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Alas ! what secret tears are shed,

What wounded spirits bleed :
What loving hearts are sundered,

And yet man takes no heed!

He goeth in his daily course,

Made fat with oil and wine,
And pitieth not the weary souls

That in his bondage pine-
That turn for him the mazy wheel,

That delve for him the mine!
And pitieth not the children small

In smoky factories dim,
That all day long, lean, pale, and faint,

Do heavy tasks for him!

To him they are but as the stones

Beneath his feet that lie :
It entereth not his thoughts that they

With him claim sympathy:
It entereth not his thoughts that God

Heareth the sufferer's groan,
That in His righteous eye their life
Is precious as his own.

M. Howitt

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O day most calm, most bright! The fruit of this, the next world's bud, Th' indorsement of supreme delight, Writ by a Friend, and with His blood : The couch of time ; care's balm and bay; The week were dark but for thy light,

Thy touch doth show the way,

Sundays the pillars are,
On which Heaven's palace archèd lies :
The other days fill up the spare
And hollow room with vanities,
They are the fruitful bed and borders
In God's rich garden : that is bare

Which parts their ranks and orders.

The Sundays of man's life,
Threaded together on time's string,
Make bracelets to adorn the wife
Of the eternal, glorious King.
On Sunday Heaven's gate stands ope;
Blessings are plentiful and rife,
More plentiful than hope.

G. Herbert

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Child, amidst the flowers at play,
While the red light fades away :
Mother, with thine earnest eye
Ever following silently :
Father, by the breeze of eve
Call'd thy harvest-work to leave
Pray ! ere yet the dark hours be,
Lift the heart, and bend the knee.

Traveller in the stranger's land,
Far from thine own household band:
Mourner, haunted by the tone
Of a voice from this world gone :
Captive, in whose narrow cell
Sunshine hath not leave to dwell :
Sailor, on the darkening sea,
Lift the heart, and bend the knee,

Warrior, that from battle won
Breathest now at set of sun;
Woman, o'er the lowly slain,
Weeping on his burial plain :
Ye that triumph, ye that sigh
Kindred by one holy tie,
Heaven's first star alike ye see,
Lift the heart, and bend the knee.

F. Hemans

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Behold the sun, that seem'd but now

Enthronèd over head, Beginning to decline below

The globe whereon we tread;
And he, whom yet we look upon

With comfort and delight,
Will quite depart from hence anon,

And leave us to the night.

Thus time, unheeded, steals away

The life which nature gave,
Thus are our bodies every day

Declining to the grave:
Thus from us all our pleasures fly

Whereon we set our heart,
And then the night of death draws nigh ;

Thus will they all depart.

Lord! though the sun forsake our sight,

And mortal hopes are vain,
Let still Thine everlasting light

Within our souls remain !
And in the nights of our distress

Vouchsafe those rays divine
Which from the Sun of righteousness
For ever brightly shine.

G. Withers

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In token that thou shalt not fear

Christ crucified to own,
We print the cross upon thee here,

And stamp thee His alone.

In token that thou shalt not blush

To glory in His name,
We blazon here upon thy front

His glory and His shame.

In token that thou shalt not flinch

Christ's quarrel to maintain, But 'neath His banner manfully

Firm at thy post remain ;

In token that thou too shalt tread

The path He travell’d by,
Endure the cross, despise the shame,

And sit thee down on high ;
Thus outwardly, and visibly,

We seal thee for His own : And may the brow that wears His cross Hereafter share His crown.

H. Alford

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