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THE ANGELS OF THE CRIB.

FRAGMENT.

THE ANGEL OF THE CHILD JESUS.

Thou Word of God, Thou Glory of God!

In awe I gazed on Thee above;

And now I see that Glory of God,

That Word of God, made Man through love.

O Child, whose light doth blind the sight

Of angels in high heaven divine!

Thou’rt come to save the world to-night,

And who can fathom that love of Thine?

In swaddling bands

The Child-God fies.

Lord of all lands!

Trembling before Thy face I veil mine eyes.

Yes, who can fathom this marvellous thing?

God makes Himself a little Child,

He, the eternal, almighty King,

Afar from His own heaven exiled!

Fain would I give Thee love for love!

Thee will I guard by day and night,

My utter fealty to prove,

Thou tiny Jesu, Light of Light!

Thy cradle so dear

Draws angels anear.

O Child-God! now

Trembling before that humble crib I bow.

While earth has power from heaven to bring

My King to want and cold and woe,

Heaven holds no longer anything

To keep me from that world below.

My wings shall shield Thy Baby-head;

Thee will I follow everywhere;

Beneath Thy tiny feet I’ll fling

The sweetest flowers and most fair.

Oh, would some radiant star might fall,

To form Thy cradle, Baby bright!

Would I the dazzling snow could call,

To be Thy curtains pure and white!

Would all the lofty hills might bow

In lowly homage at Thy feet!

Oh, would the fields might bloom for Thee,

Celestial blossoms heavenly sweet!

For all the flowers are smiles of God,

Are distant echoes from His throne,

Are notes that wander far abroad

From that great harp He holds alone.

Those notes of harmony divine

Relate His goodness unto men,

And in their melody combine

To tell His saving love again.

O that sweet melody,

Exquisite harmony,

Silence of flowers!

Ye tell His greatness, His wonders, His powers!

Well know I, Jesu! that Thy friends,

Thy dearest friends, are living flowers.

Thou travellest to earth’s farthest ends,

To cull them for heaven’s fadeless bowers.

Souls are the flowers with beauty rife

That draw Thee from the heavens high;

Thy tiny hand first gave them life,

And Thou for them wilt gladly die.

Mystery ineffable!

Thou, Word adorable,

Surely shalt one day weep

When Thou the harvest of those flowers shalt reap.

THE ANGEL OF THE HOLY FACE.

Yes, from the morning of Thy days, dear Child!

Thy blessed Face is bathed in burning tears.

Those tears upon that Face all undefiled

Still shall flow on throughout Thy earthly years.

O Face divine!

So fair Thou art

From angel eyes

The glories of the skies depart.

Under its veil of anguish sore and dread,

I see Thy loveliness all charms above;

In Thy worn, pallid Face, O Jesu dead!

I see Thy Child-face in its perfect love.

For pain to Thee, my Jesus! was so dear

That even Thy Baby-eyes the future saw,

And Thou didst long to drink the chalice drear,

Thy very dreams could Thee to Calvary draw.

O wonderful dream!

Thou Child of a day,

From Thy face but one beam

Thrills my heart with its ray.

THE ANGEL OF THE RESURRECTION.

Angel of man’s Redeemer! weep no more.

I come with comfort for sad hearts and sore.

This Child shall yet gain

All men’s hearts as their King;

He shall arise and reign

Almighty, triumphing.

O God! concealed in childish guise before us,

I see Thee glorious,

O’er all things victorious.

I shall roll back the great tomb’s rocky door,

I shall behold Thy lovely Face once more,

And I shall sing,

And I shall then rejoice,

When I shall see my King,

And hear again His voice.

Thy childish eyes, though dim to-night with tears,

Shall shine with heavenly light throughout the eternal years.

O Word of God!

Thy speech, like burning flame,

Shall sound one day abroad,

And all Thy love proclaim.

THE ANGEL OF THE EUCHARIST.

Gaze on, dear Angel, heavenward-flown,

Gaze, while our King ascends on high;

But I, to seek His altar-throne,

Down to the distant earth will fly.

Veiled in His Eucharist I see

The Almighty Lord, the Undefiled,

The Master of all things that be,

More tiny than the humblest child.

Here will I dwell in this biest piace,

The sanctuary of my King;

And here, before His veiled Face,

My hymns of ardent love will sing.

Here, to my heaven-strung angel-lyre,

My praise I’ll chant, by night, by day,

To Him, the Feast for saint’s desire,

To Him, the sinner’s Hope and Stay.

Would that by miracle, I too

Could feed upon this heavenly Bread;

Could taste that Blood forever new,

That Blood which was for all men shed!

At least, with some pure longing soul,

I’ll share my fires of love divine,

That so, all fearless, glad and whole,

It may approach its Lord and mine.

THE ANGEL OF THE LAST JUDGMENT.

Soon shall the awful day of judgment come,

This wicked world shall feel the avenging flame;

All men shall hear pronounced their endless doom,

And these to bliss shall pass, and those to shame.

Then shall we see our God in glory bright,

No longer hidden in this cradle small;

Then shall we sing His triumph after fight,

And then proclaim Him Lord and King of all.

As stars shine out when furious storms are passed,

His eyes shall shine, now veiled in blood and tears;

And His eternal splendor shall at last

Appear again, after these anguished years.

Upon the clouds our Jesus shall be borne,

Beneath the standard of the cross on high;

And evil men who hailed Him once in scorn

Shall know their awful judge is drawing nigh.

Ah, ye shall tremble, habitants of earth!

Ah, ye shall tremble on that final day,

No longer able to withstand the wroth

Of this dear Child, the God of love to-day.

For you He chose to tread the path of pain,

Seeking your hearts alone, to Him so dear:

But when at last He comes to earth again,

How shall ye quail before His Face in fear!

ALL THE ANGELS, with the exception of THE ANGEL
OF THE LAST JUDGMENT.

O Jesu, deign to hear the prayer,

That we, Thy Angels offer Thee!

Thy people save, Thy people spare,

Thou who didst come the world to free!

With Thy small hand avert this dart,

Appease this Angel with the sword;

Save every meek and contrite heart

That seeks Thy mercy, dearest Lord!

THE CHILD JESUS.

My faithful Angels, tried and true!

Far from the heavenland of your birth,

Hear, for the first time, speak to you

The Eternal Word made Man on earth!

I love you well, O spirits pure!

Angels from heaven’s high courts above!

Yet men I love with love as sure,

Yea, with an everlasting love.

I made their infinite desires,

Their souls were made at My decree;

A heart that kindles with My fires

Becomes a heaven on earth for Me.

The Angel of the Infant Jesus asks Him to gather upon earth an abundant harvest of inno­cent souls, before they have been tainted by the impure breath of sin.

ANSWER OF THE CHILD JESUS.

Dear Angel of My childhood’s hours!

I grant the answer to thy prayer.

Many shall be the innocent flowers

I will preserve all lily-fair.

Yes, I will cull those blossoms gay,

Fresh with their pure baptismal dew;

And they shall bloom in endless day,

In ecstasy forever new.

Their fair corollas, silvery bright,

More brilliant than a thousand fires,

Shall be the Milky Way of light

’Mid all the starry heavenly choirs.

I must have lilies for My crown, —

The Lily of the Field am I!

And I must have to grace my throne,

A sheaf of lilies in the sky.

The Angel of the Holy Face asks pardon for sinners.

ANSWER OF THE CHILD JESUS

Thou who dost gaze upon My Face

In ecstasy of seraph love,

Leaving for love of it thy place

Of glory in My heaven above!

Thy prayer I hear, I grant thy plea.

Each soul that on My name shall call

Shall find relief, shall be set free

From Sin’s dark curse, from Satan’s thrall.

Thou who dost seek to honor here

My Cross, My Passion, My bruised Face:

Learn now this mystery, angel dear!

Each soul that suffers shares thy grace.

The radiance of its pain borne now,

In heaven upon thy face shall shine;

The martyr’s halo decks thy brow,

His glory shall be drawn from thine.

The Angel of the Eucharist asks what he can do to console our Lord for the ingratitude of men.

ANSWER OF THE CHILD JESUS.

Dear Angel of the Eucharist!

Thou, thou dost charm Me every hour;

Thy song, by heaven’s own breezes kissed,

Over My suffering soul hath power.

Ah, the great thirst of My desires!

I crave, I crave, the hearts of men.

Dear Angel, melt them with thy fires,

And win them to My Heart again!

Would each anointed priest might be

Like Seraphim beyond the skies,

What time he comes to offer Me

My pure and holy Sacrifice!

To work such miracle of grace,

It needs must be that night and day,

Souls near the attar seek a place

To watch and suffer, weep and pray.

The Angel of the Resurrection asks what will become of the poor exiled ones left on earth when the Saviour shall have ascended into heaven.

ANSWER OF THE CHILD JESUS.

Back to My Father I shall go,

Thither to draw the men I love;

And heaven’s long bliss they then shall know,

When I shall welcome them above.

When the last hour of time appears,

My flock shall come again to Me;

And I shall be, for endless years,

Their Light, their Life, their Ecstasy

THE ANGEL OF THE LAST JUDGMENT.

Goodness supreme! and dost Thou then forget

Sinners must meet at last, the doom decreed ?

Dost Thou forget, in Thy great love, that yet,

Their number is nigh infinite indeed ?

At the last judgment I shall punish crime,

Evil before My wrath shall shrink and bow;

My sword is ready . . . Jesu! ‘tis the time.

My sword is ready to avenge Thee now.

THE CHILD JESUS

Great Angel, turn aside thy sword

I am the Messenger of Peace.

The nature taken by thy Lord

’Tis not thy work to judge. O cease!

‘Tis I shall judge the human race,

Jesus My name, all names above.

I grant My elect ones boundless grace.

For men I died, and I am Love!

Dost thou not know that, every day,

The blasphemies of faithless lips

Before one love-glance pass away,

And find therein assured eclipse?

The souls I choose, the souls I spare,

Shall reign in glory like the sun.

‘Tis Mine own life I give them there,

And they and I shall there be one.

THE ANGEL OF THE LAST JUDGMENT.

Before Thee, Child divine, the Cherubim bow lowly,

Lost in amaze as they Thy love all boundless see.

Fain would we die like Thee, on Calvary’s summit holy,

Fain would we die like Thee!

REFRAIN.

Sung by all the Angels.

How great the bliss of man, Thy low and humble creature.

In ecstasy would fain each seraph undefiled

Put off, O Jesus sweet, his grand angelic nature,

Would fain become a child!

Noel, 1894 —

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