THE RETURN HOME.
1st ed. adds: A Cento from the Canon of S. John Climacos.
Safe home, safe home in port!
—Rent cordage, shattered deck,
Torn sails, provisions short,
And only not a wreck:
But oh! the joy upon the shore
To tell our voyage-perils o’er!
The prize, the prize secure!
The athlete nearly fell;
Bare all he could endure,
And bare not always well:
But he may smile at troubles gone
Who sets the victor-garland on!
No more the foe can harm
No more of leaguered camp,
And cry of night-alarm,
And need of ready lamp:
And yet how nearly he had failed,—
How nearly had that foe prevailed!
The lamb is in the fold
In perfect safety penned:
The lion once had hold,
And thought to make an end:
But One came by with Wounded Side,
And for the sheep the Shepherd died.
The exile is at Home!
—O nights and days of tears,
O longings not to roam,
O sins, and doubts, and fears,—
What matter now (when so men say)
The King has wiped those tears away?
O happy, happy Bride!
Thy widowed hours are past,
The Bridegroom at thy side,
Thou all His own at last!
The sorrows Of thy former cup
In full fruition swallowed up!
[No. 5 in H. E. C. This, of all the melodies written for, or adapted
to, these hymns, is my own especial favourite. One feels that the
anonymous writer of such a plaintive, yet soothing, melody, must have
been one—to quote Archbishop Trench’s words with regard to the author
of Veni, Sancte Spiritus,—acquainted with great sorrows, but
also with great consolations.]