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CCCXXIV

THE GATHERING OF THE CHURCH

Wherefore shrink, and say, ''Tis vain;

In their hour hell-powers must reign;

Vainly, vainly would we force

Fatal error's torrent course;

Earth is mighty, we are frail;

Faith is gone, and hope must fail.'

Yet along the Church's sky

Stars are scatter'd, pure and high;

Yet her wasted gardens bear

Autumn violets, sweet and rare--

Relics of a spring-time clear,

Earnest of a bright new year.

260

Israel yet hath thousands seal'd,

Who to Baal never kneel'd;

Seize the banner, spread its fold!

Seize it with no faltering hold!

Spread its foldings high and fair,

Let all see the Cross is there!

What if to the trumpet's sound

Voices few come answering round?

Scarce a votary swell the burst,

When the anthem peals at first?

GOD hath sown, and He will reap;

Growth is slow when roots are deep;--

He will aid the work begun,

For the love of His dear Son;

He will breathe in their true breath,

Who, serene in prayer and faith,

Would our dying embers fan

Bright as when their glow began.

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