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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.

MATRIMONY.

THERE is an awe in mortals' joy,

A deep mysterious fear
Half of the heart will still employ,

As if we drew too near
To Eden's portal, and those fires
That bicker round in wavy spires,
Forbidding, to our frail desires,

What cost us once so dear.

We cower before th' heart-searching eye

In rapture as in pain;
Even wedded Love, till thou be nigh,

Dares not believe her gain :
Then in the air she fearless springs,
The breath of Heaven beneath her wings,
And leaves her woodnote wild, and sings

A tun'd and measur'd strain.

Ill fare the lay, though soft as dew

And free as air it fall,
That, with thine altar full in view,

Thy votaries would enthrall
To a foul dream, of heathen night,
Lifting her torch in Love's despite,
And scaring with base wildfire light

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 :

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'Tis He who clasps the marriage band,

And fits the spousal ring,
Then leaves ye kneeling, hand in hand,

Out of His stores to bring
His Father's dearest blessing, shed
Of old on Isaac's nuptial bed,
Now on the board before ye spread

Of our all-bounteous King.

All blessings of the breast and womb,

Of heaven and earth beneath,
Of converse high, and sacred home,
Are
yours,

in life and death.
Only kneel on, nor turn away
From the poor shrine, where Christ to-day
Will store each flower, ye duteous lay,

For an eternal wreath.

VISITATION AND COMMUNION

OF THE SICK.

O YOUTH and Joy, your airy tread
Too lightly springs by Sorrow's bed,
Your keen eye glances are too bright,
Too restless for a sick man's sight.
Farewell: for one short lift we part:
I rather woo the soothing art,
Which only souls in sufferings tried
Bear to their suffering brethren's side.

Where may we learn that gentle spell ?
Mother of Martyrs, thou canst tell !
Thou, who didst watch thy dying Spouse
With pierced hands and bleeding brows,
Whose tears from age to age are shed
O’er sainted sons untimely dead,
If e'er we charm a soul in pain,
Thine is the key-note of our strain.

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