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Our hearths are altars all ;
Our unseen foes appal.
Alms all around and hymns within-
Where guards like these abound?
Ere lost in Folly's round.
O joys, that sweetest in decay,
But with the silent breath
Are wafted high in death!
SECOND SUNDAY AFTER EASTER.
He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High; which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open : I shall see him, but not now : I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall arise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. Numbers xxiv. 16, 17.
O FOR a sculptor's hand,
That thou might'st take thy stand,
Thy tranc'd yet open gaze
Fix'd on the desert haze, As one who deep in heaven some airy pageant sees.
In outline dim and vast
Their fearful shadows cast
To ruin: one by one
They tower and they are gone, Yet in the Prophet's soul the dreams of avarice stay.
No sun or star so bright
In all the world of light That they should draw to heaven his downward eye:
He hears th’ Almighty's word,
He sees the angel's sword,
Lo from yon argent field,
To him and us reveald,
Chain'd as they are below
Our eyes may see it glow, And as it mounts again, may track its brightness well.
To him it glar'd afar,
A token of wild war,
But close to us it gleams,
Its soothing lustre streams Around our home's green walls, and on our churchLike goodly cedars by the waters spread,
We in the tents abide Which he at distance eyed
While seven red altar-fires
Rose up in wavy spires, Where on the mount he watch'd his sorceries dark and
He watch'd till morning's ray
On lake and meadow lay,
Around the banner'd lines,
Where by their several signs The desert-wearied tribes in sight of Canaan sleep.
He watch'd till knowledge came
Upon his soul like flame,
But true prophetic light
Flash'd o'er him, high and bright, Flash'd once, and died away, and left his darken’d
And can he choose but fear,
Who feels his God so near, That when he fain would curse, his powerless tongue In blessing only moves ?
Alas! the world he loves Too close around his heart her tangling veil hath flung.
Sceptre and Star divine,
Who in thine inmost shrine
More than thy seers we know
O teach our love to grow Up to thy heavenly light, and reap what Thou hast
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EASTER.
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but when she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. St. John xvi. 21.
Spring should be gay and glad: