A Chaplet of Verses (1)
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THE ARMY OF THE LORD

-I-

 

To fight the battle of the Cross, Christ's chosen ones
        are sent—
Good soldiers and great victors—a noble armament.
They use no earthly weapon, they know not spear or
        sword,
Yet right, and true, and valiant, is the army of the
        Lord.


-II-


Fear them, ye mighty ones of earth; fear them, ye
        demon foes;
Slay them and think to conquer, but the ranks will
        always close :
In vain do Earth and Hell unite their power and skill
        to try,
They fight better for their wounds, and they conquer
        when they die.


-III-


The soul of every sinner is the victory they would gain;
They would bind each rebel heart in their Master's
        golden chain:                                                            10
Faith is the shield they carry, and the two-edged sword
        they bear
Is God's strongest, mightiest weapon, and they call it
        Love and Prayer.


-IV-


Where the savage hordes are dwelling by the Ganges'
        sacred tide,
Through the trackless Indian forests, St. Francis is
        their guide;
Where crime and sin are raging, to conquer they are
        gone;—
They do conquer as they go, for St. Philip leads them
        on.


-V-


They are come where all are kneeling at the shrines
        of wealth and pride,
And an old and martyr'd Bishop is their comrade and
        their guide:
To tell the toil-worn negro of freedom and repose.
O'er the vast Atlantic's bosom they are called by sweet
        St. Rose.                                                                       20


-VI-


They are gone where Love is frozen and Faith grown
        calm and cold,
Where the world is all triumphant, and the sheep have
        left the fold,
Where His children scorn His blessings, and His sacred
        Shrines despise,—
And the beacon of the warriors is the light in Mary's
        eyes.


-VII-


The bugle for their battle is the matin bell for prayer;
And for their noble standard Christ's holy Cross they
        bear;
His sacred name their war-cry—'tis in vain what ye
        can do,
They must conquer, for your Angels are leaguing with
        them too.


-VIII-


Would you know, O World, these warriors?   Go
        where the poor, the old,
Ask for pardon and for heaven, and you offer food
        and gold;                                                                   30
With healing and with comfort, with words of peace
        and prayer,
Bearing His greatest gift to man—Christ's chosen
        priests are there.


-IX-


Where sin and crime are dwelling, hid from the light
        of day,
And life and hope are fading at Death's cold touch
        away,
Where dying eyes, in horror, see the long-forgotten past,
Christ's servants claim the sinner and gain his soul at
        last.


-X-


Where the rich and proud and mighty God's message
        would defy,
In warning and reproof His anointed ones stand by:
Bright are the crowns of glory God keepeth for His own,
Their life one sigh for Heaven, and their aim His will
        alone.                                                                           40


-XI-


And see sweet Mercy's sister, where the poor and
        wretched dwell,
In gentle accents telling of Him she loves so well;
Training young hearts to serve their Lord, and place
        their hope in Heaven,
Bidding her erring sisters love much and be forgiven.


-XII-


And where in cloistered silence dim the Brides of Jesus
        dwell,
Where purest incense rises up from every lowly cell,
They plead not vainly,—they have chosen and gained
        the better part,
And given their gentle life away to Him who has their
        heart.


-XIII-


And some there are among us—the path which they
        have trod                                                                   49
Of sin and pain and anguish has led at last to God:
They plead, and Christ will hear them, that the poor
        slaves who pine
In the bleak dungeon they have left, may see His truth
        divine.


-XIV-


Oh! who can tell how many hearts are altars to His
        praise,
From which the silent prayer ascends through patient
        nights and days:
The sacrifice is offered still in secret and alone,
Oh! world, ye do not know them, but He can help
        His own.


-XV-


They are with us, His true soldiers, they come in power
        and might,
Glorious the crown which they shall gain after the
        heavenly fight;
And you, perchance, who scoff, may yet their rest and
        glory share,
As the rich spoil of their battle and the captives of
        their prayer.                                                                60


-XVI-


Oh! who shall tell the wonder of that great day of
        rest,
When even in this place of strife His soldiers are so
        blest:
O World, O Earth, why strive ye? join the low
        chant they sing—
'Oh Grave, where is thy victory!   Oh Death, where
        is thy sting!'

 

___________________

 
THE STAR OF THE SEA

 

HOW many a mighty ship
    The stormy waves o'erwhelm;
Yet our frail bark floats on,
    Our Angel holds the helm:
Dark storms are gathering round,
    And dangerous winds arise,
Yet see! one trembling star
    Is shining in the skies;—
And we are safe who trust in thee,
    Star of the Sea.                                         10

A long and weary voyage
    Have we to reach our home
And dark and sunken rocks
    Are hid in silver foam;
Each moment we may sink,
    But steadily we sail,
Our winged Pilot smiles,
    And says we shall not fail:—
And so we kneel and call on thee,
    Star of the Sea.                                         20

Yes, for those shining rays
    Shall beam upon the main,
Shall guide us safely on,
    Through fear and doubt and pain:
And see—the stormy wind
    Our little sail has caught,
The tempest others fear
    Shall drive us into port:—
Through Life's dark voyage we trust in thee,
    Star of the Sea.                                         30

The shore now looms in sight,
    The far off golden strand,
Yet many a freight is wrecked
    And lost in sight of land;
Then guide us safely home,
    Through that last hour of strife,
And welcome us to land,
    From the long voyage of life:—
In death and life we call on thee,
    Star of the Sea.                                           40

 

___________________

 
THE SACRED HEART

 

WHAT wouldst thou have, O soul
        Thou weary soul?
Lo!   I have sought for rest
On the Earth's heaving breast
        From pole to pole.
Sleep—I have been with her,
        But she gave dreams;
Death—nay, the rest he gives
        Rest only seems.
Fair nature knows it not—            10
        The grass is growing;
The blue air knows it not—
        The winds are blowing:
Not in the changing sky,
        The stormy sea—
Yet somewhere in God's wide world
        Rest there must be.
Within thy Saviour's Heart
        Place all thy care,
And learn, O weary soul,            20
        Thy Rest is there.

What wouldst thou, trembling soul?
        Strength for the strife—
Strength for this fiery war
        That we call Life.
Fears gather thickly round;
        Shadowy foes,
Like unto armed men,
        Around me close.
What am I, frail and poor,            30
        When griefs arise?
No help from the weak earth,
        Or the cold skies.
Lo!   I can find no guards,
        No weapons borrow,
Shrinking, alone I stand,
        With mighty sorrow.
Courage, thou trembling soul,
        Grief thou must bear,
Yet thou canst find a strength     40
        Will match despair:
Within thy Saviour's Heart—
        Seek for it there.

What wouldst thou have, sad soul,
        Oppressed with grief?—
Comfort: I seek in vain,
        Nor find relief.
Nature, all pitiless,
        Smiles on my pain ;
I ask my fellow-men,                    50
        They give disdain.
I asked the babbling streams,
        But they flowed on;
I asked the wise and good,
        But they gave none.
Though I have asked the stars,
        Coldly they shine,
They are too bright to know
        Grief such as mine.
I asked for comfort still,               60
        And I found tears,
And I have sought in vain
        Long, weary years.
Listen, thou mournful soul,
        Thy pain shall cease;
Deep in His sacred Heart,
        Dwells joy and peace.

Yes, in that Heart divine,
        The Angels bright
Find, through eternal years,        70
        Still new delight.
From thence his constancy
        The martyr drew,
And there the virgin band
        Their refuge knew.
There, racked by pain without,
        And dread within,
How many souls have found
        Heaven's bliss begin.
Then leave thy vain attempts      80
        To seek for peace;
The world can never give
        One soul release:
But in thy Saviour's Heart
        Securely dwell,
No pain can harm thee, hid
        In that sweet cell.
Then fly, O coward soul,
        Delay no more,
What words can speak the joy    90
        For thee in store?
What smiles of earth can tell
        Of peace like thine?
Silence and tears are best
        For things divine.

 

___________________

 
THE NAMES OF OUR LADY

 

THROUGH the wide world thy children raise
    Their prayers, and still we see
Calm are the nights and bright the days
    Of those who trust in thee.

Around thy starry crown are wreathed
    So many names divine :
Which is the dearest to my heart,
    And the most worthy thine?

Star of the Sea: we kneel and pray
    When tempests raise their voice;          10
Star of the Sea! the haven reached,
    We call thee and rejoice.

Help of the Christian: in our need
    Thy mighty aid we claim;
If we are faint and weary, then
    We trust in that dear name.

Our Lady of the Rosary:
    What name can be so sweet
As what we call thee when we place
    Our chaplets at thy feet.                         20

Bright Queen of Heaven: when we are sad
    Best solace of our pains;
It tells us though on earth we toil,
    Our Mother lives and reigns.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel: thus
    Sometimes thy name is known;
It tells us of the badge we wear,
    To live or die thine own.

Our Lady dear of Victories:
    We see our faith oppressed,                  30
And praying for our erring land,
    We love that name the best.

Refuge of Sinners: many a soul,
    By guilt cast down, and sin,
Has learned through this dear name of thine,
    Pardon and peace to win.

Health of the Sick: when anxious hearts
    Watch by the sufferer's bed,
On this sweet name of thine they lean,
    Consoled and comforted.                       40

Mother of Sorrows: many a heart
    Half-broken by despair,
Has laid its burthen by the cross,
    And found a mother there.

Queen of all Saints: the Church appeals
    For her loved dead to thee;
She knows they wait in patient pain,
    A bright eternity.

Fair Queen of Virgins: thy pure band,
    The lilies round thy throne,                   50
Love the dear title which they bear
    Most that it is thine own.

True Queen of Martyrs: if we shrink
    From want, or pain, or woe,
We think of the sharp sword that pierced
    Thy heart, and call thee so.

Mary: the dearest name of all,
    The holiest and the best;
The first low word that Jesus lisped
    Laid on His mother's breast.

Mary, the name that Gabriel spoke,
    The name that conquers hell;
Mary, the name that through high heaven,
    The angels love so well.

Mary—our comfort and our hope,
    Oh may that word be given
To be the last we sigh on earth—
    The first we breathe in heaven.               68

 

___________________

 
A CHAPLET OF FLOWERS

 

DEAR, set the casement open,
    The evening breezes blow
Sweet perfumes from the flowers
    I cannot see below.

I can but catch the waving
    Of chestnut boughs that pass,
Their shadow must have covered
    The sun-dial on the grass.

So go and bring the flowers
    I love best to my room,                    10
My failing strength no longer
    Can bear me where they bloom.

You know I used to love them,
    But ah! they come too late—
For see, my hands are trembling
    Beneath their dewy weight.

So I will watch you weaving
    A chaplet for me, dear,
Of all my favourite flowers,
    As I could do last year.                    20

First, take those crimson roses—
    How red their petals glow!
Red as the blood of Jesus,
    Which heals our sin and woe.

See in each heart of crimson
    A deeper crimson shine—
So, in the foldings of our hearts,
    Should glow a love divine.

Next place those tender violets,
    Look how they still regret               30
The cell where they were hidden—
    The tears are on them yet.

How many souls—His loved ones—
    Dwell lonely and apart,
Hiding from all but One above
    The fragrance of their heart.

Then take that virgin lily,
    How holily she stands—
You know the gentle angels
    Bear lilies in their hands.                 40

Yet crowned with purer radiance
    A deeper love they claim,
Because their queen-like whiteness
    Is linked with Mary's name.

And now this spray of ivy:
    You know its gradual clasp
Uproots strong trees, and towers
    Fall crumbling in its grasp.

So God's dear grace around us
    With secret patience clings,            50
And slow sure power, that loosens
    Strong holds on human things.

Then heliotrope, that turneth
    Towards her lord the sun,—
Would that our thoughts as fondly
    Sought our beloved One.

Nay—if that branch be fading,
    Cast not one blossom by,
Its little task is ended
    And it does well to die.                   60

And let some field flowers even
    Be wreathed among the rest,
I think the infant Jesus
    Would love such ones the best.

These flowers are all too brilliant,
    So place calm heartsease there,
God's last and sacred treasure
    For all who wait and bear.

Then lemon leaves, whose sweetness
    Grows sweeter than before              70
When bruised, and crushed, and broken,
    —Hearts need that lesson more.

Yet stay—one crowning glory,
    All His, and yet all ours;
The dearest, tenderest thought of all,
    Is still the Passion flower's.

So take it now—nay, heed not
    My tears that on it fall;
I thank Him for the flowers,
    As I can do for all.                             80

And place it on the altar,
    Where oft in days long flown,
I knelt by His dear Mother,
    And knew she was my own.

The bells ring out her praises,
    The evening shades grow dim;
Go there and say a prayer for me,
    And sing Our Lady's hymn.

While I lie here, and ask her help
    In that last, longed-for day—            90
When the Beloved of my heart
    Will call my soul away.

 

___________________

 
KYRIE ELEISON

 

IN joy, in pain; in sorrow,
    Father, Thy hand we see;
But some among Thy children
    Deny this faith and Thee.
They will not ask Thy mercy,
    But we kneel for them in prayer
Are they not still Thy children?
    Pity, O God! and spare.
Thy peace, O Lord, has never
    On their desolate pathway shone,   10
Darkness is all around them :
    Kyrie Eleison!

For them, the starry heavens
    No hymn of worship raise;
For them, earth's innocent flowers
    Breathe not Thy silent praise;
In heaven they know no Saviour,
    No Father, and no Friend,
And life is all they hope for,
    And death they call the end;             20
Their eyes, O Lord! are blinded
    To the glories of the sun,
To the shining of the sea star—
    Kyrie Eleison !

By the love thy saints have shown Thee,
    And the sorrows they have borne,
Leave not these erring creatures
    To wander thus forlorn.
By Thy tender name of Saviour,—
    The name they have denied;            30
By Thy bitter death and passion,
    And the Cross which they deride;
By the anguish Thou hast suffered,
    And the glory Thou hast won;
By Thy love and by Thy pity—
    Christe Eleison!

Pray for them, glorious seraphs,
    And ye, bright angel band,
Who chant His praises ever,
    And in His presence stand;               40
And thou, O gentle Mother,
    Queen of the starry sky;
Ye Saints whose toils are over,
    Join your voices to our cry—
In Thy terror or Thy mercy,
    Call them ere life is done,
For His sake who died to save them,
    Kyrie Eleison!                                     48

 

___________________

 
THE ANNUNCIATION

 

HOW pure, and frail, and white,
        The snowdrops shine!
Gather a garland bright
        For Mary's shrine.

For, born of winter snows,
        These fragile flowers
Are gifts to our fair Queen
        From Spring's first hours.

For on this blessed day
        She knelt at prayer;            10
When, lo! before her shone
        An Angel fair.

'Hail, Mary!' thus he cried,
        With reverent fear:
She, with sweet wondering eyes,
        Marvelled to hear.

Be still, ye clouds of Heaven!
        Be silent, Earth!
And hear an Angel tell
        Of Jesus' birth.                    20

While she, whom Gabriel hails
        As full of grace,
Listens with humble faith
        In her sweet face.

Be still—Pride, War, and Pomp,
        Vain Hopes, vain Fears,
For now an Angel speaks,
        And Mary hears.

'Hail, Mary!' lo, it rings
        Through ages on;               30
'Hail, Mary! ' it shall sound,
        Till Time is done.

'Hail, Mary!' infant lips
        Lisp it to-day;
'Hail, Mary!' with faint smile
        The dying say;

'Hail, Mary!' many a heart
        Broken with grief,
In that angelic prayer,
        Has found relief.                40

And many a half-lost soul
        When turned at bay,
With those triumphant words
        Has won the day.

'Hail, Mary, Queen of Heaven!'
        Let us repeat,
And place our snowdrop wreath
        Here at her feet.                  48

 

___________________

 
AN APPEAL

'The Irish Church Mission for Converting the Catholics.'

 

SPARE her, O cruel England!
    Thy Sister lieth low;
Chained and oppressed she lieth,
    Spare her that cruel blow.
We ask not for the freedom
    Heaven has vouchsafed to thee,
Nor bid thee share with Ireland
    The empire of the sea;

Her children ask no shelter—
    Leave them the stormy sky;          10
They ask not for thy harvests,
    For they know how to die;
Deny them, if it please thee,
    A grave beneath the sod—
But we do cry, O England,
    Leave them their faith in God!
Take, if thou wilt, the earnings
    Of the poor peasant's toil,
Take all the scanty produce
    That grows on Irish soil,                20
To pay the alien preachers
    Whom Ireland will not hear,
To pay the scoffers at a Creed
    Which Irish hearts hold dear:
But leave them, cruel England,
    The gift their God has given,
Leave them their ancient worship,
    Leave them their faith in Heaven.

You come and offer Learning—
    A mighty gift, 'tis true;                   30
Perchance the greatest blessing
    That now is known to you—
But not to see the wonders
    Sages of old beheld,
Can they peril a priceless treasure,
    The Faith their Fathers held;
For in learning and in science
    They may forget to pray
God will not ask for knowledge
    On the great judgement day.           40
When, in their wretched cabins,
    Racked by the fever pain,
And the weak cries of their children
    Who ask for food in vain;
When starving, naked, helpless,
    From the shed that keeps them warm
Man has driven them forth to perish,
    In a less cruel form;

Then, then, we plead for mercy,
    Then, Sister, hear our cry!                 50
For all we ask, O England,
    Is—leave them there to die!
Cursed is the food and raiment
    For which a soul is sold;
Tempt not another Judas
    To barter God for gold.
You offer food and shelter
    If they their faith deny:
What do you gain, O England,
    By such a shallow lie? . . .                 60
We will not judge the tempted,
    May God blot out their shame,
He sees the misery round them,
    He knows man's feeble frame;
His pity still may save them,
    In His strength they must trust
Who calls us all His children,
    Yet knows we are but dust.

Then leave them the kind tending
    Which helped their childish years; 70
Leave them the gracious comfort
    Which dries the mourner's tears;
Leave them to that great mother
    In whose bosom they were born;
Leave them the holy mysteries
    That comfort the forlorn
And, amid all their trials,
    Let the Great Gift abide,
Which you, O prosperous England,
    Have dared to cast aside.                 80
Leave them the pitying Angels,
    And Mary's gentle aid,
For which earth's dearest treasures
    Were not too dearly paid.
Take back your bribes, then, England,
    Your gold is black and dim,
And if God sends plague and famine
    They can die and go to Him.

 

___________________

 
THE JUBILEE OF 1850


    [The titles of the 'Island of Saints' and the 'Dower of Our Lady',
though more frequently applied to Ireland, were often given to
England in former times.]

 

BLESS God, ye happy Lands,
    For your more favoured lot:
Our England dwells apart,
    Yet oh, forget her not.
While, with united joy,
    This day you all adore,
Remember what she was,
    Though her voice is heard no more.
            Pray for our desolate land,
            Left in her pride and power:    10
            She was the Isle of Saints,
            She was Our Lady's Dower.

Look on her ruined Altars;
    HE dwelleth there no more :
Think what her empty churches
    Have been in times of yore;
She knows the names no longer
    Of her own sainted dead,
Denies the faith they held,
    And the cause for which they bled. 20
            Then pray for our desolate land,
            Left in her pride and power
            She was the Isle of Saints,
            She was Our Lady's Dower.

'Pray that her vast Cathedrals,
    Deserted, empty, bare,
May once more echo accents
    Of Love, and Faith, and Prayer;
That the holy sign may bless us,
    On wood, and field, and plain,        30
And Jesus, Mary, Joseph,
    May dwell with us again.
            Pray, ye more faithful nations,
            In this most happy hour:
            She was the Isle of Saints,
            She was Our Lady's Dower.

Beg of our Lord to give her
    The gift she cast aside,
And in His mercy pardon
    Her faithlessness and pride:             40
Pray to her Saints, who worship
    Before God's mercy Throne;
Look where our Queen is dwelling,
    Ask her to claim her own,
            To give her the proud titles
            Lost in an evil hour—
            She was the Isle of Saints,
            She was Our Lady's Dower.     48

 

___________________

 
CHRISTMAS FLOWERS

 

THE Earth is so bleak and deserted,
        So cold the winds blow,
That no bud or no blossom will venture
        To peep from below;
But, longing for Spring time, they nestle
        Deep under the snow.

Oh, in May how we honoured Our Lady,
        Her own month of flowers:
How happy we were with our garlands
        Through all the spring hours!                            10
All her shrines, in the church or the wayside,
        Were made into bowers.

And in August—her glorious Assumption;
        What feast was so bright!
What clusters of virginal lilies,
        So pure and so white!
Why the incense could scarce overpower
        Their perfume that night.

And through her dear feasts of October
        The roses bloomed still;                                      20
Our baskets were laden with flowers,
        Her vases to fill:
Oleanders, geraniums, and myrtles,
        We chose at our will.

And we know when the Purification,
        Her first feast, comes round,
The early spring flowers, to greet it,
        Just opening are found;
And pure, white, and spotless, the snowdrop
        Will pierce the dark ground.                              30

And now, in this dreary December,
        Our glad hearts are fain
To see if Earth comes not to help us;
        We seek all in vain:
Not the tiniest blossom is coming
        Till Spring breathes again.

And the bright feast of Christmas is dawning,
        And Mary is blest;
For now she will give us her Jesus,
        Our dearest, our best,                                          40
And see where she stands—the Maid-Mother,
        Her Babe on her breast !

And not one poor garland to give her,
        And yet now, behold,
How the Kings bring their gifts—myrrh, and incense,
        And bars of pure gold:
And the Shepherds have brought for the Baby
        Some lambs from their fold.

He stretches His tiny hands towards us,
        He brings us all grace;                                         50
And look at His Mother who holds Him
        The smile on her face
Says they welcome the humblest gifts
        In the manger we place.

Where love takes, let love give; and so doubt not:
        Love counts but the will,
And the heart has its flowers of devotion
        No Winter can chill,
They who cared for 'good will' that first Christmas
        Will care for it still.                                              60

In the Chaplet on Jesus and Mary,
        From our hearts let us call,
At each Ave Maria we whisper
        A rosebud shall fall—
And at each Gloria Patri a Lily,
        The crown of them all!                                        66

___________________

 
A DESIRE

OH, to have dwelt in Bethlehem
    When the star of the Lord shone bright!
To have sheltered the holy wanderers
    On that blessed Christmas night;
To have kissed the tender wayworn feet
    Of the mother undefiled,
And with reverent wonder and deep delight,
    To have tended the Holy Child!

Hush! such a glory was not for thee;
    But that care may still be thine;                      10
For are there not little ones still to aid
    For the sake of the Child divine?
Are there no wandering Pilgrims now,
    To thy heart and thy home to take
And are there no Mothers whose weary hearts
    You can comfort for Mary's sake?

Oh, to have knelt at Jesus' feet,
    And have learnt His heavenly lore!
To have listened the gentle lessons He taught
    On mountain, and sea, and shore!                 20
While the rich and the mighty knew Him not,
    To have meekly done His will:—
Hush! for the worldly reject Him yet,
    You can serve and love Him still.
Time cannot silence His mighty words,
    And though ages have fled away,
His gentle accents of love divine
    Speak to your soul to-day.

Oh, to have solaced that weeping one
    Whom the righteous dared despise!             30
To have tenderly bound up her scattered hair,
    And have dried her tearful eyes!
Hush! there are broken hearts to soothe,
    And penitent tears to dry,
While Magdalen prays for you and them,
    From her home in the starry sky.

Oh, to have followed the mournful way
    Of those faithful few forlorn!
And grace, beyond even an angel's hope,
    The Cross for our Lord have borne.              40
To have shared in His tender mother's grief,
    To have wept at Mary's side,
To have lived as a child in her home, and then
    In her loving care have died!

Hush! and with reverent sorrow still,
    Mary's great anguish share;
And learn, for the sake of her Son divine,
    Thy cross, like His to bear.
The sorrows that weigh on thy soul unite
    With those which thy Lord has borne,          50
And Mary will comfort thy dying hour,
    Nor leave thy soul forlorn.

Oh, to have seen what we now adore,
    And, though veiled to faithless sight,
To have known, in the form that Jesus wore,
    The Lord of Life and Light!
Hush! for He dwells among us still,
    And a grace can yet be thine,
Which the scoffer and doubter can never know—
    The Presence of the Divine.                            60
Jesus is with His children yet,
    For His word can never deceive;
Go where His lowly Altars rise,
    And worship, and believe.

___________________

 
OUR DAILY BREAD

GIVE us our daily Bread,
    O God, the bread of strength!
For we have learnt to know
    How weak we are at length.
As children we are weak,
    As children must be fed—
Give us Thy grace, O Lord,
    To be our daily Bread.

Give us our daily Bread:—
    The bitter bread of grief.         10
We sought earth's poisoned feasts
    For pleasure and relief;
We sought her deadly fruits;
    But now, O God, instead,
We ask Thy healing grief
    To be our daily Bread.

Give us our daily Bread
    To cheer our fainting soul;
The feast of comfort, Lord,
    And peace, to make us whole:   20
For we are sick of tears,
    The useless tears we shed;—
Now give us comfort, Lord,
    To be our daily Bread.

Give us our daily Bread,
    The Bread of Angels, Lord,
By us, so many times,
    Broken, betrayed, adored:
His Body and His Blood;—
    The feast that Jesus spread:        30
Give Him—our life, our all—
    To be our daily Bread!

___________________

 
THREEFOLD

MOTHER of grace and mercy,
    Behold how burthens three
Weigh down my weary spirit,
    And drive me here—to Thee.
Three gifts I place for ever
    Before thy shrine:
The threefold offering of my love,
    Mary, to thine!

The Past: with all its memories,
    Of pain—that stings me yet;    10
Of sin—that brought repentance;
    Of joy-that brought regret.
That which has been:—for ever
    So bitter-sweet—
I lay in humblest offering
    Before thy feet.

The Present: that dark shadow
    Through which we toil to-day;
The slow drops of the chalice
    That must not pass away.       20
Mother—I dare not struggle,
    Still less despair:
I place my Present in thy hands
    And leave it there.

The Future: holding all things
    Which I can hope or fear,
Brings sin and pain, it may be,
    Nearer and yet more near.
Mother! this doubt and shrinking
    Will not depart,                        30
Unless I trust my Future
    To thy dear Heart.

Making the Past my lesson,
    Guiding the Present right,
Ruling the misty Future—
    Bless them and me to-night.
What may be, and what must be,
    And what has been,
In thy dear care for ever
    I leave, my Queen!                  40

___________________

 
CONFIDO ET CONQUIESCO

'Scit;  potest;  vult: quid est quod timeamus?'

S. IGNATIUS.

FRET not, poor soul: while doubt and fear
              Disturb thy breast,
The pitying angels, who can see
How vain thy wild regret must be,
              Say, Trust and Rest.

Plan not, nor scheme—but calmly wait;
              His choice is best.
While blind and erring is thy sight,
His wisdom sees and judges right,
              So Trust and Rest.                       10

Strive not, nor struggle: thy poor might
              Can never wrest
The meanest thing to serve thy will;
All power is His alone:   Be still,
              And Trust and Rest.

Desire not: self-love is strong
              Within thy breast;
And yet He loves thee better still,
So let Him do His loving will,
              And Trust and Rest.                    20

What dost thou fear?   His wisdom reigns
              Supreme confessed;
His power is infinite;   His love
Thy deepest, fondest dreams above—
              So Trust and Rest.

___________________

 
ORA PRO ME

AVE MARIA! bright and pure,
    Hear, oh hear me when I pray!
Pains and pleasures try the pilgrim
    On his long and weary way;
Fears and perils are around me,—
              Ora pro me.

Mary; see my heart is burdened,
    Take, oh take the weight away,
Or help me, that I may not murmur
    If it is a cross you lay                       10
On my weak and trembling heart—but
              Ora pro me.

Mary, Mary, Queen of Heaven!
    Teach, oh! teach me to obey:
Lead me on, though fierce temptations
    Stand and meet me in the way;
When I fail and faint, my mother,
              Ora pro me.

Then shall I—if thou, O Mary,
    Art my strong support and stay—  20
Fear nor feel the threefold danger
    Standing forth in dread array;
Now and ever shield and guard me,
              Ora pro me.

When my eyes are slowly closing,
    And I fade from earth away,
And when Death, the stern destroyer,
    Claims my body as his prey—
Claim my soul and then, sweet Mary,
              Ora pro me.                            30

___________________

 
THE CHURCH IN 1849

OH, mighty Mother, hearken! for thy foes
    Gather around thee, and exulting cry
    That thine old strength is gone and thou must die,
Pointing with fierce rejoicing to thy woes.
And is it so?   The raging whirlwind blows
    No stronger now than it has done of yore:
    Rebellion, strife, and sin have been before;
The same companions whom thy Master chose.
We too rejoice: we know thy might is more
    When to the world thy glory seemeth dim;         10
Nor can Hell's gates prevail to conquer Thee,
    Who hearest over all the voice of Him
Who chose thy first and greatest Prince should be
A fisher on the Lake of Galilee.

___________________

 
FISHERS OF MEN

THE boats are out and the storm is high,
    We kneel on the shore and pray :
The Star of the Sea shines still in the sky,
    And God is our help and stay.

The fishers are weak, and the tide is strong,
    And their boat seems slight and frail—
But St. Peter has steered it for them so long,
    It would weather a rougher gale.

St. John the Beloved sails with them too,
    And his loving words they hear;                           10
So with tender trust the boat's brave crew
    Neither doubt, or pause, or fear.

He who sent them fishing is with them still,
    And He bids them cast their net ;
And He has the power their boat to fill,
    So we know He will do it yet.

They have cast their nets again and again,
    And now call to us on shore ;
If our feeble prayers seem only in vain,
    We will pray and pray the more.                          20

Though the storm is loud, and our voice is drowned
    By the roar of the wind and sea,
We know that more terrible tempests found
    Their ruler, O Lord, in Thee!

See, they do not pause, they are toiling on,
    Yet they cast a loving glance
On the star above, and ever anon
    Look up through the blue expanse.

O Mary, listen! for danger is nigh,
    And we know thou art near us then;                     30
For thy Son's dear servants to thee we cry,
    Sent out as fishers of men.

Oh watch—as of old thou didst watch the boat
    On the Galilean lake—
And grant that the fishers may keep afloat
    Till the nets, o'ercharged, shall break.

___________________

 
THE OLD YEAR'S BLESSING

I AM fading from you,
    But one draweth near,
Called the Angel-guardian
    Of the coming year.

If my gifts and graces
    Coldly you forget,
Let the New Year's Angel
    Bless and crown them yet.

For we work together;
    He and I are one:                      10
Let him end and perfect
    All I leave undone.

I brought Good Desires,
    Though as yet but seeds;
Let the New Year make them
    Blossom into Deeds.

I brought Joy to brighten
    Many happy days;
Let the New Year's Angel
    Turn it into Praise.                       20

If I gave you Sickness,
    If I brought you Care,
Let him make one Patience,
    And the other Prayer.

Where I brought you Sorrow,
    Through his care, at length,
It may rise triumphant
    Into future Strength.

If I brought you Plenty,
    All wealth's bounteous charms, 30
Shall not the New Angel
    Turn them into Alms?

I gave Health and Leisure,
    Skill, to dream and plan,
Let him make them nobler;
    Work for God and Man.

If I broke your Idols,
    Showed you they were dust,
Let him turn the Knowledge
    Into heavenly Trust.                     40

If I brought Temptation,
    Let sin die away
Into boundless Pity
    For all hearts that stray.

If your list of Errors
    Dark and long appears,
Let this new-born Monarch
    Melt them into Tears.

May you hold this Angel
    Dearer than the last,—                  50
So I bless his Future,
    While he crowns my Past.

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