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She who to earthly joys

So long had given farewell, Now sees, unlook'd for, Heaven on earth,

Christ in His Israel.

Wide open from that hour

The temple-gates are set,
And still the saints rejoicing there

The holy Child have met.

Now count his train to-day,

And who may meet him, learn : Him child-like sires, meek maidens find,

Where pride can nought discern.

Still to the lowly soul

He doth himself impart,
And for His cradle and His throne

Chooseth the pure in heart.

LXXXI.

ST. MATTHIAS' DAY.

Wherefore of these men, which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us; beginning from the baptism of John, until that same day that he was taken up from us ; must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. Acts i. 21, 22.

WHO is God's chosen priest?
He, who on Christ stands waiting day and night,
Who trac'd His holy steps, nor ever ceas’d,

From Jordan banks to Bethphage height:

Who hath learn'd lowliness
From his Lord's cradle, patience from His cross ;
Whom poor men's eyes and hearts consent to bless;

To whom, for Christ, the world is loss ;

Who both in agony
Hath seen Him and in glory; and in both
Own'd Him divine, and yielded nothing loth,

Body and soul, to live and die,

In witness of his Lord,
In humble following of his Saviour dear :
This is the man to wield th' unearthly sword,

Warring unharm’d with sin and fear.

But who can e'er suffice
What mortal—for this more than angels' task,
Winning or losing souls, Thy life-blood's price?

The gift were too divine to ask,

But Thou hast made it sure By Thy dear promise to Thy Church and Bride, That Thou, on earth, would'st aye with her endure,

Till earth to Heaven be purified.

Thou art her only spouse, Whose arm supports her, on whose faithful breast Her persecuted head she meekly bows,

Sure pledge of her eternal rest.

Thou, her unerring guide,
Stayest her fainting steps along the wild ;
Thy mark is on the bowers of lust and pride,

That she may pass them undefild.

Who then, uncall’d by Thee,
Dare touch thy spouse, thy very self below?
Or who dare count him summon'd worthily,

Except thine hand and seal he shew ?

Where can thy seal be found,
But on the chosen seed, from age to age
By thine anointed heralds duly crown'd,

As kings and priests thy war to wage ?

Then fearless walk we forth,
Yet full of trembling, messengers of God;
Our warrant sure, but doubting of our worth,

By our own shame alike and glory aw'd.

Dread Searcher of the hearts,
Thou who didst seal by thy descending Dove
Thy servant’s choice, O help us in our parts,

Else helpless found, learn and teach thy love.

LXXXII.

THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE

BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.

And the Angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women. St. Luke i. 28.

OH Thou who deign'st to sympathize
With all our frail and fleshly ties,

Maker yet Brother dear,
Forgive the too presumptuous thought,
If, calming wayward grief, I sought

To gaze on Thee too near.

Yet sure 'twas not presumption, Lord,
'Twas thine own comfortable word

That made the lesson known :
Of all the dearest bonds we prove,
Thou countest sons' and motbers' love

Most sacred, most thine own.

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