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Fifth Sunday After Epiphany

John Keble 1792 (Fairford) – 1866 (Bournemouth)

"Wake, arm Divine! awake,
  Eye of the only Wise!
  Now for Thy glory's sake,
  Saviour and God, arise,
And may Thine ear, that sealed seems,
In pity mark our mournful themes!"

  Thus in her lonely hour
  Thy Church is fain to cry,
  As if Thy love and power
  Were vanished from her sky;
Yet God is there, and at His side
He triumphs, who for sinners died.

  Ah! 'tis the world enthralls
  The Heaven-betrothed breast:
  The traitor Sense recalls
  The soaring soul from rest.
That bitter sigh was all for earth,
For glories gone and vanished mirth.

  Age would to youth return,
  Farther from Heaven would be,
  To feel the wildfire burn,
  On idolising knee
Again to fall, and rob Thy shrine
Of hearts, the right of Love Divine.

  Lord of this erring flock!
  Thou whose soft showers distil
  On ocean waste or rock,
  Free as on Hermon hill,
Do Thou our craven spirits cheer,
And shame away the selfish tear.

  'Twas silent all and dead
  Beside the barren sea,
  Where Philip's steps were led,
  Led by a voice from Thee -
He rose and went, nor asked Thee why,
Nor stayed to heave one faithless sigh:

  Upon his lonely way
  The high-born traveller came,
  Reading a mournful lay
  Of "One who bore our shame,
Silent Himself, His name untold,
And yet His glories were of old."

  To muse what Heaven might mean
  His wondering brow he raised,
  And met an eye serene
  That on him watchful gazed.
No Hermit e'er so welcome crossed
A child's lone path in woodland lost.

  Now wonder turns to love;
  The scrolls of sacred lore
  No darksome mazes prove;
  The desert tires no more
They bathe where holy waters flow,
Then on their way rejoicing go.

  They part to meet in Heaven;
  But of the joy they share,
  Absolving and forgiven,
  The sweet remembrance bear.
Yes--mark him well, ye cold and proud.
Bewildered in a heartless crowd,

  Starting and turning pale
  At Rumour's angry din -
  No storm can now assail
  The charm he wears within,
Rejoicing still, and doing good,
And with the thought of God imbued.

  No glare of high estate,
  No gloom of woe or want,
  The radiance can abate
  Where Heaven delights to haunt:
Sin only bides the genial ray,
And, round the Cross, makes night of day.

  Then weep it from thy heart;
  So mayst thou duly learn
  The intercessor's part;
  Thy prayers and tears may earn
For fallen souls some healing breath,
Era they have died the Apostate's death.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:09 min read

John Keble

John Keble was an English churchman and poet, one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement. Keble College, Oxford was named after him. more…

All John Keble poems | John Keble Books

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