily sympathy and gentle tone.

Not by deeds that win the crowd’s applauses, Not by works that gain thee world-renown, Not by martyrdom or vaunted crosses,
Canst thou win and wear the immortal crown.

Daily struggling, though unloved and lonely, Every day a rich reward will give;
Thou wilt find, by hearty striving only, And truly loving, thou canst truly live.

Dost thou revel in the rosy morning, When all nature hails the Lord of light, And his smile, the mountain-tops adorning, Robes yon fragrant fields in radiance bright?

Other hands may grasp the field and forest, Proud proprietors in pomp may shine;
But with fervent love if thou adorest, Thou art wealthier,–all the world is thine.

Yet if through earth’s wide domains thou rovest, Sighing that they are not thine alone. Not those fair fields, but thyself thou lovest, And their beauty and thy wealth are gone.

Nature wears the color of the spirit; Sweetly to her worshipper she sings;
All the glow, the grace she doth inherit, Round her trusting child she fondly flings.


* * * * *


O God, I cannot walk the Way,–
The thorns, the thirst, the darkness, And bleeding feet and aching heart!
I hear the songs and revels of the throng,– They sneer upon my downcast face with scorn,– Yet, O my God, I _must_ and shall walk with Thee!

O God, I cannot take the Truth!
Far easier honeyed hopes and falsehoods fair, But Truth,–the Truth is stern and strong and awful. It ploughs my soul with ploughshares flaming hot– Yet give me Truth. I must have Truth, O God!

O God, I cannot live the Life,–
The flinging all to death that life may come; The surging of Thy Spirit in my heart
In fire and flame will all consume me,– Yet, O my God, I cannot live without Thee!

And as I agonized in dust and shame
With tears and sighs in all the bitter prayer, I felt, as ‘t were, an arm that stole around me, And raised me to my feet.
And at the touch, hope blossomed in my heart, And new-found strength in flood-tides thrilled and throbbed

Through soul and limbs. I looked to see…. O tender lordly Face!
It was Himself,–_the Way, the Truth, the Life_!


* * * * *


O thou who lovest not alone
The swift success, the instant goal, But hast a lenient eye to mark
The failures of th’ inconstant soul,

Consider not my little worth,–
The mean achievement, scamped in act, The high resolve and low result,
The dream that durst not face the fact.

But count the reach of my desire.
Let this be something in Thy sight:– I have not, in the slothful dark,
Forgot the Vision and the Height.

Neither my body nor my soul
To earth’s low ease will yield consent. I praise Thee for my will to strive.
I bless Thy goad of discontent.


* * * * *


Thou hidden love of God, whose height, Whose depth unfathomed no man knows,
I see from far thy beauteous light, Inly I sigh for thy repose.
My heart is pained, nor can it be
At rest till it finds rest in thee.

Thy secret voice invites me still
The sweetness of thy yoke to prove, And fain I would; but though my will
Be fixed, yet wide my passions rove. Yet hindrances strew all the way;
I aim at thee, yet from thee stray.

‘T is mercy all that thou hast brought My mind to seek her peace in thee.
Yet while I seek but find thee not No peace my wand’ring soul shall see.
Oh! when shall all my wand’rings end, And all my steps to-thee-ward tend?

Is there a thing beneath the sun
That strives with thee my heart to share? Ah! tear it thence and reign alone,
The Lord of every motion there.
Then shall my heart from earth be free, When it has found repose in thee.

Oh! hide this self from me, that I
No more, but Christ in me, may live. My vile affections crucify,
Nor let one darling lust survive. In all things nothing may I see,
Nothing desire or seek but thee.

O Love, thy sovereign aid impart,
To save me from low-thoughted care; Chase this self-will through all my heart, Through all its latent mazes there.
Make me thy duteous child, that I
Ceaseless may Abba, Father, cry.

Ah! no; ne’er will I backward turn:
Thine wholly, thine alone I am.
Thrice happy he who views with scorn Earth’s toys, for thee his constant flame. Oh! help, that I may never move
From the blest footsteps of thy love.

Each moment draw from earth away
My heart, that lowly waits thy call. Speak to my inmost soul, and say,
“I am thy Love, thy God, thy All.” To feel thy power, to hear thy voice,
To taste thy love is all my choice.

From the German of GERHARD TERSTEEGEN.

Translation of JOHN WESLEY.

* * * * *


Away, haunt thou not me,
Thou vain Philosophy!
Little hast thou bestead,
Save to perplex the head,
And leave the spirit dead.
Unto thy broken cisterns wherefore go. While from the secret treasure-depths below, Fed by the skyey shower,
And clouds that sink and rest on hill-tops high, Wisdom at once, and Power,
Are welling, bubbling forth, unseen, incessantly? Why labor at the dull mechanic oar,
When the fresh breeze is blowing,
And the strong current flowing,
Right onward to the Eternal Shore?


* * * * *


From the recesses of a lowly spirit, Our humble prayer ascends; O Father! hear it. Upsoaring on the wings of awe and meekness, Forgive its weakness!

We see thy hand,–it leads us, it supports us; We hear thy voice,–it counsels and it courts us; And then we turn away; and still thy kindness Forgives our blindness.

O, how long-suffering, Lord! but thou delightest To win with love the wandering: thou invited, By smiles of mercy, not by frowns or terrors, Man from his errors.

Father and Saviour! plant within each bosom The seeds of holiness, and bid them blossom In fragrance and in beauty bright and vernal, And spring eternal.


* * * * *


Father, I will not ask for wealth or fame, Though once they would have joyed my carnal sense: I shudder not to bear a hated name,
Wanting all wealth, myself my sole defence. But give me, Lord, eyes to behold the truth; A seeing sense that knows the eternal right; A heart with pity filled, and gentlest ruth; A manly faith that makes all darkness light: Give me the power to labor for mankind; Make me the mouth of such as cannot speak; Eyes let me be to groping men, and blind; A conscience to the base; and to the weak Let me be hands and feet; and to the foolish, mind; And lead still further on such as thy kingdom seek.


* * * * *


O thou who hast beneath Thy hand
The dark foundations of the land,– The motion of whose ordered thought
An instant universe hath wrought,–

Who hast within Thine equal heed
The rolling sun, the ripening seed, The azure of the speedwell’s eye.
The vast solemnities of sky,–

Who hear’st no less the feeble note
Of one small bird’s awakening throat, Than that unnamed, tremendous chord
Arcturus sounds before his Lord,–

More sweet to Thee than all acclaim
Of storm and ocean, stars and flame, In favor more before Thy face
Than pageantry of time and space.

The worship and the service be
Of him Thou madest most like Thee,– Who in his nostrils hath Thy breath,
Whose spirit is the lord of death!


* * * * *


O Master, let me walk with thee
In lowly paths of service free;
Tell me thy secret; help me bear
The strain of toil, the fret of care; Help me the slow of heart to move
By some clear winning word of love; Teach me the wayward feet to stay,
And guide them in the homeward way.

O Master, let me walk with thee
Before the taunting Pharisee;
Help me to bear the sting of spite, The hate of men who hide thy light,
The sore distrust of souls sincere Who cannot read thy judgments clear,
The dulness of the multitude
Who dimly guess that thou art good.

Teach me thy patience; still with thee In closer, dearer company,
In work that keeps faith sweet and strong, In trust that triumphs over wrong,
In hope that sends a shining ray
Far down the future’s broadening way, In peace that only thou canst give,
With thee, O Master, let me live!




* * * * *


O world, thou choosest not the better part! It is not wisdom to be only wise,
And on the inward vision close the eyes, But it is wisdom to believe the heart.
Columbus found a world, and had no chart, Save one that faith deciphered in the skies; To trust the soul’s invincible surmise
Was all his science and his only art. Our knowledge is a torch of smoky pine
That lights the pathway but one step ahead Across a void of mystery and dread.
Bid, then, the tender light of faith to shine By which alone the mortal heart is led
Unto the thinking of the thought divine.


* * * * *


[The author of this poem, one of the victims of the persecuting Henry VIII., was burnt to death at Smithfield in 1546. It was made and sung by her while a prisoner in Newgate.]

Like as the armed Knighte,
Appointed to the fielde.
With this world wil I fight,
And faith shal be my shilde.

Faith is that weapon stronge,
Which wil not faile at nede;
My foes therefore amonge,
Therewith wil I precede.

As it is had in strengthe,
And forces of Christes waye,
It wil prevaile at lengthe,
Though all the devils saye _naye_.

Faithe of the fathers olde
Obtained right witness,
Which makes me verye bolde
To fear no worldes distress.

I now rejoice in harte,
And hope bides me do so;
For Christ wil take my part,
And ease me of my we.

Thou sayst, Lord, whoso knocke,
To them wilt thou attende;
Undo, therefore, the locke,
And thy stronge power sende.

More enemies now I have
Than heeres upon my head;
Let them not me deprave,
But fight thou in my steade.

On thee my care I cast,
For all their cruell spight;
I set not by their hast,
For thou art my delight.

I am not she that list
My anker to let fall
For every drislinge mist;
My shippe’s substancial.

Not oft I use to wright
In prose, nor yet in ryme;
Yet wil I shewe one sight,
That I sawe in my time:

I sawe a royall throne,
Where Justice shulde have sitte;
But in her steade was One
Of moody cruell witte.

Absorpt was rightwisness,
As by the raginge floude;
Sathan, in his excess,
Sucte up the guiltlesse bloude.

Then thought I,–Jesus, Lorde,
When thou shalt judge us all,
Harde is it to recorde
On these men what will fall.

Yet, Lorde, I thee desire,
For that they doe to me,
Let them not taste the hire
Of their iniquitie.


* * * * *



You say, but with no touch of scorn, Sweet-hearted, you, whose light-blue eyes Are tender over drowning flies,
You tell me, doubt is Devil-born.

I know not: one indeed I knew
In many a subtle question versed, Who touched a jarring lyre at first,
But ever strove to make it true:

Perplext in faith, but pure in deeds, At last he beat his music out.
There lives more faith in honest doubt, Believe me, than in half the creeds.

He fought his doubts and gathered strength, He would not make his judgment blind,
He faced the spectres of the mind And laid them: thus he came at length

To find a stronger faith his own;
And Power was with him in the night, Which makes the darkness and the light, And dwells not in the light alone,

But in the darkness and the cloud,
As over Sinai’s peaks of old,
While Israel made their gods of gold, Although the trumpet blew so loud.


* * * * *


My times are in thy hand!
I know not what a day
Or e’en an hour may bring to me,
But I am safe while trusting thee, Though all things fade away.
All weakness, I
On him rely
Who fixed the earth and spread the starry sky.

My times are in thy hand!
Pale poverty or wealth.
Corroding care or calm repose.
Spring’s balmy breath or winter’s snows. Sickness or buoyant health,–
Whate’er betide,
If God provide,
‘T is for the best; I wish no lot beside.

My times are in thy hand!
Should friendship pure illume
And strew my path with fairest flowers, Or should I spend life’s dreary hours
In solitude’s dark gloom,
Thou art a friend.
Till time shall end
Unchangeably the same; in thee all beauties blend.

My times are in thy hand!
Many or few, my days
I leave with thee,–this only pray, That by thy grace, I, every day
Devoting to thy praise,
May ready be
To welcome thee
Whene’er thou com’st to set my spirit free.

My times are in thy hand!
Howe’er those times may end,
Sudden or slow my soul’s release, Midst anguish, frenzy, or in peace,
I’m safe with Christ my friend.
If he is nigh,
Howe’er I die,
‘T will be the dawn of heavenly ecstasy.

My times are in thy hand!
To thee I can intrust
My slumbering clay, till thy command Bids all the dead before thee stand,
Awaking from the dust.
Beholding thee,
What bliss ‘t will be
With all thy saints to spend eternity!

To spend eternity
In heaven’s unclouded light!
From sorrow, sin, and frailty free, Beholding and resembling thee,–
O too transporting sight!
Prospect too fair
For flesh to bear!
Haste! haste! my Lord, and soon transport me there!


* * * * *


E’en like two little bank-dividing brooks, That wash the pebbles with their wanton streams, And having ranged and searched a thousand nooks, Meet both at length in silver-breasted Thames, Where in a greater current they conjoin: So I my Best-Beloved’s am; so He is mine.

E’en so we met; and after long pursuit, E’en so we joined; we both became entire; No need for either to renew a suit,
For I was flax and he was flames of fire: Our firm-united souls did more than twine: So I my Best-Beloved’s am; so He is mine.

If all those glittering Monarchs that command The servile quarters of this earthly ball, Should tender, in exchange, their shares of land, I would not change my fortunes for them all: Their wealth is but a counter to my coin: The world’s but theirs; but my Beloved’s mine.


* * * * *


Ah! I shall kill myself with dreams! These dreams that softly lap me round
Through trance-like hours in which meseems That I am swallowed up and drowned;
Drowned in your love, which flows o’er me As o’er the seaweed flows the sea.

In watches of the middle night,
‘Twixt vesper and ‘twist matin bell, With rigid arms and straining sight,
I wait within my narrow cell;
With muttered prayers, suspended will, I wait your advent–statue-still.

Across the convent garden walls
The wind blows from the silver seas; Black shadow of the cypress falls
Between the moon-meshed olive-trees; Sleep-walking from their golden bowers, Flit disembodied orange flowers.

And in God’s consecrated house,
All motionless from head to feet, My heart awaits her heavenly Spouse,
As white I lie on my white sheet; With body lulled and soul awake,
I watch in anguish for your sake.

And suddenly, across the gloom,
The naked moonlight sharply swings; A Presence stirs within the room,
A breath of flowers and hovering wings:– Your presence without form and void,
Beyond all earthly joys enjoyed.

My heart is hushed, my tongue is mute, My life is centred in your will;
You play upon me like a lute
Which answers to its master’s skill, Till passionately vibrating,
Each nerve becomes a throbbing string.

Oh, incommunicably sweet!
No longer aching and apart,
As rain upon the tender wheat,
You pour upon my thirsty heart;
As scent is bound up in the rose,
Your love within my bosom glows.


* * * * *


Come, my way, my truth, my life–
Such a way as gives us breath;
Such a truth as ends all strife;
Such a life as killeth death.

Come my light, my feast, my strength– Such a light as shows a feast;
Such a feast as mends in length;
Such a strength as makes His guest.

Come my joy, my love, my heart!
Such a joy as none can move;
Such a love as none can part;
Such a heart as joys in love.


* * * * *



Unfading Hope! when life’s last embers burn, When soul to soul, and dust to dust return! Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour! O, then thy kingdom comes! Immortal Power! What though each spark of earth-born rapture fly The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye! Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey The morning dream of life’s eternal day,– Then, then, the triumph and the trance begin, And all the phoenix spirit burns within!

* * * * *

Daughter of Faith, awake, arise, illume The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb; Melt, and dispel, ye spectre-doubts, that roll Cimmerian darkness o’er the parting soul! Fly, like the moon-eyed herald of Dismay, Chased on his night-steed by the star of day! The strife is o’er,–the pangs of Nature close, And life’s last rapture triumphs o’er her woes. Hark! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze, The noon of Heaven undazzled by the blaze, On heavenly winds that waft her to the sky, Float the sweet tones of star-born melody; Wild as that hallowed anthem sent to hail Bethlehem’s shepherds in the lonely vale, When Jordan hushed his waves, and midnight still Watched on the holy towers of Zion hill!

* * * * *

Eternal Hope! when yonder spheres sublime Pealed their first notes to sound the march of Time, Thy joyous youth began,–but not to fade. When all the sister planets have decayed; When wrapt in fire the realms of ether glow, And Heaven’s last thunder shakes the world below; Thou, undismayed, shalt o’er the ruins smile, And light thy torch at Nature’s funeral pile.


[Footnote A: This poem was written when the author was but twenty-one years of age.]

* * * * *


Oh the wonder of our life,
Pain and pleasure, rest and strife, Mystery of mysteries,
Set twixt two eternities!

Lo, the moments come and go,
E’en as sparks, and vanish so;
Flash from darkness into light,
Quick as thought are quenched in night.

With an import grand and strange
Are they fraught in ceaseless change As they post away; each one
Stands eternally alone.

The scene more fair than words can say, I gaze upon and go my way;
I turn, another glance to claim–
Something is changed, ‘t is not the same.

The purple flush on yonder fell,
The tinkle of that cattle-bell,
Came, and have never come before,
Go, and are gone forevermore.

Our life is held as with a vice,
We cannot do the same thing twice; Once we may, but not again;
Only memories remain.

What if memories vanish too,
And the past be lost to view;
Is it all for nought that I
Heard and saw and hurried by?

Where are childhood’s merry hours,
Bright with sunshine, crossed with showers? Are they dead, and can they never
Come again to life forever?

No–‘t is false, I surely trow;
Though awhile they vanish now;
Every passion, deed, and thought
Was not born to come to nought!

Will the past then come again,
Rest and pleasure, strife and pain, All the heaven and all the hell?
Ah, we know not: God can tell.


* * * * *


The bird that soars on highest wing
Builds on the ground her lowly nest; And she that doth most sweetly sing
Sings in the shade, where all things rest; In lark and nightingale we see
What honor hath humility.

When Mary chose “the better part,”
She meekly sat at Jesus’ feet;
And Lydia’s gently opened heart
Was made for God’s own temple meet: Fairest and best adorned is she
Whose clothing is humility.

The saint that wears heaven’s brightest crown, In deepest adoration bends:
The weight of glory bows him down
Then most, when most his soul ascends: Nearest the throne itself must be
The footstool of humility.


* * * * *


Robert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane And Valmond, emperor of Allemaine,
Apparelled in magnificent attire,
With retinue of many a knight and squire, On Saint John’s eve, at vespers, proudly sat And heard the priests chant the Magnificat. And as he listened o’er and o’er again
Repeated, like a burden or refrain, He caught the words, “_Deposuit potentes De sede, et exaltavit humiles;”_
And slowly lifting up his kingly head, He to a learned clerk beside him said,
“What mean these words?” The clerk made answer meet, “He has put down the mighty from their seat, And has exalted them of low degree.”
Thereat King Robert muttered scornfully, “‘T is well that such seditious words are sung Only by priests and in the Latin tongue; For unto priests and people be it known, There is no power can push me from my throne!” And leaning back, he yawned and fell asleep, Lulled by the chant monotonous and deep.

When he awoke, it was already night; The church was empty, and there was no light, Save where the lamps that glimmered, few and faint, Lighted a little space before some saint. He started from his seat and gazed around, But saw no living thing and heard no sound. He groped towards the door, but it was locked; He cried aloud, and listened, and then knocked, And uttered awful threatenings and complaints, And imprecations upon men and saints.
The sounds reechoed from the roof and walls As if dead priests were laughing in their stalls.

At length the sexton, hearing from without The tumult of the knocking and the shout, And thinking thieves were in the house of prayer, Came with his lantern, asking, “Who is there?” Half choked with rage, King Robert fiercely said, “Open: ’tis I, the king! Art thou afraid?” The frightened sexton, muttering, with a curse, “This is some drunken vagabond, or worse!” Turned the great key and flung the portal wide; A man rushed by him at a single stride, Haggard, half naked, without hat or cloak, Who neither turned, nor looked at him, nor spoke. But leaped into the blackness of the night, And vanished like a spectre from his sight.

Robert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane And Valmond, emperor of Allemaine,
Despoiled of his magnificent attire, Bare-headed, breathless, and besprent with mire, With sense of wrong and outrage desperate, Strode on and thundered at the palace gate: Bushed through the court-yard, thrusting in his rage To right and left each seneschal and page, And hurried up the broad and sounding stair, His white face ghastly in the torches’ glare. From hall to hall he passed with breathless speed: Voices and cries he heard, but did not heed, Until at last he reached the banquet-room, Blazing with light, and breathing with perfume. There on the dais sat another king,
Wearing his rotes, his crown, his signet-ring. King Robert’s self in features, form, and height, But all transfigured with angelic light! It was an angel; and his presence there With a divine effulgence filled the air, An exaltation, piercing the disguise,
Though none the hidden angel recognize.

A moment speechless, motionless, amazed, The throneless monarch on the angel gazed, Who met his looks of anger and surprise With the divine compassion of his eyes; Then said, “Who art thou? and why com’st thou here?” To which King Robert answered with a sneer, “I am the king, and come to claim my own From an impostor, who usurps my throne!” And suddenly, at these audacious words, Up sprang the angry guests, and drew their swords; The angel answered with unruffled brow, “Nay, not the king, but the king’s jester; thou Henceforth shalt wear the bells and scalloped cape, And for thy counsellor shalt lead an ape: Thou shalt obey my servants when they call, And wait upon my henchmen in the hall!”

Deaf to King Robert’s threats and cries and prayers, They thrust him from the hall and down the stairs; A group of tittering pages ran before,
And as they opened wide the folding-door, His heart failed, for he heard, with strange alarms, The boisterous laughter of the men-at-arms, And all the vaulted chamber roar and ring With the mock plaudits of “Long live the king!” Next morning, waking with the day’s first beam, He said within himself, “It was a dream!” But the straw rustled as he turned his head, There were the cap and bells beside his bed; Around him rose the bare, discolored walls. Close by, the steeds were champing in their stalls, And in the corner, a revolting shape,
Shivering and chattering, sat the wretched ape. It was no dream; the world he loved so much Had turned to dust and ashes at his touch!

Days came and went; and now returned again To Sicily the old Saturnian reign;
Under the angel’s governance benign The happy island danced with corn and wine, And deep within the mountain’s burning breast Enceladus, the giant, was at rest.
Meanwhile King Robert yielded to his fate, Sullen and silent and disconsolate.
Dressed in the motley garb that jesters wear, With looks bewildered and a vacant stare, Close shaven above the ears, as monks are shorn, By courtiers mocked, by pages laughed to scorn, His only friend the ape, his only food
What others left,–he still was unsubdued. And when the angel met him on his way,
And half in earnest, half in jest, would say, Sternly, though tenderly, that he might feel The velvet scabbard held a sword of steel, “Art thou the king?” the passion of his woe Burst from him in resistless overflow,
And lifting high his forehead, he would fling The haughty answer back, “I am, I am the king!”

Almost three years were ended; when there came Ambassadors of great repute and name
From Valmond, emperor of Allemaine, Unto King Robert, saying that Pope Urbane By letter summoned them forthwith to come On Holy Thursday to his city of Rome.
The angel with great joy received his guests, And gave them presents of embroidered vests, And velvet mantles with rich ermine lined, And rings and jewels of the rarest kind. Then he departed with them o’er the sea Into the lovely land of Italy,
Whose loveliness was more resplendent made By the mere passing of that cavalcade,
With plumes, and cloaks, and housings, and the stir Of jewelled bridle and of golden spur.

And lo! among the menials, in mock state, Upon a piebald steed, with shambling gait, His cloak of fox-tails flapping in the wind, The solemn ape demurely perched behind, King Robert rode, making huge merriment In all the country towns through which they went.

The pope received them with great pomp, and blare Of bannered trumpets, on Saint Peter’s square, Giving his benediction and embrace,
Fervent, and full of apostolic grace. While with congratulations and with prayers He entertained the angel unawares,
Robert, the jester, bursting through the crowd, Into their presence rushed, and cried aloud: “I am the king! Look and behold in me
Robert, your brother, king of Sicily! This man, who wears my semblance to your eyes, Is an impostor in a king’s disguise.
Do you not know me? does no voice within Answer my cry, and say we are akin?”
The pope in silence, but with troubled mien. Gazed at the angel’s countenance serene; The emperor, laughing, said, “It is strange sport To keep a madman for thy fool at court!” And the poor, baffled jester in disgrace Was hustled back among the populace.

In solemn state the holy week went by, And Easter Sunday gleamed upon the sky; The presence of an angel, with its light, Before the sun rose, made the city bright, And with new fervor filled the hearts of men, Who felt that Christ indeed had risen again. Even the Jester, on his bed of straw,
With haggard eyes the unwonted splendor saw; He felt within a power unfelt before,
And, kneeling humbly on his chamber floor, He heard the rustling garments of the Lord Sweep through the silent air, ascending heavenward.

And now the visit ending, and once more Valmond returning to the Danube’s shore, Homeward the angel journeyed, and again The land was made resplendent with his train, Flashing along the towns of Italy