Page images

Is not God's oath upon your head,
Ne'er to sink back on slothful bed,
Never again your loins untie,
Nor let your torches waste and die,
Till, when the shadows thickest fall,
Ye hear your Master's midnight call ?


What went ye out into the wilderness to see ? a reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see ? a prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. St. Matt. xi. 7, 8.

WHAT went ye out to see

O'er the rude sandy lea,
Where stately Jordan flows by many à palm,

Or where Gennesaret's wave

Delights the flowers to lave,
That o'er her western slope breathe airs of balm ?

All through the summer night
Those blossoms red and bright"

h Rhododendrons : with which the western bank of the lake is said to be clothed down to the water's edge.

Spread their soft breasts, unheeding, to the breeze,

Like hermits watching still

Around the sacred hill, Where erst our Saviour watch'd upon his knees.

The Paschal moon above

Seems like a saint to rove,
Left shining in the world with Christ alone;

Below, the lake's still face

Sleeps sweetly in th' embrace
Of mountains terrass'd high with mossy stone.

Here may we sit, and dream

Over the heavenly theme,
Till to our soul the former days return;

Till on the grassy bed,

Where thousands once He fed,
The world's incarnate Maker we discern.

O cross no more the main,

Wandering so wild and vain,
To count the reeds that tremble in the wind,

On listless dalliance bound,

Like children gazing round,
Who on God's works no seal of Godhead find :

Bask not in courtly bower,

Or sun-bright hall of power,
Pass Babel quick, and seek the holy land-

From robes of Tyrian die

Turn with undazzled eye To Bethlehem's glade, or Carmel's haunted strand.

Or choose thee out a cell

In Kedron's storied dell,
Beside the springs of Love, that never die,

Among the olives kneel

The chill night-blast to feel, And watch the Moon that saw thy Master's agony.

Then rise at dawn of day,

And wind thy thoughtful way,
Where rested once the Temple's stately shade,

With due feet tracing round

The city's northern bound, To th' other holy garden, where the Lord was laid.

Who thus alternate see

His death and victory,
Rising and falling as on angel wings,


They, while they seem to roam,

Draw daily nearer home, Their heart untravelld still adores the King of kings.

Or, if at home they stay,

Yet are they, day by day,
In spirit journeying through the glorious land,

Not for light Fancy's reed,

Nor Honour's purple meed, Nor gifted Prophet's lore, nor Science' wondrous wand.

But more than Prophet, more

Than Angels can adore
With face unveild, is He they go to seek :

Blessed be God, whose grace

Shews him in every place
To homeliest hearts of pilgrims pure and meek.


The eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. Isaiah xxxii. 3.

Of the bright things in earth and air

How little can the heart embrace !
Soft shades and gleaming lights are there-

I know it well, but cannot trace.

Mine eye unworthy seems to read
One page

of Nature's beauteous book ; It lies before me, fair outspread

I only cast a wishful look.

I cannot paint to Memory's eye

The scene, the glance, I dearest loveUnchang’d themselves, in me they die,

Or faint, or false, their shadows prove.

In vain, with dull and tuneless ear,

I linger by soft Music's cell,

« PreviousContinue »