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Whilst health and strength and gladness doth
The festal Hebrew cottages;
The blest destroyer comes not there
To interrupt the sacred cheer:
Upon their doors he read, and understood

God's protection writ in blood;
Well was he skill'd i' the character divine;
And though he pass'd by it in haste,
He bowtt and worshipp'd, as he pass'd,
The mighty mystery through its humble sign.

A. Cowley


From the song of the Manna Gatherers

We beside the wondrous river
In the appointed hour shall stand,

Following, as from Egypt ever,
Thy bright cloud, and outstretch'd hand:

In thy shadow,
We shall rest on Abraham's land.

Not by manna showers at morning
Shall our board be then supplied,

But a strange pale gold adorning
Many a tufted mountain side,

Yearly feed us,
Year by year our murmurings chide.

There, no prophet's touch awaiting,
From each cool deep cavern start

Rills, that since their first creating
Ne'er have ceased to play their part.

Oft we hear them
In our dreams with thirsty heart.

Deeps of blessing are before us:

Only while the desert sky
And the sheltering cloud hang o'er us
Morn by morn obediently,

Glean we manna,
And the song of Moses try.

J. Keble



By Nebo's lonely mountain,

On this side Jordan's wave,
In a vale in the land of Moab

There lies a lonely grave.
And no man knows that sepulchre,

And no man saw it e'er,
For the angels of God upturned the sod,

And laid the dead man there.

That was the grandest funeral

That ever passed on earth;
But no man heard the trampling,

Or saw the train go forth—
Noiselessly as the daylight

Comes back when night is done,
And the crimson streak on ocean's cheek

Grows into the great sun.

Noiselessly as the spring time

Her crown of verdure weaves, And all the trees on all the hills

Open their thousand leaves;
So without sound of music,

Or voice of them that wept,
Silently down from the mountain's crown,

The great procession swept.

Perchance the bald old eagle,

On grey Beth-Peor"s height, Out of his lonely eyrie,

Look'd on the wondrous sight;
Perchance the lion stalking

Still shuns that hallowM spot,
For beast and bird have seen and heard

That which man knoweth not.

But when the warrior dieth,

His comrades in the war,
With arms reversed and muffled drum,

Follow his funeral car;
They show the banners taken,

They tell his battles won,
And after him lead his masterless steed,

While peals the minute gun.

Amid the noblest of the land

We lay the sage to rest,
And give the bard an honourtl place,

With costly marble drest,
In the great minster transept

Where lights like glories fall, And the organ rings, and the sweet choir sings

Along the emblazoned wall.

This was the truest warrior

That ever buckled sword, This the most gifted poet

That ever breath'd a word;
And never earth's philosopher

Traced with his golden pen,
On the deathless page, truths half so sage

As he wrote down for men.

And had he not high honour,—

The hill-side for a pall,
To lie in state while angels wait

With stars for tapers tall,
And the dark rock-pines, like tossing plumes,

Over his bier to wave,
And God's own hand in that lonely land,

To lay him in the grave?

In that strange grave without a name,

Whence his uncoffin'd clay
Shall break again, O wondrous thought!

Before the Judgment day,
And stand with glory wrapt around

On the hills he never trod,
And speak of the strife that won our life,

With the Incarnate Son of God.

O lonely grave in Moab's land!

O dark Beth-Peor's hill!
Speak to these curious hearts of ours,

And teach them to be still.
God hath His mysteries of grace,

Ways that we cannot tell;
He hides them deep, like the hidden sleep

Of him He loved so well.

C. F. Alexander



Latest born of Jesse's race,
Wonder lights thy bashful face,
While the prophet's gifted oil
Seals thee for a path of toil.
We, thy angels circling round thee
Ne'er shall find thee as we found thee,
When thy faith first brought us near,
In thy lion fight severe.

Go! and 'mid thy flocks awhile
At thy doom of greatness smile;
Bold to bear God's heaviest load,
Dimly guessing of the road—
Rocky road, and scarce ascended
Though thy foot be angel-tended!
Double praise thou shalt attain
In royal court, and battle plain:
Then comes heart-ache, care, distress,
Blighted hope, and loneliness,
Wounds from friend, and gifts from foe,
Dizzied faith, and guilt, and woe,
Loftiest aims by earth defiled,
Gleams of wisdom, sin-beguil'd,
Sated power's tyrannic mood,
Counsels shared with men of blood.

Strange that guileless face and form,
To lavish on the scarring storm!
Yet we take thee in thy blindness,
And we harass thee in kindness;

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