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From that insatiable abyss,
Where flames devour and serpents hiss,
Promote me to Thy seat of bliss.
Prostrate my contrite heart I rend, My God, my Father, and my Friend, Do not forsake me in my end.
Man of sorrows, and acquainted
With our griefs, what shall we say? Never yet hath language painted
All the woes that on Thee lay.
Had I seen Thee clothed in weakness,
Bearing our reproach with meekness,
To attend Thee day and night,
Would have been my heart's delight.
O that to this heavenly Stranger
I had here my homage paid,
From His first sigh in the manger,
Till He cried “ 'Tis Finished !”
That first sigh had consecrated
Me his own, and I had waited
On Him from his infancy
In a constant liturgy.
Walking, speaking, in devotion,
Far to fields or forests strayed,
I had watched every motion,
And my Lord my pattern made :
More have angels ne'er desired,
Than on Him, or far retired,
Or at home, awake, asleep,
Fixed their wondering eyes to keep.
Tell me, little flock beloved,
Ye on whom shone Jesu's face,
What within your souls then moved,
When ye felt his kind embrace !
O disciple, once most blessed,
As a bosom friend caressed,
Say, could e'er into thy mind
Other objects entrance find !
Oft to prayer, by night retreated,
See Him, from all search withdrawn ; Tearful eyes, and sighs repeated,
Witness'd still the morning dawn :
There, where he made intercession,
I had poured forth my confession ;
And where for my sins He wept,
Praying, I the watch had kept.
Should I thus to Thee have cleaved,
'Midst thy poverty and woes, On Thee, as my Lord, believed
Or perhaps have joined thy foes ? Ah! thy mercy I had spurned ; But Thyself my heart hast turned ; Now, Thou know'st, beneath, above, Nought compared with Thee I love.
I PRESS TOWARDS THE MARK.
'Tis not too hard, too high an aim,
Secure, thy part in Christ to claim ;
The sensual instinct to control,
And warm with purer fires the soul.
Nature will raise up all her strife,
Foe to the flesh-abasing life,
Loth in a Saviour's death to share,
Her daily cross compelled to bear ;
But grace omnipotent at length
Shall arm the saint with saving strength ;
Through the sharp war with aids attend,
And his long conflict sweetly end.
Act but the infant's gentle part,
Give up to love thy willing heart ;
No fondest parent's tender breast
Yearns like thy God's to make thee blest ;
Taught its dear mother soon to know,
The simplest babe its love can show,
Bid bashful, servile fear retire,
The task no labour will require.
The sovereign Father, good and kind,
Wants but to have his child resigned ;
Wants but thy yielding heart, no more,-
With his rich gifts of grace to store.
He to my soul no anguish brings,
From thy own stubborn will it springs ;
That foe but crucify, the bane,-
Nought shalt thou know of frowns or pain.
Shake from thy soul, o'erwhelmed, deprest,
Th’ encumbering load that galls its rest,
That wastes its strength with bondage vain,
With courage break th' enslaving chain !
Let faith exert its conquering power,
Say, in thy fearing, trembling hour,
“ Father, thy pitying aid impart !”
'Tis done! a sigh can reach his heart.
Yet if, more earnest plaints to raise,
Awhile his succours he delays ;
Though his kind hand thou canst not feel,
The smart let lenient patience heal :
Or if corruption's strength prevail ;
And oft thy pilgrim footsteps fail,
Lift for his grace thy louder cries,
So shalt thou cleansed and stronger rise.
If haply still thy mental shade
Deep as the midnight's gloom be made,