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Is not God's oath upon your head,
Nor let your torches waste and die,
THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT.
What went ye out into the wilderness to see? a reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? a prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. St. Matt. xi. 7, 8.
WHAT went ye out to see
O'er the rude sandy lea,
Where stately Jordan flows by many å palm,
Or where Gennesaret's wave
Delights the flowers to lave,
That o'er her western slope breathe airs of balm ?
All through the summer night
h Rhododendrons: with which the western bank of the lake is said to
be clothed down to the water's edge.
Spread their soft breasts, unheeding, to the breeze,
Like hermits watching still
Around the sacred hill,
Where erst our Saviour watch'd
The Paschal moon above
Seems like a saint to rove,
Left shining in the world with Christ alone;
Below, the lake's still face
Sleeps sweetly in th' embrace
Of mountains terrass'd high with mossy stone.
Here may we sit, and dream
Over the heavenly theme,
Till to our soul the former days return;
Where thousands once He fed,
O cross no more the main,
To count the reeds that tremble in the wind,
On listless dalliance bound,
Like children gazing round,
Who on God's works no seal of Godhead find:
Bask not in courtly bower,
Or sun-bright hall of power,
Pass Babel quick, and seek the holy land-
From robes of Tyrian die
Turn with undazzled eye
To Bethlehem's glade, or Carmel's haunted strand.
Or choose thee out a cell
In Kedron's storied dell,
Beside the springs of Love, that never die,
Among the olives kneel
The chill night-blast to feel,
And watch the Moon that saw thy Master's agony.
Then rise at dawn of day,
And wind thy thoughtful way,
Where rested once the Temple's stately shade,
With due feet tracing round
The city's northern bound,
To th' other holy garden, where the Lord was laid.
Who thus alternate see
His death and victory,
Rising and falling as on angel wings,
They, while they seem to roam,
Draw daily nearer home,
Their heart untravell'd still adores the King of kings.
Or, if at home they stay,
Yet are they, day by day,
In spirit journeying through the glorious land,
Not for light Fancy's reed,
Nor Honour's purple meed,
Nor gifted Prophet's lore, nor Science' wondrous wand.
But more than Prophet, more
Than Angels can adore
With face unveil'd, is He they go to seek :
Blessed be God, whose grace
Shews him in every place
To homeliest hearts of pilgrims pure and meek.
FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT.
The eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. Isaiah xxxii. 3.
OF the bright things in earth and air
Mine eye unworthy seems to read
One page of Nature's beauteous book;
I cannot paint to Memory's eye
The scene, the glance, I dearest love—
In vain, with dull and tuneless ear,