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And on the traveller's listless way
On earth no sheltering bower.
Thou wilt be there, and not forsake,
To turn the bitter pool Into a bright and breezy lake,
The throbbing brow to cool : Till left awhile with Thee alone The wilful heart be fain to own That He, by whom our bright hours shone,
Our darkness best may rule.
The scent of water far away
Upon the breeze is flung: The desert pelican to-day
Securely leaves her young, Reproving thankless man, who fears To journey on a few lone years, Where on the sand thy step appears,
Thy crown in sight is hung.
Thou, who didst sit on Jacob's well The weary
hour of noon?, The languid pulses Thou canst tell,
The nerveless spirit tune. Thou from whose cross in anguish burst The cry that own'd thy dying thirst", To thee we turn, our last and first,
Our Sun and soothing Moon.
From darkness, here, and dreariness
repose, Only be Thou at hand, to bless
Our trial hour of woes. Is not the pilgrim's toil o'erpaid By the clear rill and palmy shade ? And see we not, up Earth's dark glade,
The gate of Heaven unclose?
9 St. John iv. 6.
r St. John xix. 28.
Behold, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was : when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. St. Matt. ii. 9, 10.
STAR of the East, how sweet art Thou,
Seen in Life's early morning sky, Ere yet a cloud has dimm’d the brow,
While yet we gaze with childish eye;
When father, mother, nursing friend,
Most dearly lov’d, and loving best, First bid us from their arms ascend,
Pointing to Thee in thy sure rest.
Too soon the glare of earthly day
Buries, to us, thy brightness keen, And we are left to find our way
By faith and hope in Thee unseen.
What matter ? if the waymarks sure
side are round us set, Soon overleap'd, but not obscure ?
'Tis ours to mark them or forget.
What matter ? if in calm old
age Our childhood's star again arise, Crowning our lonely pilgrimage
With all that cheers a wanderer's eyes?
Ne'er may we lose it from our sight,
Till all our hopes and thoughts are led To where it stays its lucid flight
Over our Saviour's lowly bed.
There, swath'd in humblest poverty,
On Chastity's meek lap enshrin’d, With breathless Reverence waiting by,
When we our sovereign Master find,
Will not the long-forgotten glow
Of mingled joy and awe return, When stars above or flowers below
First made our infant spirits burn ?
Look on us, Lord, and take our parts
Even on thy throne of purity !
Hide not thy mild forgiving eye.
Did not the Gentile Church find
grace, Our mother dear, this favour'd day? With gold and myrrh she sought thy face,
Nor didst Thou turn thy face away.
She too', in earlier, purer days,
Had watch'd Thee gleaming faint and farBut wandering in self-chosen ways
She lost Thee quite, thou lovely star.
Yet had her Father's finger turn'd
To Thee her first enquiring glance: The deeper shame within her burn'd,
When waken’d from her wilful trance.
Behold, her wisest throng thy gate,
Their richest, sweetest, purest store, (Yet own'd too worthless and too late) They lavish on Thy cottage-floor.
s The Patriarchal Church.