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To God at best, to Chance at worst,
Give thanks for good things, last as first.
But wind-strown blossom is that good
Whose apple is not gratitude.
Even if no prayer uplift thy face,
Let the sweet right to render grace
As thy soul's cherished child be nurs'd.
Didst ever say, 'Lo, I forget'?
Such thought was to remember yet.
As in a gravegarth, count to see
The monuments of memory.
Be this thy souls appointed scope :-
Gaze onward without claim to hope,
Nor, gazing backward, court regret.


I deemed thy garments, O my Hope, were grey,

So far I viewed thee. Now the space between

Is passed at length; and garmented in green Even as in days of yore thou stand’st to-day. Ah God! and but for lingering dull dismay,

On all that road our footsteps erst had been

Even thus commingled, and our shadows seen
Blent on the hedgerows and the water-way.
O Hope of mine whose eyes are living love,

No eyes but hers,-0 Love and Hope the same!

Lean close to me, for now the sinking sun
That warmed our feet scarce gilds our hair above.

O hers thy voice and very hers thy name !
Alas, cling round me, for the day is done!


(Written during music.) Is it this sky's vast vault or ocean's sound

That is Lise's self and draws my lise from me,

And by instinct ineffable decree
Holds my breath quailing on the bitter bound?

Nay, is it Life or Death, thus thunder-crown'd,

That 'mid the tide of all emergency

Now notes my separate wave, and to what sea Its difficult eddies labour in the ground?

Oh! what is this that knows the road I came,
The flame turned cloud, the cloud returned to flame,

The listed shifted steeps and all the way ? -
That draws round me at last this wind-warm space,
And in regenerate rapture turns my face

Upon the devious coverts of dismay?


Mother of the Fair Delight,
Thou handmaid perfect in God's sight,
Now sitting fourth beside the Three,
Thyself a woman-Trinity,-
Being a daughter borne to God,
Mother of Christ from stall to rood,
And wife unto the Holy Ghost :-
Oh when our need is uttermost,
Think that to such as death may strike
Thou once wert sister sisterlike!
Thou headstone of humanity,
Groundstone of the great Mystery,
Fashioned like us, yet more than we!

Mind'st thou not (when June's heavy breath
Warmed the long days in Nazareth,)
That eve thou didst go forth to give
Thy flowers some drink that they might live
One faint night more amid the sands?
Far off the trees were as pale wands
Against the fervid sky : the sea
Sighed further off eternally
As human sorrow sighs in sleep.
Then suddenly the awe grew deep,

As of a day to which all days
Were footsteps in Gol's secret way::
Until a folding sense, like prayer,
Which is, as God is, everywhere,
Gathered about thee ; and a voice
Spake to thee without any noise,
Being of the silence :- Hail, it said,
'Thou that art highly favourèd ;
The Lord is with thee here and now;
Blessed among all women thou.'

Ah! knew'st thou of the end, when first
That Babe was on thy bosom nurs’d ?-
Or when He tottered round thy knee
Did thy great sorrow dawn on thee ?-
And through His boyhood, year by year
Eating with Him the Passover,
Didst thou discern confusedly
That holier sacrament, when He,
The bitter cup about to quaff,
Should break the bread and eat thereof?-
Or came not yet the knowledge, even
Till on some day forecast in Heaven
His feet passed through thy door to press
Upon His Father's business ?-
Or still was God's high secret kept ?

Nay, but I think the whisper crept Like growth through childhood. Work and play, Things common to the course of day, Awed thee with meanings unfulfillid; And all through girlhood, something stillid Thy senses like the birth of light, When thou hast trimmed thy lamp at night Or washed thy garments in the stream ; To whose white bed had come the dream That He was thine and thou wast His Who feeds among the field-lilies.

O solemn shadow of the end
In that wise spirit long contain'd!
O awful end! and those unsaid
Long years when It was Finished !

Mind'st thou not (when the twilight gone Lest darkness in the house of John) Between the naked window-bars That spacious vigil of the stars ? For thou, a watcher even as they, Wouldst rise from where throughout the diy Thou wroughtest raiment for His poor; And, finding the fixed terms endure Of day and night which never brought Sounds of His coming chariot, Wouldst lift through cloud-waste unexplor'd Those eyes which said, 'How long, O Lord ?' Then that disciple whom He loved, Well heeding, haply would be moved To ask thy blessing in His name ; And that one thought in both, the same Though silent, then would clasp ye round To weep together,-tears long bound, Sick tears of patience, dumb and slow. Yet, ‘Surely I come quickly, -50 He said, from life and death gone home. Amen : even so, Lord Jesus, come!

But oh! what human tongue can speaks
That day when death was sent to break
From the tir'd spirit, like a veil,
Its covenant with Gabriel
Endured at length unto the end ?
What human thought can apprehend
That mystery of motherhood
When thy Beloved at length renew'd
The sweet communion severèd, -
His left hand underneath thine head

And His right hand embracing thee?-
Lo! He was thine, and this is He!

Soul, is it Faith, or Love, or Hope, That lets me see her standing up Where the light of the Throne is bright ? Unto the left, unto the right, The cherubim, arrayed, conjoint, Float inward to a golden point, And from between the seraphim The glory issues for a hymn. O Mary Mother, be not loth To listen,—thou whom the stars clothe, Who seëst and mayst not be seen! Hear us at last, O Mary Queen ! Into our shadow bend thy face, Bowing thee from the secret place, O Mary Virgin, full of grace!

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