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He sought that wicket when the storm
Of persecution rung its blast ;
Found shelter till the tempest past :
To mark that holy amity
Within thee, Home of Bethany !
We “come and see where Jesus dwelt," — *
Nazareth no more is Home for Him ; And this, his fondest rest he felt
For wounded mind and wearied limb.
The Solitary in this family,
Thy doorstead, Home of Bethany !
O for a limning of that Brow
Which shone on every inmate there ! O for an echo of that flow
Of gracious words, beguiling care ! He, condescending, sat at meat !
Smiled through each moment amiably! Suffered a votary at His feet,-
Thy Mary, Home of Bethany !
It was the good and lasting part !
And none were strangers to its rest,Only less love had warmed her heart
Who sought a vainer, gaudier, test. And was not he, the brother too,
Who early learnt what 't was to die, Taught by that grace which fell like dew
To bless Thee, Home of Bethany !
• John i. 39.
Other far visits Jesus paid,
When doing good he went about,He brake their bread, enjoyed their shade,
But here he goeth in and out : The all and best of home on earth
He might commune, was found in Thee,Amid his lot's distress and dearth
Sole refuge,–Home of Bethany !
Hallowed excitement found relief,
When His heart thrilled in all its veins ; And there stole on His spirit grief
Deeper than source of mortal pains ; And when He kept the Temple-feast,
Wrapt in its pomp and minstrelsy, Divining all, when all had ceased,
Thou sooth’dst Him, Home of Bethany !*
Angelic envoys ! how ye lent
Your waving plumes to shade that group: On all its mystery intent,
Encamping round, "a blessed troop.” They rested not, nor sought to rest,
Through day and night, from ministry Which all their powers of love possessed,
To guard thee, Home of Bethany !
Deep wailings fill that blest abode!
"T is Death that three-fold cord unties ! The Resurrection, Life, and God
Draws near, and all its power defies ! Heart-broken sisters, clasp again
Your dead,-Death's barriers open fly! Bloom forth with joy, Thou mountain-glen !
Wake Thy songs, Home of Bethany !
Luke xxi. 37.
And honour shall be done the spot
Where Christ could find an earthly calm ! Nor can her memory be forgot,
Who poured on Him the costly balmThe mystic pledge of hastening doom,
Well He rewards that scenery, Leads forth His triumph,-bursts His tomb,
Hard by Thee, Home of Bethany !
Let not the risen Saviour scorn
Our mean abode and worthless name ! Enter Thy rest! Wake us each morn,
And every eve Thine entrance claim ! To dwell among His followers here
The Lord ascended up on high :* We for Him habitation rear,
As Thine was, Home of Bethany !
O may He this our prayer accept,
And in our fragile tent abide,
And, save his own, all eyelids dried !
And yet each active duty ply, In love to one another knit,
Thy copy, Home of Bethany !
Those vine-bound eaves no longer skirt
Yon hill-side and its olive copse : The spoiler came, with judgment girt,
Blasted its scene, hewed down its props. But ere that blow, the happy band
Embraced in realms above the sky; Yet cannot still, in that fair land,
Forget Thee, Home of Bethany !
* Psa. Ixviii. 18.
+ John xi. 35.
O model of domestic joy!
(An earth-revolving star of heaven !)
From dawn to noon, from poon to even !
Our griefs till in Thy Home we be !
Mean wast Thou, Home of Bethany !
TO THE NIGHTINGALE.
MYSTERIOUS Murmur! Where, and what, art thou ?
Song in the night! Or art thou more than song?
Then more than feathered songster! Here along The fragrant copse thou peal’st melodious vow,— Whether of grief or joy I cannot trow.
A wail of anguish! Who can doubt that strain ?
The thorn is in its breast! And then again That long drawn cadence out yon willow bough! I list once more,--It trills a joyous lay !
Thy pensive sadness now has found relief ! Like canzonet of flow'ret-hooded fay!
Yet seemed those mirth-notes oft constrained and brief. For still, methought, thy joy was never gay,—
Perhaps, like me, thou know'st the joy of grief!
“Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also.”
Oh what are all our Nature's ties
Long since the Widow steeped the moss
Strong in maternal love,—the Eclipse,
Mother! once fanned by angel-wings!
Born of a woman,
-see Him turn
Upon the crisis of that hour