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And oft as sin and sorrow tire,
The hallow'd hour do Thou renew, When beckon'd up the awful choir
By pastoral hands, toward Thee we drew;
When trembling at the sacred rail
We hid our eyes and held our breath, Felt thee how strong, our hearts how frail,
And long'd to own thee to the death.
For ever on our souls be trac'd
That blessing dear, that dove-like hand, A sheltering rock in Memory's waste,
O'er-shadowing all the weary land.
THERE is an awe in mortals' joy,
A deep mysterious fear
As if we drew too near
What cost us once so dear.
We cower before th' heart-searching eye
In rapture as in pain;
Dares not believe her gain :
A tun'd and measur'd strain.
Ill fare the lay, though soft as dew
And free as air it fall,
Thy votaries would enthrall
The sacred nuptial hall.
Far other strains, far other fires,
Our marriage offering grace; Welcome, all chaste and kind desires,
With even matron pace Approaching down the hallow'd aisle ! Where should ye seek Love's perfect smile, But where your prayers were learn'd erewhile,
In her own native place?
Where, but on His benignest brow,
Who waits to bless you here? Living, He own'd no nuptial vow,
No bower to Fancy dear : Love's very self—for Him no need To
nurse, on earth, the heavenly seed :
'Tis He who clasps the marriage band,
And fits the spousal ring,
Out of His stores to bring
Of our all-bounteous King.
All blessings of the breast and womb,
Of heaven and earth beneath,
in life and death.
For an eternal wreath.
VISITATION AND COMMUNION
OF THE SICK.
O YOUTH and Joy, your airy tread
Where may we learn that gentle spell ?