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THE LORD'S SUPPER.
O Sun, that cast thy bending light
On the Guest-chamber's simple board, And saw'st the ordering of that rite
Which realised the Bleeding Lord !
Thou Moon, that rose full-horned and spread
Thy gentle, melancholy, beam Over the Saviour's prostrate head,
In Agony, by Kedron's stream !
Ye Stars, that twinkled in your spheres
When Unknown Conflict bled and strove, As if Heaven's face had flowed with tears,—
For what could not Gethsemane move?
Orbs, that did herald on, or mark,
The night when Jesus was betrayed, This Feast ends not till ye are dark,
And all your glorious courses stayed !
For from that night successive bands
Have eat this banquet of the Cross : Saint, pilgrim, martyr, of all lands,
And counted earthly portions loss.
'T is here we still forget our woes
'Mid what far ages saw bequeathed ! The Bread is life! the Cup o'erflows !
As when their Blessing first was breathed ! 'T is manna, which can never cloy,–
'T is Canaan's vine-juice here we quaff: Wine both of God and man the joy,–*
Bread of eternal life the staff!
When we rise up and leave our seat,
Millions shall press and fill our place :
And sing, like us, the Founder's grace.
Night saw this earliest Festival!
Since that, what times have sped their flight,-
Till Day's last shade and Nature's night! • Judges ix. 13.— The reference is to the libation of wine on the altar, which was a required and, therefore, an acceptable, service. It “pleased God."
What is that point on high ? a ray or note ?
Brightening and warbling both, a two-fold birth!
Its carol gushes forth a boundless mirth, Ecstatic anthems swell its little throat, While on the yielding air it does but float !
I saw it lately in its mossy cell,
Amid the loneliness of yonder dell,
How different now is this far upward flight !
It leaves its home and yearnings far behind,Oh, not those yearnings leaves it! That the sprite
Which, lowly, loving, dwells,-the humble mind, The tender heart,-should easiest soar the height,
And sweetest sing,-might always be divined !
SAINTED Patriarch! Wherefore linger
In a world grown old with thee? Wherefore doth thy withered finger
Seek the strings of prophecy ? Art thou Israel's latest singer?
Strik'st thou dying harmony ?
What 's thy visioned coruscation,
Illapse brooking no control ? 'T is thy People's Consolation
Now illumes thy raptured soul : On this hour turns all Creation,
Here finds Providence its goal!
Haste to Zion's dread recesses,
Pass thy farewell through yon gates ! -He hath reach'd them! There confesses
Him, the Christ, for whom he waits,And the Child-God fondly presses
To a heart which death dilates !
Welcome now the long-wished hour !
Sweet the peace my bosom fills ! Nature yields in every power,
But faith conquers all its ills : Melt the shades which deeply lour !
Sunlit are the morning hills !
“ Pensive Mother! Thine embraces
Round thy Babe once more entwine ! Lo,—though fair with human graces,
Radiant with each charm divine, How vile outrage Envy traces
On Him as its mark and sign !
“ He, who bows for his transgression,
Proves how soon can Jesus raise ! Mirrored is each soul's expression
In the light this Sign displays ! When is poured Love's intercession,
Hate and sorrow turn to praise !
“ Ah, what means this bloody vision
Which o'er these faint lids doth stoop ? This pale, dying, Apparition ?
See His head in horror droop! Yet His grief still finds addition
From a visage in that group
“ Mother mild ! To thee He turneth,
Though upon the Cross He hangs ! Thence thy tear-worn face discerneth,
While transfixed with iron-fangs ! Now thy soul, as sword-pierced, learneth
Fellowship with His strange pangs!"
THE HOME OF BETHANY.
* Low-rooft beneath the skies !”—Milton.
“ The air of Paradise did fan the House,
And angels officed all !"-Shakspeare.
Of Judah's dwellings many a roof
Shone with a loftier pinnacle ; And foldings of a richer woof
O’er many a couch in splendour fell : But which of all the hearths of man,
And all his palaces, can vie With Thee (since Christ, who heaven doth span,
Bent ’neath it-) Home of Bethany !
Embosomed in Mount Olivet,
It decked those slopes with simple grace ; And, surely, art elaborate
Left there no proud and formal trace:
Its sides in wild luxuriancy,
Around Thee, Home of Bethany!
What was that Countenance divine,
Where gentlest meekness found its throne ! What was the Voice of power benign
Distilling love's unwearying tone! What was that household, all beloved !
He saw them with discerning eye, Active, and quiet, virtue proved,
Schooled by Thee, Home of Bethany !