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GUNPOWDER TREASON

A thou hast testified of Me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome. Acts xxiii. 11.

Beneath the burning eastern sky

The Cross was rais’d at morn:

The widow’d Church to weep stood by,

The world, to hate and scorn.

Now, journeying westward, evermore

We know the lonely Spouse

By the dear mark her Saviour bore

Trac’d on her patient brows.

At Rome she wears it, as of old

Upon th’ accursed hill:

By monarchs clad in gems and gold,

She goes a mourner still.

She mourns that tender hearts should bend

Before a meaner shrine,

And upon Saint or Angel spend

The love that should be thine.

By day and night her sorrows fall

Where miscreant hands and rude

Have stain’d her pure ethereal pall

With many a martyr’s blood.

And yearns not her parental heart,

To hear their secret sighs,

Upon whose doubting way apart

Bewildering shadows rise?

Who to her side in peace would cling,

But fear to wake, and find

What they had deem’d her genial wing

Was Error’s soothing blind.

She treasures up each throbbing prayer:

Come, trembler, come and pour

Into her bosom all thy care,

For she has balm in store.

Her gentle teaching sweetly blends

With this clear light of Truth

The aerial gleam that Fancy lends

To solemn thoughts in youth. —

If thou hast lov’d, in hours of gloom,

To dream the dead are near,

And people all the lonely room

With guardian spirits dear,

Dream on the soothing dream at will:

The lurid mist is o’er,

That show’d the righteous suffering still

Upon th’ eternal shore.

If with thy heart the strains accord,

That on His altar-throne

Highest exalt thy glorious Lord,

Yet leave Him most thine own;

Oh, come to our Communion Feast:

There present, in the heart

As in the hands, th’ eternal Priest

Will His true self impart. —

Thus, should thy soul misgiving turn

Back to th’ enchanted air,

Solace and warning thou mayst learn

From all that tempts thee there.

And, oh! by all the pangs and fears

Fraternal spirits know,

When for an elder’s shame the tears

Of wakeful anguish flow,

Speak gently of our sister’s fall:

Who knows but gentle love

May win her at our patient call

The surer way to prove?

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