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John Keble

Peace is the first thing the angels sang.

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And help us, this and every day, to live more nearly as we pray.

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As fire kindled by fire, so is the poet's mind kindled by contact with a brother poet.

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Blest are the pure in heart

Blest are the pure in heart,
For they shall see our God;
The secret of the Lord is theirs;
Their soul is Christ’s abode.

The Lord, Who left the heavens
Our life and peace to bring,
To dwell in lowliness with men
Their Pattern and their King.

Still to the lowly soul
He doth Himself impart;
And for His dwelling and His throne
Chooseth the pure in heart.

Lord, we Thy presence seek;
May ours this blessing be;
Give us a pure and lowly heart,
A temple meet for Thee.

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Holy Matrimony

The voice that breathed o'er Eden,
That earliest wedding day
The primal marriage blessing,
It hath not passed away.
Still in the pure espousal
Of Christian man and maid,
The holy Three are with us,
The threefold grace is said.

Be present, aweful Father,
To give away this bride,
As Eve thou gav'st to Adam
Out of his own pierced side:

Be present, Son of Mary,
To join their loving hands,
As thou didst bind two natures
In thine eternal bands!

Be present, holiest Spirit,

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Sun of My Soul

Sun of my soul, Thou Savior dear,
It is not night if Thou be near;
O may no earthborn cloud arise
To hide Thee from Thy servant’s eyes.

When the soft dews of kindly sleep
My wearied eyelids gently steep,
Be my last thought, how sweet to rest
Forever on my Savior’s breast.

Abide with me from morn till eve,
For without Thee I cannot live;
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without Thee I dare not die.

If some poor wandering child of Thine
Has spurned today the voice Divine,
Now, Lord, the gracious work begin;
Let him no more lie down in sin.

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November

Red o’er the forest peers the setting sun;
The line of yellow light dies fast away
That crown’d the eastern copse; and chill and dun
Falls on the moor the brief November day.

Now the tired hunter winds a parting note,
And Echo bids good-night from every glade;
Yet wait awhile and see the calm leaves float
Each to his rest beneath their parent shade.

How like decaying life they seem to glide
And yet no second spring have they in store;
And where they fall, forgotten to abide
Is all their portion, and they ask no more.

Soon o’er their heads blithe April airs shall sing,
A thousand wild-flowers round them shall unfold,
The green buds glisten in the dews of Spring,
And all be vernal rapture as of old.

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St. Johns Day

"Lord, and what shall this man do?"
Ask'st thou, Christian, for thy friend?
If his love for Christ be true,
Christ hath told thee of his end:
This is he whom God approves,
This is he whom Jesus loves.

Ask not of him more than this,
Leave it in his Saviour's breast,
Whether, early called to bliss,
He in youth shall find his rest,
Or armed in his station wait
Till his Lord be at the gate:

Whether in his lonely course
(Lonely, not forlorn) he stay,
Or with Love's supporting force
Cheat the toil, and cheer the way:
Leave it all in His high hand,
Who doth hearts as streams command.

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Churching Of Women

Is there, in bowers of endless spring,
One known from all the seraph band
By softer voice, by smile and wing
More exquisitely bland!
Here let him speed: to-day this hallowed air
Is fragrant with a mother's first and fondest prayer.

Only let Heaven her fire impart,
No richer incense breathes on earth:
"A spouse with all a daughter's heart,"
Fresh from the perilous birth,
To the great Father lifts her pale glad eye,
Like a reviving flower when storms are hushed on high.

Oh, what a treasure of sweet thought
Is here! what hope and joy and love
All in one tender bosom brought,
For the all-gracious Dove
To brood o'er silently, and form for Heaven
Each passionate wish and dream to dear affection given.

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St. Mark's Day

Oh! who shall dare in this frail scene
On holiest happiest thoughts to lean,
On Friendship, Kindred, or on Love?
Since not Apostles' hands can clasp
Each other in so firm a grasp
But they shall change and variance prove.

Yet deem not, on such parting sad
Shall dawn no welcome dear and glad:
Divided in their earthly race,
Together at the glorious goal,
Each leading many a rescued soul,
The faithful champions shall embrace.

For e'en as those mysterious Four,
Who the bright whirling wheels upbore
By Chebar in the fiery blast.
So, on their tasks of love and praise
This saints of God their several ways
Right onward speed, yet join at last.

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