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SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 St. Peter iv. 10.

The Earth that in her genial breast

Makes for the down a kindly nest,

Where wafted by the warm south-west

It floats at pleasure,

Yields, thankful, of her very best,

To nurse her treasure:

True to her trust, tree, herb, or reed,

She renders for each scatter’d seed,

And to her Lord with duteous heed

Gives large increase:

Thus year by year she works unfeed,

And will not cease.

Woe worth these barren hearts of ours,

Where Thou hast set celestial flowers,

And water’d with more balmy showers

Than e’er distill’d

In Eden, on th’ ambrosial bowers —

Yet nought we yield.

Largely Thou givest, gracious Lord,

Largely Thy gifts should be restor’d;

Freely Thou givest, and Thy word

Is, “Freely give.”6464St. Matthew x. 8.

He only, who forgets to hoard,

Has learn’d to live.

Wisely Thou givest — all around

Thine equal rays are resting found,

Yet varying so on various ground

They pierce and strike,

That not two roseate cups are crown’d

With drew alike:

E’en so, in silence, likest Thee,

Steals on soft-handed Charity,

Tempering her gifts, that seem so free,

By time and place,

Till not a woe the bleak world see,

But finds her grace:

Eyes to the blind, and to the lame

Feet, and to sinners wholesome blame,

To starving bodies food and flame,

By turns she brings;

To humbled souls, that sink for shame,

Lends heaven-ward wings:

Leads them the way our Saviour went,

And shows Love’s treasure yet unspent;

As when th’ unclouded heavens were rent.

Opening His road,

Nor yet His Holy Spirit sent

To our abode.

Ten days th’ eternal doors display’d

Were wondering (so th’ Almighty bade)

Whom Love enthron’d would send, in aid

Of souls that mourn,

Left orphans in Earth’s dreary shade

As noon as born.

Open they stand, that prayers in throngs

May rise on high, and holy songs,

Such incense as of right belongs

To the true shrine,

Where stands the Healer of all wrongs

In light divine;

The golden censer in His hand,

He offers hearts from every land,

Tied to His own by gentlest band

Of silent Love:

About Him winged blessings stand

In act to move.

A little while, and they shall fleet

From Heaven to Earth, attendants meet

On the life-giving Paraclete

Speeding His flight,

With all that sacred is and sweet,

On saints to light.

Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, all

Shall feel the shower of Mercy fall,

And startling at th’ Almighty’s call,

Give what He gave,

Till their high deeds the world appal,

And sinners save.


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