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Behold, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was : when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. St. Matt. ii. 9, 10.
STAR of the East, how sweet art Thou,
Seen in Life's early morning sky, Ere yet a cloud has dimm’d the brow,
While yet we gaze with childish eye;
When father, mother, nursing friend,
Most dearly lov’d, and loving best, First bid us from their arms ascend,
Pointing to Thee in thy sure rest.
Too soon the glare of earthly day
Buries, to us, thy brightness keen, And we are left to find our way
By faith and hope in Thee unseen.
What matter ? if the waymarks sure
On every side are round us set, Soon overleap'd, but not obscure ?
"Tis ours to mark them or forget.
What matter ? if in calm old age
Our childhood's star again arise, Crowning our lonely pilgrimage
With all that cheers a wanderer's eyes ?
Ne’er may we lose it from our sight,
Till all our hopes and thoughts are led To where it stays its lucid flight
Over our Saviour's lowly bed.
There, swath'd in humblest poverty,
On Chastity's meek lap enshrin'd, With breathless Reverence waiting by, · When we our sovereign Master find,
Will not the long-forgotten glow
Of mingled joy and awe return, When stars above or flowers below
First made our infant spirits burn?
Look on us, Lord, and take our parts
Even on thy throne of purity ! From these our proud yet grovelling hearts
Hide not thy mild forgiving eye.
Did not the Gentile Church find
grace, Our mother dear, this favour'd day? With gold and myrrh she sought thy face,
Nor didst Thou turn thy face away.
She too', in earlier, purer days,
Had watch'd Thee gleaming faint and farBut wandering in self-chosen ways
She lost Thee quite, thou lovely star.
Yet had her Father's finger turn'd
To Thee her first enquiring glance: The deeper shame within her burn’d,
When waken’d from her wilful trance.
Behold, her wisest throng thy gate,
Their richest, sweetest, purest store, (Yet own’d too worthless and too late)
They lavish on Thy cottage-floor.
s The Patriarchal Church.
They give their best—0 tenfold shame
On us their fallen progeny,
Who will not wake or fast with Thee !
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY.
They shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water
Isaiah xliv. 4.
LESSONS sweet of spring returning,
Welcome to the thoughtful heart !
Instinct pure, or heav'n-taught art ?
Soft as Memnon's harp at morning,
To the inward ear devout,
Your transporting chords ring out.
t Malachi i. 8.
Every leaf in every nook,
Needs no show of mountain hoary,
Winding shore or deepening glen, Where the landscape in its glory
Teaches truth to wandering men: Give true hearts but earth and sky, And some flowers to bloom and die, Homely scenes and simple views Lowly thoughts may best infuse.
See the soft green willow springing
Where the waters gently pass, Every way her free arms flinging
O'er the moist and reedy grass. Long ere winter blasts are fled, See her tipp'd with vernal red, And her kindly flower display'd Ere her leaf can cast a shade.
Though the rudest hand assail her,
Patiently she droops awhile,