Page images
PDF
EPUB

O soft, self-wounding Pelican,1
Whose breast weeps balm for wounded man:
Ah, this way bend Thy benign flood
To a bleeding heart that gasps for blood.
That blood, whose least drops sovereign be
To wash my worlds of sins from me.

Come Love! come Lord! and that long day For which I languish, come away. When this dry soul those eyes shall see, And drink the unseal'd source of Thee: When Glory's sun, Faith's shades shall chase, And for Thy veil give me Thy face. Amen.

LAUDA SION SALVATOREM

THE HYMN FOR THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

I

RISE, royal Sion! rise and sing

Thy soul's kind Shepherd, thy heart's King. Stretch all thy powers; call if you can Harps of heaven to hands of man. This sovereign subject sits above The best ambition of thy love.

II

Lo, the Bread of Life, this day's
Triumphant text, provokes thy praise;
The Living and Life-giving Bread,
To the great twelve distributed;
When Life, Himself, at point to die
Of love, was His Own legacy.

1 An emblem of Christ: so used by Dante.

III

Come, Love and let us work a song
Loud and pleasant, sweet and long;
Let lips and hearts lift high the noise
Of so just and solemn joys,
Which on His white brows this bright day
Shall hence for ever bear away.

IV

Lo, the new law of a new Lord,
With a new Lamb blesses the board:
The agèd Pascha pleads not years,
But spies Love's dawn, and disappears.
Types yield to truths; 1 shades shrink away;
And their Night dies into our Day.

V

But lest that die too, we are bid
Ever to do what He once did:
And by a mindful, mystic breath,
That we may live, revive His Death;
With a well-bless'd Bread and Wine,
Transumed,2 and taught to turn Divine.

VI

The Heaven-instructed house of Faith
Here a holy dictate hath,

That they but lend their form and face;
Themselves with reverence leave their place,

1 Cf. "Et antiquum documentum novo cedat ritui " of the "Tantum Ergo."

2 Changed, converted.

Nature, and name, to be made good,
By a nobler Bread, more needful Blood.

VII

Where Nature's laws no leave will give,
Bold Faith takes heart, and dares believe
In different Species: name not things,
Himself to me my Saviour brings;
As meat in that, as drink in this,
But still in both one Christ He is.

VIII

The receiving mouth here makes

Nor wound nor breach in What he takes. Let one, or one thousand be

Here dividers, single he

Bears home no less, all they no more,
Nor leave they both less than before.

IX

Though in Itself this sov'reign Feast
Be all the same to every guest,
Yet on the same (life-meaning) Bread
The child of death eats himself dead:
Nor is't Love's fault, but Sin's dire skill
That thus from Life can death distil.

X

When the blest Signs thou broke shalt see,
Hold but thy faith entire as He,
Who, howsoe'er clad, cannot come
Less than whole Christ in every crumb.

In broken forms a stable Faith
Untouch'd her precious total hath.

XI

Lo, the Life-food of angels then
Bow'd to the lowly mouths of men ;
The children's Bread, the Bridegroom's Wine,
Not to be cast to dogs or swine.

XII

Lo, the full, final Sacrifice

On which all figures fix'd their eyes:
The ransom'd Isaac, and his ram;
The manna, and the paschal lamb.

XIII

Jesu Master, just and true,

Our Food, and faithful Shepherd too;
O by Thyself vouchsafe to keep,

As with Thyself Thou feed'st Thy sheep.

XIV

O let that love which thus makes Thee
Mix with our low mortality,
Lift our lean souls, and set us up
Convictors of Thine Own full cup,
Coheirs of Saints. That so all may

Drink the same wine; and the same way:

Not change the pasture, but the place,
To feed of Thee in Thine Own Face. Amen.

PRAYER

AN ODE WHICH WAS PREFIXED TO A LITTLE PRAYERBOOK GIVEN TO A YOUNG GENTLEWOMAN

L
O here a little volume, but great book!
(Fear it not, sweet,
It is no hypocrite),

Much larger in itself than in its look.
A nest of new-born sweets;
Whose native fires disdaining

To lie thus folded, and complaining
Of these ignoble sheets,
Affect more comely bands
(Fair one) from thy kind hands;
And confidently look
To find the rest

Of a rich binding in your breast.
It is, in one choice handful, Heaven and all
Heaven's royal host; encamp'd thus small
To prove that true, Schools use to tell,
Ten thousand angels in one point can dwell.
It is Love's great artillery

Which here contracts itself, and comes to lie
Close-couch'd in your white bosom; and from

thence,

As from a snowy fortress of defence,

Against the ghostly foes to take your part,

And fortify the hold of your chaste heart.

It is an armoury of light;

Let constant use but keep it bright,
You'll find it yields,

« PreviousContinue »