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Behold, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. St. Matt. ii. 9, 10.
STAR of the East, how sweet art Thou,
Ere yet a cloud has dimm'd the brow,
When father, mother, nursing friend,
Most dearly lov'd, and loving best, First bid us from their arms ascend, Pointing to Thee in thy sure rest.
Too soon the glare of earthly day
By faith and hope in Thee unseen.
What matter? if the waymarks sure
What matter? if in calm old age
Crowning our lonely pilgrimage
With all that cheers a wanderer's eyes?
Ne'er may we lose it from our sight,
Till all our hopes and thoughts are led
To where it stays its lucid flight
There, swath'd in humblest poverty,
Will not the long-forgotten glow
Of mingled joy and awe return, When stars above or flowers below
First made our infant spirits burn ?
Look on us, Lord, and take our parts
From these our proud yet grovelling hearts
Did not the Gentile Church find grace,
She too, in earlier, purer days,
Had watch'd Thee gleaming faint and far—
But wandering in self-chosen ways
She lost Thee quite, thou lovely star.
Yet had her Father's finger turn'd
To Thee her first enquiring glance:
The deeper shame within her burn'd,
Behold, her wisest throng thy gate,
s The Patriarchal Church.
They give their best-O tenfold shame
On us their fallen progeny,
Who sacrifice the blind and lame1—
Who will not wake or fast with Thee!
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY.
They shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the waterIsaiah xliv. 4.
LESSONS Sweet of spring returning,
Welcome to the thoughtful heart! May I call ye sense or learning, Instinct pure, or heav'n-taught art ? Be title what it may,
Sweet the lengthening April day,
Ranging wild o'er hill and lea.
Soft as Memnon's harp at morning,
Touch'd by light, with heavenly warning
t Malachi i. 8.
Every leaf in every nook,
Every wave in every brook,
Needs no show of mountain hoary, Winding shore or deepening glen, Where the landscape in its glory
Teaches truth to wandering men : Give true hearts but earth and sky, And some flowers to bloom and die,Homely scenes and simple views Lowly thoughts may best infuse.
See the soft green willow springing
Though the rudest hand assail her, Patiently she droops awhile,