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CHURCHING OF WOMEN

Is there, in bowers of endless spring,

One known from all the seraph band

By softer voice, by smile and wing

More exquisitely bland!

Here let him speed: to-day this hallow’d air

Is fragrant with a mother’s first and fondest prayer.

Only let Heaven her fire impart,

No richer incense breathes on earth:

“A spouse with all a daughter’s heart,.”

Fresh from the perilous birth,

To the great Father lifts her pale glad eye,

Like a reviving flower when storms are hush’d on high.

Oh, what a treasure of sweet thought

Is here! what hope and joy and love

All in one tender bosom brought,

For the all-gracious Dove

To brood o’er silently, and form for Heaven

Each passionate wish and dream to dear affection given.

Her fluttering heart, too keenly blest,

Would sicken, but she leans on Thee,

Sees Thee by faith on Mary’s breast,

And breathes serene and free.

Slight tremblings only of her veil declare135135When the woman comes to this office, the rubric (as it was altered at the last review) directs that she be decently apparelled, i.e., as the custom and order was formerly, with a white covering or veil. Wheatly on the Common Prayer, c. xiii. sect. i. 3.

Soft answers duly whisper’d to each soothing prayer.

We are too weak, when Thou dost bless,

To bear the joy — help, Virgin-born!

By Thine own mother’s first caress,

That wak’d Thy natal morn!

Help, by the unexpressive smile, that made

A Heaven on earth around this couch where Thou wast laid.


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