Twelfth Sunday After Trinity

John Keble 1792 (Fairford) – 1866 (Bournemouth)



The Son of God in doing good
  Was fain to look to Heaven and sigh:
And shall the heirs of sinful blood
  Seek joy unmixed in charity?
God will not let Love's work impart
Full solace, lest it steal the heart;
Be thou content in tears to sow,
Blessing, like Jesus, in thy woe:

He looked to Heaven, and sadly sighed -
  What saw my gracious Saviour there,
"With fear and anguish to divide
  The joy of Heaven-accepted prayer?
So o'er the bed where Lazarus slept
He to His Father groaned and wept:
What saw He mournful in that grave,
Knowing Himself so strong to save?"

O'erwhelming thoughts of pain and grief
  Over His sinking spirit sweep; -
What boots it gathering one lost leaf
  Out of yon sere and withered heap,
Where souls and bodies, hopes and joys,
All that earth owns or sin destroys,
Under the spurning hoof are cast,
Or tossing in th' autumnal blast?

The deaf may hear the Saviour's voice,
  The fettered tongue its chain may break;
But the deaf heart, the dumb by choice,
  The laggard soul, that will not wake,
The guilt that scorns to be forgiven; -
These baffle e'en the spells of Heaven;
In thought of these, His brows benign
Not e'en in healing cloudless shine.

No eye but His might ever bear
  To gaze all down that drear abyss,
Because none ever saw so clear
  The shore beyond of endless bliss:
The giddy waves so restless hurled,
The vexed pulse of this feverish world,
He views and counts with steady sight,
Used to behold the Infinite.

But that in such communion high
  He hath a fount of strength within,
Sure His meek heart would break and die,
  O'erburthened by His brethren's sin;
Weak eyes on darkness dare not gaze,
It dazzles like the noonday blaze;
But He who sees God's face may brook
On the true face of Sin to look.

What then shall wretched sinners do,
  When in their last, their hopeless day,
Sin, as it is, shall meet their view,
  God turn His face for aye away?
Lord, by Thy sad and earnest eye,
When Thou didst look to Heaven and sigh:
Thy voice, that with a word could chase
The dumb, deaf spirit from his place;

As Thou hast touched our ears, and taught
  Our tongues to speak Thy praises plain,
Quell Thou each thankless godless thought
  That would make fast our bonds again.
From worldly strife, from mirth unblest,
Drowning Thy music in the breast,
From foul reproach, from thrilling fears,
Preserve, good Lord, Thy servants' ears.

From idle words, that restless throng
  And haunt our hearts when we would pray,
From Pride's false chime, and jarring wrong,
  Seal Thou my lips, and guard the way:
For Thou hast sworn, that every ear,
Willing or loth, Thy trump shall hear,
And every tongue unchained be
To own no hope, no God, but Thee.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

2:29 min read
33

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABXCDDXX EFEFGGHH IJIJKKLL MNMNOOPP FQXQRRXX BSBSTTUU VWVWBBXX YXYXAXZZ 1 W1 W2 2 CC
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 2,621
Words 490
Stanzas 9
Stanza Lengths 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8

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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