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Yet comfort in His eye we read
For bridal joy and fear.
'Tis He who clasps the marriage band,
And fits the spousal ring,
Then leaves ye kneeling, hand in hand,
Out of His stores to bring
His Father's dearest blessing, shed
Of old on Isaac's nuptial bed,
Now on the board before ye spread
Of our all-bounteous King.
All blessings of the breast and womb,
Of heaven and earth beneath, Of converse high, and sacred home,
Are yours, in life and death. Only kneel on, nor turn away From the pure shrine, where Christ to-day Will store each flower, ye duteous lay,
For an eternal wreath.
O YOUTH and Joy, your airy tread
Too lightly springs by Sorrow's bed,
Your keen eye glances are too bright,
Too restless for a sick man's sight.
Farewell : for one short life we part:
I rather woo the soothing art,
Which only souls in sufferings tried
Bear to their suffering brethren's side.
Where may we learn that gentle spell?
Mother of Martyrs, thou canst tell!
Thou, who didst watch thy dying Spouse
With pierced hands and bleeding brows,
Whose tears from age to age are shed
O’er sainted sons untimely dead.
If e'er we charm a soul in pain,
Thine is the key-note of our strain.
190 Visitation and Communion of the Sick.
How sweet with thee to lift the latch
Where Faith has kept her midnight watch
Smiling on woe: with thee to kneel,
Where fix'd, as if one prayer could heal,
She listens, till her pale eye glow
With joy, wild health can never know,
And each calm feature, ere we read
Speaks, silently, thy glorious Creed.
Such have I seen: and while they pour'd
Their hearts in every contrite word,
How have I rather long'd to kneel
And ask of them sweet pardon's seal !
How blest the heavenly music brought
By thee to aid my faltering thought !
Peace ere we kneel, and when we cease
To pray, the farewell word is, “Peace.”
I came again : the place was bright
“With something of celestial light”-
A simple altar by the bed
For high Communion meetly spread,
Chalice, and plate, and snowy vest.-
We ate and drank: then, calmly blest,
Visitation and Communion of the Sick. 191
All mourners, one with dying breath,
We sate and talk'd of Jesus' death.
Once more I came : the silent room
Was veil'd in sadly-soothing gloom,
And ready for her last abode
The pale form like a lily shew'd,
By virgin fingers duly spread,
And priz’d for love of summer fled.
The light from those soft-smiling eyes
Had fleeted to its parent skies.
O soothe us, haunt us, night and day,
Ye gentle Spirits far away,
With whom we shar'd the cup of grace,
Then parted; ye to Christ's embrace,
We to the lonesome world again,
Yet mindful of th' unearthly strain
Practis'd with you at Eden's door,
To be sung on, where angels soar,
With blended voices evermore.
And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And He came and touched the bier (and they that bare him stood still) and said, Young man, I
say unto thee, Arise. St. Luke vii. 14, 15.
WHO says, the wan autumnal sun
Beams with too faint a smile
To light up nature's face again,
And, though the year be on the wane,
With thoughts of spring the heart beguile?
Waft him, thou soft September breeze,
And gently lay him down
Within some circling woodland wall,
Where bright leaves, reddening ere they fall,
Wave gaily o'er the waters brown.
And let some graceful arch be there
With wreathed mullions proud,