O holy Hope! and high Humility,
       High as the heavens above!
These are your walks, and you have show’d them me,
           To kindle my cold love.

Dear, beauteous Death! the jewel of the Just,
       Shining nowhere, but in the dark;
What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,
           Could man outlook that mark!

He that hath found some fledg’d bird’s nest may know,
       At first sight, if the bird be flown;
But what fair well or grove he sings in now,
           That is to him unknown.

And yet as Angels in some brighter dreams
       Call to the soul, when man doth sleep:
So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,
           And into glory peep.

If a star were confin’d into a tomb,
       Her captive flames must needs burn there;
But when the hand that lock’d her up gives room,
           She’ll shine through all the sphere.

O Father of eternal life, and all
       Created glories under Thee!
Resume Thy spirit from this world of thrall
           Into true liberty.

Either disperse these mists, which blot and fill
       My perspective still as they pass:
Or else remove me hence unto that hill,
           Where I shall need no glass.

376   The Night

John 2.3.

        THROUGH that pure Virgin-shrine,
That sacred vail drawn o’er thy glorious noon
That men might look and live as Glow-worms shine,
        And face the Moon:
     Wise Nicodemus saw such light
     As made him know his God by night.

        Were all my loud, evil days
Calm and unhaunted as is thy dark Tent,
Whose peace but by some Angels wing or voice
          Is seldom rent;
      Then I in Heaven all the long year
      Would keep, and never wander here.

        But living where the Sun
Doth all things wake, and where all mix and tyre
Themselves and others, I consent and run
          To ev’ry myre,
      And by this worlds ill-guiding light,
      Erre more then I can do by night.

        There is in God (some say)
A deep, but dazling darkness; as men here
Say it is late and dusky, because they
          See not all clear;
      O for that night! where I in him
      Might live invisible and dim.

377   Nature, Man, Eternity


The Bird

HITHER thou com’st: the busy wind all night
Blew thro’ thy lodging, where thy own warm wing
Thy pillow was. Many a sullen storm
(For which coarse man seems much the fitter born)
       Rained on thy bed
       And harmless head:

And now as fresh and cheerful as the light
Thy little heart in early hymns doth sing
Unto that Providence, whose unseen arm
Curbed them, and clothed thee well and warm.
       All things that be praise Him, and had
       Their lesson taught them when first made.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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