St. Simon and St. Jude

  That ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once
delivered unto the saints. St. Jude 3.

~The Rev. John Keble


SEEST thou, how tearful and alone,
And drooping like a wounded dove,
The Cross in sight, but Jesus gone,
The widowed Church is fain to rove?

Who is at hand that loves the Lord?
Make haste, and take her home, and bring
Thine household choir, in true accord
Their soothing hymns for her to sing.

Soft on her fluttering heart shall breathe
The fragrance of that genial isle,
There she may weave her funeral wreath,
And to her own sad music smile.

The Spirit of the dying Son
Is there, and fills the holy place
With records sweet of duties done,
Of pardoned foes, and cherished grace.

And as of old by two and two
His herald saints the Saviour sent
To soften hearts like morning dew,
Where he to shine in mercy meant;

So evermore He deems His name
Best honoured and his way prepared,
When watching by his altar-flame
He sees His servants duly paired.

He loves when age and youth are met,
Fervent old age and youth serene,
Their high and low in concord set
For sacred song, Joy’s golden mean.

He loves when some clear soaring mind
Is drawn by mutual piety
To simple souls and unrefined,
Who in life’s shadiest covert lie.

Or if perchance a saddened heart
That once was gay and felt the spring,
Cons slowly o’er its altered part,
In sorrow and remorse to sing,

Thy gracious care will send that way
Some spirit full of glee, yet taught
To bear the sight of dull decay,
And nurse it with all-pitying thought;

Cheerful as soaring lark, and mild
As evening blackbird’s full-toned lay,
When the relenting sun has smiled
Bright through a whole December day.

These are the tones to brace and cheer
The lonely watcher of the fold,
When nights are dark, and foeman near,
When visions fade and hearts grow cold.

How timely then a comrade’s song
Comes floating on the mountain air,
And bids thee yet be bold and strong—
Fancy may die, but Faith is there.