« Prev Fourth Sunday in Lent — The Rose-bud Next »

FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT

Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother; and he sought where to weep, and he entered into his chamber and wept there. Genesis xliii. 30.

There stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. Genesis xlv. 1.

When Nature tries her finest touch,

Weaving her vernal wreath,

Mark ye, how close she veils her round,

Not to be trac’d by sight or sound,

Nor soil’d by ruder breath?

Who ever saw the earliest rose

First open her sweet breast?

Or, when the summer sun goes down,

The first soft star in evening’s crown

Light up her gleaming crest?

Fondly we seek the dawning bloom

On features wan and fair,

The gazing eye no change can trace,

But look away a little space,

Then turn, and lo! ’tis there.

But there’s a sweeter flower than e’er

Blush’d on the rosy spray —

A brighter star, a richer bloom

Than e’er did western heaven illume

At close of summer day.

’Tis Love, the last best gift of Heaven;

Love gentle, holy, pure;

But tenderer than a dove’s soft eye,

The searching sun, the open sky,

She never could endure.

E’en human Love will shrink from sight

Here in the coarse rude earth:

How then should rash intruding glance

Break in upon her sacred trance

Who boasts a heavenly birth?

So still and secret is her growth,

Ever the truest heart,

Where deepest strikes her kindly root

For hope or joy, for flower or fruit,

Least knows its happy part.

God only, and good angels, look

Behind the blissful screen —

As when, triumphant o’er His woes,

The Son of God by moonlight rose,

By all but Heaven unseen:

As when the holy Maid beheld

Her risen Son and Lord:

Thought has not colours half so fair

That she to paint that hour may dare,

In silence best ador’d.

The gracious Dove, that brought from Heaven

The earnest of our bliss,

Of many a chosen witness telling,

On many a happy vision dwelling,

Sings not a note of this.

So, truest image of the Christ,

Old Israel’s long-lost son,

What time, with sweet forgiving cheer,

He call’d his conscious brethren near,

Would weep with them alone.

He could not trust his melting soul

But in his Maker’s sight —

Then why should gentle hearts and true

Bare to the rude world’s withering view

Their treasure of delight!

No — let the dainty rose awhile

Her bashful fragrance hide —

Rend not her silken veil too soon,

But leave her, in her own soft noon,

To flourish and abide.

« Prev Fourth Sunday in Lent — The Rose-bud Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |