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When Lazarus left his charnel-cave,
To hear her weeping by his grave?
Where wert thou, Brother, those four days?
There lives no record of reply,
Which telling what it is to die Had surely added praise to praise.
From every house the neighbours met, The streets were fill'd with joyful sound, A solemn gladness even crown'd
The purple brows of Olivet.
Behold a man raised up by Christ!
The rest remaineth unreveal'd;
He told it not; or something seal'd The lips of that Evangelist.
Her eyes are homes of silent prayer,
And He that brought him back is there.
Then one deep love doth supersede
And rests upon the .Life indeed.
All subtle thought, all curious fears,
With costly spikenard and with tears.
Thrice blest whose lives are faithful prayers,
Or is this blessedness like theirs?
THE WEDDING FEAST
Steadfast for ever!
Bitter tears shedding;
Joy for the wedding!
Open the golden doors;
Through the high portal
Wide from the centre ;—
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,
Under far waters
Where sleep the martyrs.
Dives and Lazarus
One with the other;
Foeman and brother,
Braving death's shadow,
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
THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Into a desolate land
White with the drifted snow, Into a weary land
Our truant footsteps go: Yet 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?
Unto the straining ear,
"Jesus is near."
Over me He is bending!
Now I can safely rest,
Close to the Shepherd's breast:
Sound on the homeward track, And the rejoicing angels
Welcome us back!
IV. E. Littlewood
Far away, where the tempests play,
Over the lonely seas,
Onward before the breeze!
Onward yet, till our hearts forget
Let them come, sweet thoughts of home,
And voices we loved of old ;—
Bound for a Land of Gold?
Gems there are which are lovelier far
Jewels bright, as the magic light
Crowns that gleam like a fairy dream
Treasures of price untold;
We sail for the Land of Gold!
W. E. Littlewood
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.