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FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER

ROGATION SUNDAY

And the Lord was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time. Deuteronomy ix. 20.

Now is there solemn pause in earth and heaven;

The Conqueror now

His bonds hath riven,

And Angels wonder why He stays below:

Yet hath not man his lesson learn’d,

How endless love should be return’d.

Deep is the silence as of summer noon,

When a soft shower

Will trickle soon,

A gracious rain, freshening the weary bower —

O sweetly then far off is heard

The clear note of some lonely bird.

So let Thy turtle-dove’s sad call arise

In doubt and fear

Through darkening skies,

And pierce, O Lord, Thy justly-sealed ear,

Where on the house-top,6060Psalm cii. 7. all night long

She trills her widow’d, faltering song.

Teach her to know and love her hour of prayer,

And evermore,

As faith grows rare,

Unlock her heart, and offer all its store

In holier love and humbler vows,

As suits a lost returning spouse.

Not as at first,6161I fell down before the Lord forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first. Deuteronomy ix. 25. but with intenser cry,

Upon the mount

She now must lie,

Till Thy dear love to blot the sad account

Of her rebellious race be won,

Pitying the mother in the son.

But chiefly (for she knows Thee anger’d worst

By holiest things

Profan’d and curst),

Chiefly for Aaron’s seed she spreads her wings,

If but one leaf she may from Thee

Win of the reconciling tree.

For what shall heal, when holy water banes!

Or who may guide

O’er desert plains

Thy lov’d yet sinful people wandering wide,

If Aaron’s hand unshrinking mould6262Exodus xxxii. 4.

An idol form of earthly gold?

Therefore her tears are bitter, and as deep

Her boding sigh,

As, while men sleep,

Sad-hearted mothers heave, that wakeful lie,

To muse upon some darling child

Roaming in youth’s uncertain wild.

Therefore on fearful dreams her inward sight

Is fain to dwell —

What lurid light

Shall the last darkness of the world dispel,

The Mediator in His wrath

Descending down the lightning’s path.

Yet, yet awhile, offended Saviour, pause,

In act to break6363Exodus xxxii. 19.

Thine outrag’d laws,

O spare Thy rebels for Thine own dear sake;

Withdraw Thine hand, nor dash to earth

The covenant of our second birth.

’Tis forfeit like the first — we own it all —

Yet for love’s sake

Let it not fall;

But at Thy touch let veiled hearts awake,

That nearest to Thine altar lie,

Yet least of holy things descry.

Teacher of teachers! Priest of priests! from Thee

The sweet strong prayer

Must rise, to free

First Levi, then all Israel, from the snare.

Thou art our Moses out of sight —

Speak for us, or we perish quite.


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