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Sin is with man at morning break,
And through the live-long day Deafens the ear that fain would wake
To Nature's simple lay.
But when eve's silent foot-fall steals
Along the eastern sky,
Those purer fires on high,
When one by one each human sound
Dies on the awful ear, Then Nature's voice no more is drown’d,
She speaks and we must hear.
Then pours she on the Christian heart
That warning still and deep, At which high spirits of old would start
Even from their Pagan sleep,
Just guessing, through their murky blind,
Few, faint, and baffling sight, Streaks of a brighter heaven behind,
A cloudless depth of light.
Such thoughts, the wreck of Paradise,
Through many a dreary age, Upbore whate'er of good and wise
Yet lived in bard or sage:
They mark'd what agonizing throes
Shook the great mother's womb; But Reason's spells might not disclose
The gracious birth to come ;
Nor could th' enchantress Hope forecast God's secret love and
power; The travail pangs of Earth must last
Till her appointed hour;
The hour that saw from opening heaven
Redeeming glory stream, Beyond the summer hues of even,
Beyond the mid-day beam.
Thenceforth, to eyes of high desire,
The meanest things below, As with a seraph's robe of fire
Invested, burn and glow :
The rod of heaven has touch'd them all,
The word from heaven is spoken ; “ Rise, shine, and sing, thou captive thrall ;
“ Are not thy fetters broken?
“ The God who hallow'd thee and blest,
“ Pronouncing thee all good “ Hath He not all thy wrongs redrest,
“ And all thy bliss renew'd ?
“ Why mourn'st thou still as one bereft,
66 Now that th' eternal Son “ His blessed home in heaven hath left
6. To make thee all his own?"
Thou mourn'st because Sin lingers still
In Christ's new heaven and earth; Because our rebel works and will
Stain our immortal birth :
Because, as Love and Prayer grow cold,
The Saviour hides his face,
With uses vile and base.
Hence all thy groans and travail pains,
Hence, till thy God return,
Oh Nature, seem to mourn.
FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
And Simon answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing : nevertheless, at thy word I will let down the net : and when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes, and their net brake. St. Luke v. 5.
• THE livelong night we've toiled in vain,
“ But at thy gracious word “ I will let down the net again
“ Do thou thy will, O Lord !"
So day by day and week by week,
In sad and weary thought,
The souls his Christ hath bought.
For not upon a tranquil lake
Our pleasant task we ply, Where all along our glistening wake
The softest moonbeams lie;
Where rippling wave and dashing oar
Our midnight chant attend, Or whispering palm-leaves from the shore
With midnight silence blend.
Sweet thoughts of peace, ye may not last :
Too soon some ruder sound Calls us from where ye soar so fast
Back to our earthly round.
For wildest storms our ocean sweep :-
No anchor but the Cross Might hold : and oft the thankless deep
Turns all our toil to loss.