St. Philip and St. James

Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: but the
rich in that he is made low. St. James i. 9. 10.

~The Rev. John Keble


DEAR is the morning gale of spring,
And dear th’ autumnal eve;
But few delights can summer bring
A Poet’s crown to weave.

Her bowers are mute, her fountains dry,
And ever Fancy’s wing
Speed’s from beneath her cloudless sky
To autumn or to spring.

Sweet is the infant’s waking smile,
And sweet the old man’s rest—
But middle age by no fond wile,
No soothing calm is blest.

Still in the world’s hot restless gleam
She plies her weary task,
While vainly for some pleasant dream
Her wandering glances ask.—

O shame upon thee, listless heart,
So sad a sigh to heave,
As if thy SAVIOUR had no part
In thoughts, that make thee grieve.

As if along His lonesome way
He had not borne for thee
Sad languors through the summer day,
Storms on the wintry sea.

Youth’s lightning flash of joy secure
Passed seldom o’er His spright,—
A well of serious thought and pure.
Too deep for earthly light.

No spring was His—no fairy gleam—
For He by trial knew
How cold and bare what mortals dream,
To worlds where all is true.

Then grudge not thou the anguish keen
Which makes thee like thy LORD,
And learn to quit with eye serene
Thy youth’s ideal hoard.

Thy treasured hopes and raptures high—
Unmurmuring let them go,
Nor grieve the bliss should quickly fly
Which CHRIST disdained to know.

Thou shalt have joy in sadness soon;
The pure, calm hope be thine,
Which brightens, like the eastern moon,
As day’s wild lights decline.

Thus souls, by nature pitched too high,
By sufferings plunged too low,
Meet in the Church’s middle sky,
Half way ’twixt joy and woe,

To practise there the soothing lay
That sorrow best relieves;
Thankful for all God takes away,
Humbled by all He glass.