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The Saintly Company
And in his heart the unspoken consciousness
That though upon his grave no gentle fingers
Shall set the crocus, yet in the old home
There shall be aye a murmur of the sea,
A fair remembrance and a tender pride.
Not so for these the dawn of battle rose. .
HE had understanding of righteousness, and discerned great and marvellous wonders : and he prevailed with the Most High, and is numbered among the saintly company.
Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail
Or knock the breast, no weakness, no contempt,
Dispraise, or blame, nothing but well and fair,
And what may quiet us in a death so noble. . .
The setting sun, and music at the close.
Peace, peace ! he is not dead, he doth not sleep-
He hath awakened from the dream of life-
'Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep
With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
And in mad trance, strike with our spirit's knife
Invulnerable nothings.-We decay
Like corpses in a charnel ; fear and grief
Convulse us and consume us day by day,
And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.
He has outsoared the shadow of our night;
Envy and calumny and hate and pain,
And that unrest which men miscall delight,
Can touch him not and torture not again ;
From the contagion of the world's slow stain
He is secure, and now can never mourn
A heart grown cold, a head grown gray in vain;
Nor, when the spirit's self has ceased to burn,
With sparkless ashes load an unlamented urn.
He is made one with Nature: there is heard
His voice in all her music, from the moan
Of thunder to the song of night's sweet bird ;
He is a presence to be felt and known
In darkness and in light, from herb and stone,
Spreading itself where'er that Power
may Which has withdrawn his being to its own ;
Which wields the world with never-wearied love, Sustains it from beneath, and kindles it above.
He is a portion of the loveliness
Which once he made more lovely : he doth bear
His part, while the one Spirit's plastic stress
Sweeps through the dull dense world, compelling there
All new successions to the forms they wear;
Torturing th' unwilling dross that checks its flight
To its own likeness, as each mass may bear ;
And bursting in its beauty and its might
From trees and beasts and men into the Heaven's light.
The splendours of the firmament of time
May be eclipsed, but are extinguished not ;
Like stars to their appointed height they climb,
And death is a low mist which cannot blot
The brightness it may veil. When lofty thought
Lifts a young heart above its mortal lair,
And love and life contend in it, for what
Shall be its earthly doom, the dead live there
And move like winds of light on dark and stormy air. ..
The One remains, the many change and pass ;
Heaven's light forever shines, Earth's shadows fly;
Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity,
Until Death tramples it to fragments.-Die,
If thou wouldst be with that which thou dost seek !
Follow where all is filed !-..
. . Salute the sacred dead,
Who went and who return not.-Say not so!.
We rather seem the dead, that stayed behind.
Blow, trumpets, all your exultations blow!
For never shall their aureoled presence lack ..
They come transfigured back,
Secure from change in their high-hearted ways,
Beautiful evermore, and with the rays
Of morn on their white shields of Expectation.
And many more whose names on Earth are dark,
But whose transmitted effluence cannot die
So long as fire outlives the parent spark,
Rose, robed in dazzling immortality ...
WHAT happy bonds together unite you, ye living and
dead, Your fadeless love-bloom, your manifold memories!
IN the heavenly kingdom the souls of the Saints are rejoicing, who follow'd the footsteps of Christ their Master: and since for love of Him they freely poured forth their life-blood, therefore with Christ they reign for ever and ever.
WHEN blessed Vincent was put to the torture, with eager countenance, and strengthened by the presence of God, he cried : This it is which I have alway desired, and for which in all my prayers I have made request.
SERVANT of God, well done, well hast thou fought
The better fight, who single hast maintaind
Against revolted multitudes the Cause
Of Truth, in word mightier then they in Armes;
And for the testimonie of Truth hast born
Universal reproach, far worse to beare
Then violence: for this was all thy care
To stand approv'd in sight of God, though Worlds
Judg’d thee perverse
Speak! thy strong words may never pass away ...
Love, from its awful throne of patient power
In the wise heart, from the last giddy hour
Of dread endurance, from the slippery, steep,
And narrow verge of crag-like agony, springs
And folds over the world its healing wings.
The True Light
Gentleness, Virtue, Wisdom, and Endurance,
These are the seals of that most firm assurance
Which bars the pit over Destruction's strength ;
And if, with infirm hand, Eternity,
Mother of many acts and hours, should free
The serpent that would clasp her with his length ;
These are the spells by which to reassume
An empire o'er the disentangled doom.
To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates ;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent ;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.
HOLY is the true light, and passing wonderful, lending radiance to them that endured in the heat of the conflict: from CHRIST they inherit a home of unfading splendour, wherein they rejoice with gladness evermore.