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POSSESSION, SATISFACTION, REFLECTION

THE SECRET OF HIS PRESENCE

In the secret of his presence
I am kept from strife of tongues;
His pavilion is around me,
And within are ceaseless songs!
Stormy winds, his word fulfilling,
Beat without, but cannot harm,
For the Master’s voice is stilling
Storm and tempest to a calm.

In the secret of his presence
All the darkness disappears;
For a sun that knows no setting,
Throws a rainbow on my tears.
So the day grows ever lighter,
Broadening to the perfect noon;
So the day grows ever brighter,
Heaven is coming, near and soon.

In the secret of his presence
Never more can foes alarm;
In the shadow of the Highest,
I can meet them with a psalm;
For the strong pavilion hides me,
Turns their fiery darts aside,
And I know, whate’er betides me,
I shall live because he died!

In the secret of his presence
Is a sweet, unbroken rest;
Pleasures, joys, in glorious fullness,
Making earth like Eden blest;
So my peace grows deep and deeper,
Widening as it nears the sea,
For my Saviour is my keeper,
Keeping mine and keeping me!

Henry Burton.

EYESERVICE

Eyeservice let me give
The while I live;
In shadow or in light,
By day or night,
With all my heart and skill
Eyeservice still!

Yes, for the eyes I’ll serve
Nor faint nor swerve
Are not the eyes of man,
That lightly scan,
But God’s, that pierce and see
The whole of me!

Beneath the farthest skies,
Where morning flies,
In heaven or in hell,
If I should dwell,
In dark or daylight fair,
The Eyes are there!

No trembling fugitive,
Boldly I live
If, as in that pure sight,
I live aright,
Yielding with hand and will
Eyeservice still!

Amos R. Wells.

OMNIPRESENCE

Lord of all being, throned afar,
Thy glory flames from sun and star;
Center and soul of every sphere,
Yet to each loving heart how near!

Sun of our life, thy quickening ray
Sheds on our path the glow of day;
Star of our hope, thy softened light
Cheers the long watches of the night.

Our midnight is thy smile withdrawn;
Our noontide is thy gracious dawn;
Our rainbow arch thy mercy’s sign;
All, save the clouds of sin, are thine!

Lord of all life, below, above,
Whose light is truth, whose warmth is love,
Before thy ever-blazing throne
We ask no luster of our own.

Grant us thy truth to make us free,
And kindling hearts that burn for thee,
Till all thy living altars claim
One holy light, one heavenly flame.

Oliver Wendell Holmes.

THE CHERUBIC PILGRIM

God’s spirit falls on me as dew drops on a rose,
If I but like a rose my heart to him unclose.

The soul wherein God dwells what Church can holier be?
Becomes a walking tent of heavenly majesty.

Lo! in the silent night a child to God is born,
And all is brought again that ere was lost or lorn.

Could but thy soul, O man, become a silent night
God would be born in thee and set all things aright.

Ye know God but as Lord, hence Lord his name with ye,
I feel him but as love, and Love his name with me.

Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born,
If he’s not born in thee thy soul is all forlorn.

The cross on Golgotha will never save thy soul,
The cross in thine own heart alone can make thee whole.

Christ rose not from the dead, Christ still is in the grave
If thou for whom he died art still of sin the slave.

In all eternity no tone can be so sweet
As where man’s heart with God in unison doth beat.

Whate’er thou lovest, man, that, too, become thou must;
God, if thou lovest God, dust, if thou lovest dust.

Ah, would thy heart but be a manger for the birth,
God would once more become a child on earth.

Immeasurable is the highest; who but knows it?
And yet a human heart can perfectly enclose it.

Johannes Scheffler.

THE LARGER VIEW

In buds upon some Aaron’s rod
The childlike ancient saw his God;
Less credulous, more believing, we
Read in the grass Divinity.

From Horeb’s bush the Presence spoke
To earlier faiths and simpler folk;
But now each bush that sweeps our fence
Flames with the Awful Immanence!

To old Zacchaeus in his tree
What mattered leaves and botany?
His sycamore was but a seat
Whence he could watch that hallowed street.

But now to us each elm and pine
Is vibrant with the Voice divine,
Not only from but in the bough
Our larger creed beholds him now.

To the true faith, bark, sap, and stem
Are wonderful as Bethlehem;
No hill nor brook nor field nor herd
But mangers the Incarnate Word!

Far be it from our lips to cast
Contempt upon the holy past
Whate’er the Finger writes we scan
In manger, prophecy, or man.

Again we touch the healing hem
In Nazareth or Jerusalem;
We trace again those faultless years;
The cross commands our wondering tears.

Yet if to us the Spirit writes
On Morning’s manuscript and Night’s,
In gospels of the growing grain,
Epistles of the pond and plain,

In stars, in atoms, as they roll,
Each tireless round its occult pole,
In wing and worm and fin and fleece,
In the wise soil’s surpassing peace

Thrice ingrate he whose only look
Is backward focussed on the Book,
Neglectful what the Presence saith,
Though he be near as blood and breath!

The only atheist is one
Who hears no Voice in wind or sun,
Believer in some primal curse,
Deaf in God’s loving universe!

Frederic Lawrence Knowles.

STILL WITH THEE

Still, still with thee, when purple morning breaketh,
When the bird waketh, and the shadows flee;
Fairer than morning, lovelier than daylight,
Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with thee.

Alone with thee amid the mystic shadows,
The solemn hush of nature newly born;
Alone with thee in breathless adoration,
In the calm dew and freshness of the morn.

As in the dawning o’er the waveless ocean
The image of the morning-star doth rest,
So in this stillness thou beholdest only
Thine image in the waters of my breast.

Still, still with thee! as to each new born morning
A fresh and solemn splendor still is given,
So does this blessed consciousness awaking
Breathe each day nearness unto thee and heaven.

When sinks the soul, subdued by toil, to slumber,
Its closing eyes look up to thee in prayer;
Sweet the repose beneath thy wings o’ershading,
But sweeter still, to wake and find thee there.

So shall it be at last, in that bright morning,
When the soul waketh, and life’s shadows flee;
O in that hour, fairer than daylight dawning,
Shall rise the glorious thought I am with thee.

Harriet Beecher Stowe.

There lives and works a soul in all things,
And that soul is God.

William Cowper.

THE ELIXIR

Teach me, my God and King,
In all things thee to see,
And what I do, in anything,
To do it as for thee.

A man that looks on glass
On it may stay his eye,
Or, if he pleaseth, through it pass
And then to heaven espy.

All may of thee partake.
Nothing can be so mean
Which with this tincture (for thy sake)
Will not grow bright and clean.

A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine.
Who sweeps a room as for thy laws
Makes that and th’ action fine.

This is the famous stone
That turneth all to gold;
For that which God doth touch and own
Cannot for less be told.

George Herbert.

GOD’S PRESENCE

But God is never so far off
As even to be near.
He is within; our spirit is
The home he holds most dear.

To think of him as by our side
Is almost as untrue
As to remove his throne beyond
Those skies of starry blue.

So all the while I thought myself
Homeless, forlorn, and weary,
Missing my joy, I walked the earth,
Myself God’s sanctuary.

I come to thee once more, my God!
No longer will I roam;
For I have sought the wide world through
And never found a home.

Though bright and many are the spots
Where I have built a nest
Yet in the brightest still I pined
For more abiding rest.

For thou hast made this wondrous soul
All for thyself alone;
Ah! send thy sweet transforming grace
To make it more thine own.

Frederick William Faber.

GOD IS MINE

If God is mine then present things
And things to come are mine;
Yea, Christ, his word, and Spirit, too,
And glory all divine.

If he is mine then from his love
He every trouble sends;
All things are working for my good,
And bliss his rod attends.

If he is mine I need not fear
The rage of earth and hell;
He will support my feeble power,
Their utmost force repel.

If he is mine let friends forsake,
Let wealth and honor flee;
Sure he who giveth me himself
Is more than these to me.

If he is mine I’ll boldly pass
Through death’s tremendous vale;
He is a solid comfort when
All other comforts fail.

Oh! tell me, Lord, that thou art mine;
What can I wish beside?
My soul shall at the fountain live,
When all the streams are dried.

A PRESENT SAVIOUR

I have thee every hour,
Most gracious Lord,
That tender voice of thine
Doth peace afford.

I have thee every hour,
Thou stay’st near by;
Temptations lose their power
Since thou art nigh.

I have thee every hour,
In joy and pain;
With me thou dost abide,
And life is gain.

I have thee every hour,
Teach me thy will;
All thy rich promises
Thou dost fulfill.

I have thee every hour,
Most Holy One,
And I am thine indeed,
Thou blessed Son.

Annie S. Hawks, altered by J. M.

THE THOUGHT OF GOD

The thought of God, the thought of thee,
Who liest near my heart,
And yet beyond imagined space
Outstretched and present art

The thought of thee, above, below,
Around me and within,
Is more to me than health and wealth,
Or love of kith and kin.

The thought of God is like the tree
Beneath whose shade I lie
And watch the fleet of snowy clouds
Sail o’er the silent sky.

’Tis like that soft invading light
Which in all darkness shines,
The thread that through life’s somber web
In golden pattern twines.

It is a thought which ever makes
Life’s sweetest smiles from tears,
It is a daybreak to our hopes,
A sunset to our fears.

Within a thought so great, our souls
Little and modest grow,
And, by its vastness awed, we learn
The art of walking slow.

The wild flower on the grassy mound
Scarce bends its pliant form
When overhead the autumnal wood
Is thundering like a storm.

So is it with our humbled souls,
Down in the thought of God,
Scarce conscious in their sober peace
Of the wild storms abroad.

To think of thee is almost prayer,
And is outspoken praise;
And pain can even passive thoughts
To actual worship raise.

All murmurs lie inside thy will
Which are to thee addressed;
To suffer for thee is our work,
To think of thee, our rest.

Frederick William Faber.

Let thy sweet presence light my way,
And hallow every cross I bear;
Transmuting duty, conflict, care,
Into love’s service day by day.

OUR HEAVENLY FATHER

My God, how wonderful thou art,
Thy majesty how bright,
How beautiful thy mercy seat
In depths of burning light!

How dread are thine eternal years,
O everlasting Lord,
By prostrate spirits, day and night,
Incessantly adored.

How beautiful, how beautiful
The sight of thee must be,
Thine endless wisdom, boundless power,
And awful purity!

O how I fear thee, living God!
With deepest, tenderest fears,
And worship thee with trembling hope
And penitential tears.

Yet I may love thee too, O Lord!
Almighty as thou art,
For thou hast stooped to ask of me
The love of this poor heart.

Oh, then, this worse than worthless heart
In pity deign to take,
And make it love thee for thyself,
And for thy glory’s sake.

No earthly father loves like thee,
No mother half so mild
Bears and forbears, as thou hast done
With me, thy sinful child.

Only to sit and think of God,
O what a joy it is!
To think the thought, to breathe the name
Earth has no higher bliss.

Father of Jesus, love’s Reward!
What rapture will it be,
Prostrate before thy throne to lie
And gaze, and gaze on thee!

Frederick William Faber.

RULES FOR DAILY LIFE

Begin the day with God:
Kneel down to him in prayer;
Lift up thy heart to his abode
And seek his love to share.

Open the Book of God,
And read a portion there;
That it may hallow all thy thoughts
And sweeten all thy care.

Go through the day with God,
Whate’er thy work may be;
Where’er thou art at home, abroad,
He still is near to thee.

Converse in mind with God;
Thy spirit heavenward raise;
Acknowledge every good bestowed,
And offer grateful praise.

Conclude the day with God:
Thy sins to him confess;
Trust in the Lord’s atoning blood,
And plead his righteousness.

Lie down at night with God,
Who gives his servants sleep;
And when thou tread’st the vale of death
He will thee guard and keep.

HE FILLS ALL

All are but parts of one stupendous whole;
Whose body nature is, and God the soul;
That, changed through all, and yet in all the same;
Great in the earth as in th’ ethereal frame;
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars and blossoms in the trees;
Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our souls, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns.
To him no high, no low, no great, no small,
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.

All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good;
And, spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite,
One truth is clear whatever is, is right.

Alexander Pope.

THE PRESENCE

I sit within my room and joy to find
That thou who always lov’st art with me here;
That I am never left by thee behind,
But by thyself thou keep’st me ever near.
The fire burns brighter when with thee I look,
And seems a kindlier servant sent to me;
With gladder heart I read thy holy book,
Because thou art the eyes with which I see;
This aged chair, that table, watch, and door
Around in ready service ever wait;
Nor can I ask of thee a menial more
To fill the measure of my large estate;
For thou thyself, with all a Father’s care,
Where’er I turn art ever with me there.

Jones Very.

BLESSED THOUGHT OF GOD

One thought I have my ample creed,
So deep it is and broad,
And equal to my every need
It is the thought of God.

Each morn unfolds some fresh surprise,
I feast at life’s full board;
And rising in my inner skies,
Shines forth the thought of God.

At night my gladness is my prayer;
I drop my daily load,
And every care is pillowed there
Upon the thought of God.

I ask not far before to see,
But take in trust my road;
Life, death, and immortality,
Are in my thought of God.

To this their secret strength they owed
The martyr’s path who trod;
The fountains of their patience flowed
From out their thought of God.

Be still the light upon my way,
My pilgrim staff and rod,
My rest by night, my strength by day,
O blessed thought of God.

Frederick Lucian Hosmer.

EVENTIDE

At cool of day with God I walk
My garden’s grateful shade;
I hear his voice among the trees,
And I am not afraid.

I see his presence in the night
And though my heart is awed
I do not quail before the sight
Or nearness of my God.

He speaks to me in every wind,
He smiles from every star;
He is not deaf to me, nor blind,
Nor absent, nor afar.

His hand, that shuts the flowers to sleep,
Each in its dewy fold,
Is strong my feeble life to keep,
And competent to hold.

I cannot walk in darkness long,
My light is by my side;
I cannot stumble or go wrong
While following such a guide.

He is my stay and my defense;
How shall I fail or fall?
My helper is Omnipotence!
My ruler ruleth all!

The powers below and powers above
Are subject to his care;
I cannot wander from his love
Who loves me everywhere.

Thus dowered, and guarded thus, with him
I walk this peaceful shade,
I hear his voice among the trees,
And I am not afraid.

Caroline Atherton Mason.

From cellar unto attic all is clean:
Nothing there is that need evade the eye;
All the dark places, by the world unseen,
Are as well ordered as what open lie.

Ah! souls are houses; and to keep them well,
Nor, spring and autumn, mourn their wretched plight,
To daily toil must vigilance compel,
Right underneath God’s scrutinizing light.

SAINTSHIP

To heaven approached a Sufi saint,
From groping in the darkness late,
And, tapping timidly and faint,
Besought admission at God’s gate.

Said God, “Who seeks to enter here?”
“’Tis I, dear Friend,” the saint replied,
And trembling much with hope and fear.
“If it be thou, without abide.”

Sadly to earth the poor saint turned,
To bear the scourging of life’s rods;
But aye his heart within him yearned
To mix and lose its love in God’s.

He roamed alone through weary years,
By cruel men still scorned and mocked,
Until from faith’s pure fires and tears
Again he rose, and modest knocked.

Asked God: “Who now is at the door?”
“It is thyself, beloved Lord,”
Answered the saint, in doubt no more,
But clasped and rapt in his reward.

From the Persian, tr. by William Rounseville Alger.

OPEN THOU OUR EYES

(Luke 24. 15)

And he drew near and talked with them,
But they perceived him not,
And mourned, unconscious of that light,
The gloom, the darkness, and the night
That wrapt his burial spot.

Wearied with doubt, perplexed and sad,
They knew nor help nor guide;
While he who bore the secret key
To open every mystery,
Unknown was by their side.

Thus often when we feel alone,
Nor help nor comfort near,
’Tis only that our eyes are dim,
Doubting and sad we see not him
Who waiteth still to hear.

“The darkness gathers overhead,
The morn will never come.”
Did we but raise our downcast eyes,
In the white-flushing eastern skies
Appears the glowing sun.

In all our daily joys and griefs
In daily work and rest,
To those who seek him Christ is near,
Our bliss to calm, to soothe our care,
In leaning on his breast.

Open our eyes, O Lord, we pray,
To see our way, our Guide;
That by the path that here we tread,
We, following on, may still be led
In thy light to abide.

MAN

My God, I heard this day
That none doth build a stately habitation
But he that means to dwell therein.
What house more stately hath there been,
Or can be, than is man? to whose creation
All things are in decay.

More servants wait on man
Than he’ll take notice of: in every path
He treads down that which doth befriend him,
When sickness makes him pale and wan.
O mighty love! man is one world, and hath
Another to attend him.

For us the winds do blow,
The earth doth rest, heaven move, and fountains flow;
Nothing we see but means our good,
As our delight or as our treasure;
The whole is either cupboard of our food,
Or cabinet of pleasure.

The stars have us to bed;
Night draws the curtain, which the sun withdraws;
Music and light attend our head;
All things unto our flesh are kind
In their descent and being; to our mind,
In their ascent and cause.

Since then, my God, thou hast
So brave a palace built, O dwell in it
That it may dwell with thee at last.
Till then, afford us so much wit
That, as the world serves us, we may serve thee,
And both thy servants be.

George Herbert.

EVER WITH THEE

I am with thee, my God
Where I desire to be:
By day, by night, at home, abroad,
I always am with thee.

With thee when dawn comes on
And calls me back to care,
Each day returning to begin
With thee, my God, in prayer.

With thee amid the crowd
That throngs the busy mart;
I hear thy voice, when time’s is loud,
Speak softly to my heart.

With thee when day is done
And evening calms the mind;
The setting as the rising sun
With thee my heart shall find.

With thee when darkness brings
The signal of repose;
Calm in the shadow of thy wings
Mine eyelids gently close.

With thee, in thee, by faith
Abiding I shall be;
By day, by night, in life, in death,
I always am with thee.

James D. Burns, altered by J. M.

SELF-EXAMINATION

By all means use sometime to be alone.
Salute thyself: see what thy soul doth wear.
Dare to look in thy chest; for ’tis thine own;
And tumble up and down what thou findst there.
Who cannot rest till he good fellows find,
He breaks up homes, turns out of doors his mind.

Sum up by night what thou hast done by day;
And in the morning, what thou hast to do.
Dress and undress thy soul; mark the decay
And growth of it; if, with thy watch, that too
Be down, then wind up both; since we shall be
Most surely judged, make thy accounts agree.

George Herbert.

“SHOW ME THY FACE”

Show me thy face
One transient gleam
Of loveliness divine
And I shall never think or dream
Of other love save thine.
All lesser light will darken quite,
All lower glories wane;
The beautiful of earth will scarce
Seem beautiful again!

Show me thy face
My faith and love
Shall henceforth fixed be,
And nothing here have power to move
My soul’s serenity.
My life shall seem a trance, a dream,
And all I feel and see
Illusive, visionary thou
The one reality.

Show me thy face
I shall forget
The weary days of yore;
The fretting ghosts of vain regret
Shall haunt my soul no more;
All doubts and fears for future years
In quiet rest subside,
And naught but blest content and calm
Within my breast reside.

Show me thy face
The heaviest cross
Will then seem light to bear;
There will be gain in every loss,
And peace with every care.
With such light feet
The years will fleet,
Life seem as brief as blest,
Till I have laid my burden down
And entered into rest.

Show me thy face
And I shall be
In heart and mind renewed;
With wisdom, grace, and energy
To work thy work endued.
Shine clear, though pale,
Behind the veil
Until, the veil removed,
In perfect glory I behold
The Face that I have loved!

I stand in the great Forever,
All things to me are divine;
I eat of the heavenly manna,
I drink of the heavenly wine.

LISTENING FOR GOD

I hear it often in the dark,
I hear it in the light:
Where is the voice that calls to me
With such a quiet might?
It seems but echo to my thought,
And yet beyond the stars;
It seems a heart-beat in a hush,
And yet the planet jars.

O may it be that, far within
My inmost soul, there lies
A spirit-sky that opens with
Those voices of surprise?
And can it be, by night and day,
That firmament serene
Is just the heaven where God himself,
The Father, dwells unseen?

O God within, so close to me
That every thought is plain,
Be judge, be friend, be Father still,
And in thy heaven reign!
Thy heaven is mine, my very soul!
Thy words are sweet and strong;
They fill my inward silences
With music and with song.

They send me challenges to right,
And loud rebuke my ill;
They ring my bells of victory,
They breathe my “Peace, be still!”
They even seem to say: “My child,
Why seek me so all day?
Now journey inward to thyself,
And listen by the way.”

William C. Gannett.

ALLAH’S HOUSE

Nanac the faithful, pausing once to pray,
From holy Mecca turned his face away;
A Moslem priest who chanced to see him there,
Forgetful of the attitude in prayer,
Cried “Infidel, how durst thou turn thy feet
Toward Allah’s house the sacred temple seat?”
To whom the pious Nanac thus replied:
“Knowest thou God’s house is, as the world is, wide?
Then, turn thee, if thou canst, toward any spot
Where mighty Allah’s awful house is not.”

Frank Dempster Sherman.

IF THE LORD SHOULD COME

If the Lord should come in the morning,
As I went about my work
The little things and the quiet things
That a servant cannot shirk,
Though nobody ever sees them,
And only the dear Lord cares
That they always are done in the light of the sun
Would he take me unawares?

If my Lord should come at noonday
The time of the dust and heat,
When the glare is white and the air is still
And the hoof-beats sound in the street;
If my dear Lord came at noonday,
And smiled in my tired eyes,
Would it not be sweet his look to meet?
Would he take me by surprise?

If my Lord came hither at evening,
In the fragrant dew and dusk,
When the world drops off its mantle
Of daylight, like a husk,
And flowers, in wonderful beauty,
And we fold our hands in rest,
Would his touch of my hand, his low command,
Bring me unhoped-for zest?

Why do I ask and question?
He is ever coming to me,
Morning and noon and evening,
If I have but eyes to see.
And the daily load grows lighter,
The daily cares grow sweet,
For the Master is near, the Master is here,
I have only to sit at his feet.

Margaret Elizabeth Sangster.

The day is long and the day is hard;
We are tired of the march and of keeping guard;
Tired of the sense of a fight to be won,
Of days to live through, and of work to be done;
Tired of ourselves and of being alone.

And all the while, did we only see,
We walk in the Lord’s own company;
We fight, but ’tis he who nerves our arm;
He turns the arrows which else might harm,
And out of the storm he brings a calm.

Susan Coolidge.

COME TO ME

Come to me, come to me, O my God;
Come to me everywhere.
Let the trees mean thee, and the grassy sod,
And the water and the air.

For thou art so far that I often doubt,
As on every side I stare,
Searching within and looking without,
If thou canst be anywhere.

How did men find thee in days of old?
How did they grow so sure?
They fought in thy name, they were glad and bold,
They suffered and kept themselves pure.

But now they say neither above the sphere
Nor down in the heart of man,
But only in fancy, ambition, and fear,
The thought of thee began.

If only that perfect tale were true
Which ages have not made old,
Of the endless many makes one anew,
And simplicity manifold!

But he taught that they who did his word,
The truth of it sure would know;
I will try to do it if he be Lord
Again the old faith will glow.

Again the old spirit-wind will blow
That he promised to their prayer;
And obeying the Son, I too shall know
His Father everywhere.

George Macdonald.

Out of the hardness of heart and of will
Out of the longings which nothing could fill;
Out of the bitterness, madness, and strife,
Out of myself and all I called life,
Into the having of all things with Him!
Into an ecstacy full to the brim!
Wonderful loveliness, draining my cup!
Wonderful purpose that ne’er gave me up!
Wonderful patience, enduring and strong!
Wonderful glory to which I belong!

IF I HIM BUT HAVE

If I Him but have,
If he be but mine
If my heart, hence to the grave,
Ne’er forgets his love divine
Know I naught of sadness,
Feel I naught but worship, love, and gladness.

If I Him but have,
Glad with all I part;
Follow on my pilgrim staff,
My Lord, only, with true heart;
Leave them, nothing saying,
On broad, bright, and crowded highways straying.

If I Him but have,
Glad I fall asleep;
Aye the flood that his heart gave
Strength within my heart shall keep;
And with soft compelling
Make it tender, through and through it swelling.

If I Him but have,
Mine the world I hail!
Glad as cherub smiling, grave,
Holding back the Virgin’s veil.
Sunk and lost in seeing,
Earthly cares have died from all my being.

Where I have but Him
Is my Fatherland,
And all gifts and graces come
Heritage into my hand;
Brothers long deplored
I in his disciples find restored.

George Macdonald.

Quiet from God! How beautiful to keep
This treasure the All-merciful hath given;
To feel, when we awake or when we sleep,
Its incense round us like a breath from heaven.

To sojourn in the world, and yet apart;
To dwell with God, and still with man to feel;
To bear about forever in the heart
The gladness which his spirit doth reveal.

Sarah J. Williams.

HIS CHOSEN ONES

Some souls there are, beloved of God,
Who, following where the saints have trod,
Learn such surrender of the will
They seem insensible of ill.

Yet, finely strung and sensitive,
They live far more than others live,
And grief’s and pain’s experience
Must be to them far more intense.

O mystery that such can know
A life impregnable to woe!
O paradox that God alone
In secret proveth to his own!

It must be that supremest grace
So nerves them for the heavenly race
Their litanies are turned to psalms,
Their crosses, even here, to palms.

Harriet McEwen Kimball.

When, courting slumber,
The hours I number,
And sad cares cumber
My weary mind,
This thought shall cheer me:
That thou art near me,
Whose ear to hear me
Is still inclined.

My soul thou keepest,
Who never sleepest;
’Mid gloom the deepest
There’s light above;
Thine eyes behold me,
Thine arms enfold me;
Thy word has told me
That God is love.

We are not angels, but we may
Down in earth’s corners kneel,
And multiply sweet acts of love,
And murmur what we feel.

Frederick William Faber.

Through thee, meseems, the very rose is red,
From thee the violet steals its breath in May,
From thee draw life all things that grow not gray,
And by thy force the happy stars are sped.

James Russell Lowell.

COME TO US, LORD

Come to us, Lord, as the daylight comes
When the darkling night has gone,
And the quickened East is tremulous
With the thrill of the wakened dawn.

Come to us, Lord, as the tide comes on
With the waves from the distant sea;
Come, till our desert places smile,
And our souls are filled with thee.

There are in this loud, stunning tide
Of human care and crime,
With whom the melodies abide
Of th’ everlasting chime!
Who carry music in their heart
Through dusky lane and wrangling mart,
Plying their daily task with busier feet
Because their secret souls a holy strain repeat.

John Keble.

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes.
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware
More and more from the first similitude.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

O Name all other names above,
What art thou not to me,
Now I have learned to trust thy love
And cast my care on thee!
The thought of thee all sorrow calms;
Our anxious burdens fall;
His crosses turn to triumph palms
Who finds in God his all.

Frederick Lucian Hosmer.

Far off thou art, but ever nigh,
I have thee still, and I rejoice,
I prosper circled with thy voice;
I shall not lose thee though I die.

Alfred Tennyson.

Let the Loved One but smile on this poor heart of mine,
I will sell the two worlds for one drop of his wine.

From the Persian.

CONFIDENCE

Thy presence, Lord, the place doth fill,
My heart is now thy throne,
Thy holy, just and perfect will
Now in my flesh is done.

My steadfast soul, from falling free,
Doth now no longer rove,
For Christ is all the world to me
And all my heart is love.

Charles Wesley, altered by J. M.

Two worlds are ours; ’tis only sin
Forbids us to descry
The mystic heaven and earth within
Plain as the sea and sky.

Thou who hast given me eyes to see
And love this sight so fair,
Give me a heart to find out thee,
And read thee everywhere.

John Keble.

Speak to him, thou, for he hears,
And spirit with spirit can meet;
Closer is he than breathing,
And nearer than hands and feet.

Alfred Tennyson.

Heaven above is softer blue,
Earth around is sweeter green,
Something lives in every hue
Christless eyes have never seen.

Birds with gladder songs o’erflow,
Flowers with deeper beauties shine;
Since I knew, as now I know,
I am his and he is mine.

Unheard, because our ears are dull,
Unseen, because our eyes are dim,
He walks the earth, the Wonderful,
And all good deeds are done to him.

John Greenleaf Whittier.

Where’er I look one Face alone I see,
With every attribute of beauty in it blent;
Still, still the Godhead’s face entrances me,
Yielding transcendency of all that can be spent.

From the Persian.

IMMANENCE

Not only in the cataract and the thunder
Or in the deeps of man’s uncharted soul,
But in the dew-star dwells alike the wonder
And in the whirling dust-mite the control.

Charles G. D. Roberts.

’Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours
And ask them what report they bore to heaven.

Edward Young.

A governed heart, thinking no thought but good,
Makes crowded houses holy solitude.

Edwin Arnold.

But where will God be absent; in his face
Is light, and in his shadow healing, too.

Robert Browning.

And good may ever conquer ill,
Health walk where pain has trod;
“As a man thinketh, so is he”;
Rise, then, and think with God.

God is law, say the wise; O Soul, and let us rejoice,
For, if He thunder by law, the thunder is yet his voice.

Alfred Tennyson.

Whatever road I take, it joins the street
Which leadeth all who walk it thee to meet.

O work thy works in God.
He can rejoice in naught
Save only in himself
And what himself hath wrought.

To live, to live, is life’s great joy; to feel
The living God within to look abroad,
And, in the beauty that all things reveal,
Still meet the living God.

Robert Leighton.