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LXXVI

THE WEDDING FEAST

COURAGE, O faithful heart;
V_^ Steadfast for ever!
In the eternal love

Faltering never:
Courage, O downcast eyes,

Bitter tears shedding; Hark ! how the chimes ring out

Joy for the wedding!

Open the golden doors;

Through the high portal Let the rich glory stream

Sea-like, immortal! Open the golden doors

Wide from the centre ;— Countless the multitude

Hither must enter!

Light up the palace halls,

From roof-tree to basement, Bid the warm festal glow,

Flood every casement: Chant ye the bridal song

Solemn and holy, Waking to Paradise

Souls that lie lowly.

Out of old battle-fields
No man remembers;

Out of still village yards

And dank charnel-chambers,
From the chill ocean-graves

Under far waters
And the dear sepulchres

Where sleep the martyrs.

Dives and Lazarus

One with the other;
Peasant and emperor,

Foeman and brother,
Men with long century-lives

Braving death's shadow,
And sweet baby blossoms, — fresh

As flower in the meadow : —

Out of the million haunts

Where dead men lie idle, Out of life's thousand ways : —

Call to. the bridal: Open the golden doors

Wide from the centre! For they that are ready

To glory shall enter!

W. E. Littlewood

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LXXVII
THE GOOD SHEPHERD

INTO a desolate land
White with the drifted snow,
Into a weary land

Our truant footsteps go:
Vet doth Thy care, O Father,
Ever Thy wanderers keep;
Still doth Thy love, O Shepherd,
Follow Thy sheep.

Over the pathless wild

Do I not see Him come? Him who shall bear me back,

Him who shall lead me home?
Listen ! between the storm-gusts

Unto the straining ear,
Comes not the cheering whisper, —

"Jesus is near."

Over me He is bending!

Now I can safely rest,
Found at the last, and clinging

Close to the Shepherd's breast:
So let me lie till the fold-bells

Sound on the homeward track, And the rejoicing angels

Welcome us back!

W. E. Litthwood

LXXVIII
THE TREASURE

FAR away, where the tempests play,
Over the lonely seas,
Sail or still, with a steady will,
Onward before the breeze!

Onward yet, till our hearts forget

The loves that we leave behind, Till the memories dear, that thrill in our ear,

Flow past like the whistling wind!

Let them come, sweet thoughts of home,

And voices we loved of old ;— What care we, that sail the sea,

Bound for a Land of Gold?

Gems there are which are lovelier far
Than the flash of a maiden's eyes;

Jewels bright, as the magic light
That purples the evening skies.

Crowns that gleam like a fairy dream,

Treasures of price untold: And we are bound for that charmed ground,

We sail for the Land of Gold!

W. E. Littlewood

LXXIX

THE FOOLISH VIRGINS

LATE, late, so late ! and dark the night, and chill!
Late, late, so late ! but we can enter still.
Too late, too late, ye cannot enter now.

No light had we, for that we do repent;
And learning this, the Bridegroom will relent .
Too late, too late, ye cannot enter now.

No light, so late! and dark and chill the night!
O let us in, that we may find the light!
Too late, too late, ye cannot enter now.

Have we not heard the Bridegroom is so sweet?
O, let us in, though late, to kiss His feet!
No, no, too late! ye cannot enter now.

A. Tennyson

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