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The Antiphon

O sad, sweet Tree,
Woeful and joyful we

Both weep and sing in shade of thee.
When the dear nails did lock

And graft into thy gracious stock
The hope, the health,
The worth, the wealth

Of all the ransomed World, Thou hadst the power (In that propitious hour)

To poise each precious limb,

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And prove how light the World was, when it weighed with Him.

The Versicle

Wide mayest thou spread

Thine arms, and with Thy bright and blissful head
O'erlook all Libanus.1 Thy lofty crown
The King Himself is, thou His humble throne,
Where yielding and yet conquering He
Proved a new path of patient victory :
When wondering Death by death was slain,
And our Captivity His captive ta'en.

Lo, we adore Thee,

Dread Lamb, and bow thus low before Thee.

The Responsory

'Cause by the covenant of Thy cross

Thou hast saved at once the whole World's loss.

1 The mountains of Libanus are to the extreme north of Palestine, and famous for cedars. This probably 'means that the Cross having borne our Saviour is greater than all other trees.

The Prayer

O Lord JESU CHRIST, Son of the living God, etc.

COMPLINE

The Versicle

LORD, by Thy sweet and saving Sign,

The Responsory

Defend us from our foes and Thine. V. Thou shalt open my lips, O Lord,

R. And my mouth shall shew forth Thy praise. V. O God, make speed to save me.›

R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

V. Glory be, etc.

R. As it was, etc.

THE HYMN

The Compline hour comes last, to call
Us to our own lives' funeral.

Ah, heartless task! yet Hope takes head,
And lives in Him that here lies dead.

Run, Mary, run! bring hither all the blest
Arabia,1 for thy Royal Phoenix' nest;

Pour on thy noblest sweets, which, when they touch
This sweeter Body, shall indeed be such.

But must Thy bed, Lord, be a borrowed grave,
Who lend'st to all things all the life they have?
O rather use this heart, thus far a fitter stone,
'Cause, though a hard and cold one, yet it is Thine

Amen.

own.

1 Cf. "All the perfumes of Arabia "—Macbeth; and John xii. 3.

The Antiphon

O save us then,
Merciful King of men!

Since Thou wouldst needs be thus

A Saviour, and at such a rate,1 for us;
Save us, O save us, Lord.

We now will own no shorter wish, nor name a

narrower word;

Thy Blood bids us be bold,

Thy Wounds give us fair hold,
Thy Sorrows chide our shame :

Thy Cross, Thy Nature, and Thy Name
Advance our claim,

And cry with one accord,

Save them, O save them, Lord!

THE RECOMMENDATION

These Hours, and that which hovers o'er my end, Into Thy hands and heart, Lord, I commend.

Take both to Thine account, that I and mine,
In that hour and in these, may be all Thine.

That as I dedicate my devoutest breath
To make a kind of life for my Lord's death,

So from His living, and life-giving death,
My dying life may draw a new and never fleeting

breath.

1 Terrible payment, price.

VEXILLA REGIS

THE HYMN OF THE HOLY CROSS

I

L

OOK up, languishing soul! Lo, where the fair
Badge of thy Faith calls back thy care,
And bids thee ne'er forget

Thy life is one long debt

Of love to Him, Who on this painful Tree 1
Paid back the flesh He took for thee.

II

Lo, how the streams of life, from that full nest,
Of loves, Thy Lord's too liberal breast,

Flow in an amorous flood

Of water wedding blood.

With these He wash'd thy stain, transferr'd thy

smart,

And took it home to His own Heart.

III

But though great Love, greedy of such sad gain, Usurp'd the portion of thy pain,

And from the nails and spear Turn'd the steel point of fear: Their use is changed, not lost; and

move

Not stings of wrath, but wounds of love. 1 Cross.

now they

IV

Tall Tree of life! thy truth makes good
What was till now ne'er understood,
Though the prophetic king
Struck loud his faithful string:

It was thy wood he meant should make the throne
For a more than Solomon.

V

Large throne of Love, royally spread
With purple of too rich a red,

Thy crime is too much duty,
Thy burthen too much beauty.
Glorious or grievous more? thus to make good
Thy costly excellence with thy King's own blood.

VI

Even balance of both worlds; our world of sin,
And that of grace, Heaven weighed in Him:
Us with our price thou weighedst;
Our price for us thou payedst,
Soon as the right-hand scale rejoiced to prove
How much Death weigh'd more light than Love.

VII

:

Hail, our alone hope! let thy fair head shoot
Aloft, and fill the nations with thy noble fruit
The while our hearts and we
Thus graft ourselves on thee,

Grow thou and they. And be thy fair increase
The sinner's pardon and the just man's peace.

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