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And hides his weary eyes to pray, Should change your mystic dance, ye wanderers of
the sky ?
We too, O Lord, would fain command,
And backward force the waves of Time,
Our restless bark from year to year ;
Bright hopes, that erst the bosom warm’d,
And prayers blown wide by gales of care ;-
Like stormy lights on mountain streams, Wavering and broken all, athwart the conscience glare.
How shall we 'scape th' o'erwhelming Past ?
eyes that never more may smile :-
Or win us back one little day
Father and Lover of our souls !
Thy sunshine smiles beneath the gloom,
Thy showers would pierce the harden'd ground, And win it to give out its brightness and perfume.
Thou smil'st on us in wrath, and we,
The tears that bathe our offer'd hearts,
But dropp'd from wings of seraphim,
Time's waters will not ebb, nor stay,
What cannot be, Love counts it done.
Can read where Faith is fix'd and true,
0 Thou, who keep'st the Key of Love,
And overflow this heart of mine,
Till in one blaze of charity
Till, as each moment wafts us higher,
And high-breath'd hope of joys above,
years of folly we outlive, In His unerring sight, who measures Life by Love.
THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST.
In whom also ye are circumcised, with the circumcision made without hands. Colossians ii. 11.
year begins with Thee, And Thou beginn'st with woe, To let the world of sinners see
That blood for sin must flow.
Thine infant cries, O Lord,
Thy tears upon the breast,
Must do its stern behest.
Like sacrificial wine
Pour'd' on a victim's head
Are those few precious drops of thine,
Now first to offering led.
They are the pledge and seal
Of Christ's unswerving faith Given to his Sire, our souls to heal,
Although it cost his death.
They to his church of old,
To each true Jewish heart, In Gospel graces manifold
Communion blest impart.
Now of thy love we deem
As of an ocean vast, Mounting in tides against the stream
Of ages gone and past.
Both theirs and ours Thou art,
As we and they are thine; Kings, Prophets, Patriarchs—all have part
Along the sacred line.
By blood and water too
God's mark is set on Thee, That in Thee every faithful view
Both covenants might see.
O bond of union, dear
And strong as is Thy grace ! Saints, parted by a thousand year,
May thus in heart embrace.
Is there a mourner true,
Who fallen on faithless days, Sighs for the heart-consoling view
Of those, Heaven deign'd to praise ?
In spirit may'st thou meet
With faithful Abraham here, Whom soon in Eden thou shalt greet
A nursing Father dear.