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248

THE RETURN HOME.

6,6,6,6,8,8

Joseph of the Studium

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!

249

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?

250

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.]

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