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A LILY AMIDST THORNS.

FOR A NOVICE.

O King majestic, strong! e’en from my earliest days,

I well may call myself Thy work of grace alone;

Thy love to pay with love, Thy care to tell with praise,

I come with joy to-day, before Thy altar-throne.

Jesu, my Best-Beloved! what privilege is this?

For nothingness am I. What have I done for Thee?

Yet, clad in virginal white, it is to-day my bliss

To follow Thee, the Lamb, in heavenly ecstasy.

I know, alas, too well, that I am less than naught,

Weakness itself, and poor; devoid of virtues great

And yet Thou knowest well that I have always sought

With longing heart, Thyself; on Thee alone I wait

When my young heart first felt the fire of love burn bright,

Thou cam’st, O Christ! that fire to Thee alone to take;

Naught could content my soul but Thee, my one Delight; —

The Infinite alone my burning thirst could slake.

Like some wee lamb afar from its safe sheltering fold,

Gayly I played, and nothing knew of dangers drear.

Shepherdess, Queen of Heaven! thy mother-love untold,

Thy mother-watchfulness, drew me thy heart anear.

So, playing on the brink of pitfalls dread and deep,

Afar I saw the hill of Carmel beckon me;

And I divined that they who climb its summits steep,

Shall learn of love, to fly to heaven’s eternity.

An angel’s purity, dear Lord, attracts Thy heart,

An angel white as snow, in heaven’s celestial mirth.

Dost thou not also love a lily kept apart

For Thee, from mire and taint; as white as snow, on earth?

If he, within Thy sight, exults all dazzling pure,

In brilliant stainless robes, whose lustre blinds our gaze,

Hast Thou not kept my robe as safe, as white, as sure?

My virgin heart has been the treasure of my days.

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