The Church in Prayer--Hymns for Matins, Saturday


Why loiterest within Simon's walls,

Hard by the barren sea,
Thou Saint! when many a sinner calls

To preach and set him free?

Can this be he, who erst confess'd

For Christ affection keen, Now truant in untimely rest,

The mood of an Essene?

Yet he who at the sixth hour sought

The lone house-top to pray, There gain'd a sight beyond his thought,

The dawn of Gentile day.

Then reckon not, when perils lour,
The time of prayer mis-spent;

Nor meanest chance, nor place, nor hour,
Without its heavenward bent.

Off Sardinia. June2i,


"From His mouth came out a sharp two-edged sword."

When first God stirr'd me, and the Church's


Came as a theme of reverent search and fear,
It little cost to own the lustre clear
O ei rule she taught, and rite, and doctrine


For conscience craved, and reason did accord. Yet one there was that wore a mien austere, And I did doubt, and, troubled, ask'd to hear Whose mouth had force to edge so sharp a


My mother oped her trust, the holy Book; And healed my pang. She pointed, and I


Christ on Himself, considerate Master, took The utterance ol that doctrine's fearful sound. The Fount of Love His servants sends to tell Love s deeds; Himself reveals the sinner's

hell. Off Sardinia. June 2i, 1833 PUSILLANIMITY.

'' I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?"

How didst thou start, Thou Holy Baptist, bid

To pour repentance on the Sinless Brow! Then all thy meekness, from thy hearers hid, Beneath the Ascetic's port, and Preacher's


Flow'd forth, and with a pang thou didst desire

He might be chief, not thou.

And so on us at whiles it falls, to claim Powers that we dread, or dare some forward


Nor must we shrink as cravens from the blame Of pride, in common eyes, or purpose deep; But with pure thoughts look up to God, and


Our secret in our heart.

At Sea. jfun? 22, 1833.


Two brothers freely cast their lot

With David's royal Son;
The cost of conquest counting not,

They deem the battle won.

Brothers in hcart, they hope to gain

An undivided joy;
That man may one with man remain,

As boy was one with boy.

Christ heard ; and will'd that James should fell.

First prey of Satan's rage; John linger out his fellows all,

And die in bloodless age.

Now they join hands once more above,
Before the Conqueror's throne;

Thus God grants prayer, but in His love
Makes times and ways His own.

At Sea. Juk: 22,


Whene'er goes forth Thy dread command,

And my last hour is nigh,
Lord, grant me in a Christian land,

As 1 was born, to die.

I pray not, Lord, that friends may be,

Or kindred, standing by,—
Choice blessing! which I leave to Thee

To grant me or deny.

But let my failing limbs beneath

My Mother's smile recline;
And prayers sustain my laboring breath

From out her Sacred shrine.

And let the Cross beside my bed

In its due emblems rest:
And let the absolving words be said,

To ease a laden breast.

Thou, Lord, where'er we lie, canst aid;

But He, who taught His own To live as one, will not upbraid

The dread to die alone. dt Sea. June 22, 1833.

It is I; be not afraid."

When I sink down in gloom or fear,

Hope blighted or delay'd,
Thy whisper, Lord, my heart shall cheer,

"'Tis I; be not afraid 1" .

Or, startled at some sudden blow,

If fretful thoughts I feel, "Fear not, it is but I!" shall flow,

As balm my wound to heal.

Nor will I quit Thy way, though foes

Some onward pass defend; From each rough voice the watchword goes,

'' Be not afraid ! .... a friend!"

And oh ! when judgment's trumpet clear

Awakes me from the grave, Still in its echo may I hear,

'' 'Tis Christ; He comes to save."

At Sea. June 23, 1833.


The ark of God has hidden strength;

Who reverence or profane,
They, or their seed, shall find at length

The penalty or gain.

While as a sojourner it sought

Of old its destined place,
A blessing on the home it brought

Of one who did it grace.

But there was one, outstripping all

The holy-vestured band, Who laid on it, to save its fall,

A rude corrective hand.

Read, who the Church would cleanse, and mark

How stern the warning runs; There are two ways to aid her ark—

As patrons, and as sons.

At Sea. June 24.^ 1833.


Once cast with men of language strange
And foreign-moulded creed,

I mark'd their random converse change,
And sacred themes succeed.

Oh, how I coveted the gift

To thread their mingled throng
Of sounds, then high my witness lift!

But weakness chain'd my tongue.

Lord ! has our dearth of faith and prayer

Lost us this power once given, Or is it sent at seasons rare,

And then flits back to heaven?

At Sea. June 24, *S33 THE POWER OF PRAYER.

There is not on the earth a soul so base

But may obtain a place

In covenanted grace;
So that his feeble prayer of faith obtains

Some loosening of his chains,
And earnests of the great release, which rise
From gift to gift, and reach at length the
eternal prize.


All may save self;—but minds that heavenward tower

Aim at a wider power, Gifts on the world to shower.— And this is not at once ;—by fastings gain'd,

And trials well sustain'd, By pureness, righteous deeds, and toils of love, Abidance in the Truth, and zeal for God above.

At Sea. June 24, 11*33.


When I look back upon my former race,
Seasons I see at which the Inward Ray
More brightly burn'd, or guided some new


Truth, in its wealthier scene and nobler space
Given for my eye to range, and feet to trace.
And next I mark, 'twas trial did convey,
Or grief, or pain, or strange eventful day,
To my tormented soul such larger grace.
So now, whene'er, in journeying on, I feel
The shadow of the Providential Hand,
Deep breathless stirrings shoot across my


Searching to know what He will now reveal, What sin uncloak, what stricter rule command, And girding me to work His full behest.

At Sea. June 23, 1833.

(A Tragic Chorus.)

Man is permitted much

To scan and learn

In nature's frame;
Till he well-nigh can tame
Brute mischiefs and can touch
Invisible things, and turn
All warring ills to purposes of good.

Thus, as a god below,

He can control,

And harmonize, what seems amiss to flow
As sever'd from the whole
And dimly understood.

But o'er the elements

One Hand alone,

One Hand has sway.
What influence day by day
In straiter belt prevents
The impious Ocean, thrown

Alternate o'er the ever-sounding shore?
Or who has eye to trace

How the Plague came?
Forerun the doublings of the Tempest's race?
Or the Air's weight and flame
On a set scale explore?

Thus God has will'd
That man, when fully skill'd,
Still gropes in twilight dim;
Encompass'd all his hours

By fearfullest powers

Inflexible to him,
That so he may discern

His feebleness.
And e'en for earth's success

To Him in wisdom turn,
Who holds for u§ the keys of either home,
Earth and the world to come.

At Sea. June 23, 1833.

A Tragic Chorus.)

O Piteous race!
Fearful to look upon,
Once standing in high place,
Heaven's eldest son.
O aged blind

Unvenerable ! as thou flittest by
I liken thee to him in pagan song,

In thy gaunt majesty,

The vagrant King, of haughty-purposed mind, Whom prayer nor plague could bend:' Wrong'd, at the cost of him who did the


Accursed himself, but in his cursing strong, And honor'd in his end.

i Vide the CEdipus Coloneus of Sophocles.

O Abraham! sire, Shamed in thy progeny; Who to thy faith aspire, Thy Hope deny. Well wast thou given From out the heathen an adopted heir, Raised strangely from the dead when sin had slain

Thy former-cherish'd care. O holy men, ye first-wrought gems of heaven

Polluted in your kin, Come to our fonts, your lustre to regain. O Holiest Lord ! .... but Thou canst take no stain

Of blood, or taint of sin.

Twice in their day
Proffer of precious cost
Was made, Heaven's hand to stay
Ere all was lost.
The first prcvail'd;

Moses was outcast from the promised home,
For his own sin, yet taken at his prayer

To change his people's doom. Close on their eve, one other ask'd and fail'd;

When fervent Paul was fain The accursed tree, as Christ had borne, to

bear, No hopeful answer came,—a Price more rare

Already shed in vain.

Off Marseilles Harbor. June 2J, 1833.


Do not their souls, who 'neath the Altar wait

Until their second birth,
The gift of patience need, as separate

From their first friends of earth?
Not that earth's blessings are not all outshone

By Eden's Angel flame,

But that earth knows not yet, the Dead has won

That crown, which was his aim.
For when he left it, 'twas a twilight scene

About his silent bier,
A breathless struggle, faith and sight between,

And Hope and sacred Fear.

Fear startled at his pains and dreary end,

Hope raised her chalice high,
And the twin-sisters still his shade attend,

View'd in the mourner's eye.
So day by day for him from earth ascends,

As steam in summer-even,
The speechless intercession of his friends,

Toward the azure heaven.
Ah ! dearest, with a word he could dispel

All questioning, and raise
Our hearts to rapture, whispering all was well,

And turning prayer to praise.
And other secrets too he could declare,

By patterns all divine,
His earthly creed retouching here and there,

And deepening every line.
Dearest! he longs to speak, as I to know,

And yet we both refrain:
It were not good : a little doubt below,

And all will soon be plain.3

Marseilles. June 27,

» The last twelve lines were added Feb. 28, 1836, the date of R. Hurrell Froude's death.



I Rise and raise my clasped hands to Thee! Henceforth, the darkness hath no part in me,

Thy sacrifice this day; Abiding firm, and with a freeman's might Stemming the waves of passion in the fight;—

Ah, should I from Thee stray, My hoary head, Thy table where 1 bow, Will be my shame, which are mine honor now. Thus I set out;—Lord! lead me on my way! Oxford.



0 Holiest Truth ! how have I lied to Thee!

1 vow'd this day Thy festival should be:

But I am dim ere night. Surely I made my prayer, and I did deem That I could keep in me Thy morning beam,

Immaculate and bright

But my foot slipp'd-; and, as I lay, he came, My gloomy foe, and robb'd me of heaven's


Help Thou my darkness. Lord, till I am light. Oxford. '834



Some one whisper'd yesterday,
Of the rich and fashionable,

Gregory in his own small way
Easy was and comfortable.

Had he not of wealth his fill
Whom a garden gay did bless,

And a gently trickling rill,
And the sweets of idleness?

T made answer :—" Is it ease
Fasts to keep and tears to shed,

Vigil hours and wounded knees.
Call you these a pleasant bed?"

Thus a veritable monk

Does to death his fleshly frame;
Be there who in sloth are sunk,

They have forfeited the name.

Oxford. 1834..


While Moses on the Mountain lay,
Night after night, and day by day.

Till forty suns were gone,
Unconscious, in the Presence bright,
Of lustrous day and starry night,
As though his soul had flitted quite

From earth, and Eden won;

The pageant of a kingdom vast,
And things unutterable, pass'd

Before the Prophet's eye;
Dread shadows of th' Eternal Throne,
The fount of Life, and Altar-stone,
Pavement, and them that tread thereon,

And those who worship nigh.

But lest he should his own forget,
Who in the vale were struggling yet,

A sadder vision came,
Announcing all that guilty deed
Of idol rite, that in their need
He for his flock might intercede,

And stay Heaven's rising flame.

Oxford. September 4,


"Quoddam quasi pratum, in quo animae nihil patiebanlur, sed manebant, nondum idoneae Visioni Beatoe."—Beds Hist. v.

They are at rest •.

We may not stir the heaven of their repose With loud-voiced grief, or passionate request,

Or selfish plaint for those Who in the mountain grots of Eden lie, And hear the fourfold river, as it hurries by. They hear it sweep

In distance down the dark and savage vale; But they at eddying pool or current deep

Shall never more grow pale; They hear, and meekly muse, as fain to


How long untired, unspent, that giant stream shall flow.

And soothing sounds Blend with the neighboring waters as they

glide; Posted along the haunted garden's bounds

Angelic forms abide, Echoing, as words of watch, o'er lawn and

grove, The verses of that hymn which Seraphs chant

above. Oxford.

Primo die, quo Trinitas.

To-day the Blessed Three in One

Began the earth and skies; To-day a Conqueror, God the Son,

Did from the grave arise;

1 These Hymns are all free translations, made in 1836-8, from the Roman Breviary, except two, which are from the Parisian.

We too will wake, and, in despite
Of sloth and languor, all unite,
As Psalmists bid, through the dim night
Waiting with wistful eyes.

So may He hear, and heed each vow

And prayer to Him addressed; And grant an instant cleansing now,

A future glorious rest. So may He plentifully shower, On all who hymn His love and power, In this most still and sacred hour His sweetest gifts and best.

Father of purity and light!

Thy presence if we win, 'Twill shield us from the deeds of night,

The burning darts of sin; Lest aught defiled or dissolute Relax our bodies or imbrute, And fires eternal be the fruit

Of fire now lit within.

Fix in our hearts, Redeemer dear,

The ever-gushing spring
Of grace to cleanse, of life to cheer

Souls sick and sorrowing.

Thee, bounteous Father, we intreat,
And Only Son, awful and sweet,
And life-creating Paraclete,
The everlasting King.

Nocte surgentes.

Let us arise, and watch by night,

And meditate always;
And chant, as in our Maker's sight,

United hymns of praise.

So, singing with the Saints in bliss,
With them we may attain

Life everlasting after this,
And heaven for earthly pain.

Grant this, O Father, Only Son,
And Spirit, God of grace,

To whom all worship shall be done
In every time and place.


Somno refecti artubus.

Sleep has refresh'd our limbs, we spring

From off our bed, and rise; Lord, on Thy suppliants, while they sing,

Look with a Father's eyes.

Be Thou the first on every tongue,

The first in every heart;
That all our doings all day long,

Holiest! from Thee may start.

Cleanse Thou the gloom, and bid the light

Its healing beams renew; The sins, which have crept in with night,

With night shall vanish too.

Our bosoms, Lord, unburthen Thou,

Let nothing there offend;
That those who hymn Thy praises now

May hymn them to the end.

Grant this, O Father, Only Son,

And Spirit, God of grace,
To whom all worship shall be done

In every time and place.

Consors Paterni luminis.

O God from God, and Light from Light,

Who art Thyself the day, Our chants shall break the clouds of night;

Be with us while we pray.

Chase Thou the gloom that haunts the mind, The thronging shades of hell,

The sloth and drowsiness that bind
The senses with a spell.

Lord, to their sins indulgent be,
Who, in this hour forlorn,

By faith in what they do not see,
With songs prevent the morn.

Grant this, O Father, etc.

Rerum Creator optime.

Who madest all and dost control,
Lord, with Thy touch divine,

Cast out the slumbers of the soul,
The rest that is not Thine.

Look down, Eternal Holiness,
And wash the sins away,

Of those, who, rising to confess,
Outstrip the lingering day.

Our hearts and hands by night, O Lord,

We lift them in our need •
As holy Psalmists give the word,

And holy Paul the deed.

Each sin to Thee of years gone by,

Each hidden stain lies bare;
We shrink not from Thine awful eye,

But pray that Thou wouldst spare.

Grant this, O Father, etc.

Nox atra rerum contegit.

All tender lights, all hues divine
The night has swept away;

Shine on us, Lord, and we shall shine
Bright in an inward day.

The spots of guilt, sin's wages base,
Searcher of hearts, we own;

Wash us and robe us in Thy grace,
Who didst for sins atone.

The sluggard soul, that bears their mark,

Shrinks in its silent lair,
Or gropes amid its chambers dark

For Thee, who art not there.

Redeemer! send Thy piercing rays,

That we may bear to be
Set in the light of Thy pure gaze,

And yet rejoice in Thee.

Grant this, O Father, etc.

Tu Trinitatis Unitas.

May the dread Three in One, who sways
All with His sovereign might,

Accept us for this hymn of praise,
His watchers in the night.

For in the night, when all is still,

We spurn our bed and rise, To find the balm for ghostly ill,

His bounteous hand supplies.

If e'er by night our envious foe
With guilt our souls would stain,

May the deep streams of mercy flow,
And make us white again;

That so with bodies braced and bright,

And hearts awake within, All fresh and keen may burn our light,

Undimm'd, unsoil'd by sin.

Shine on Thine own, Redeemer sweet!

Thy radiance increate Through the long day shall keep our feet

In their pure morning state.

Grant this, O Father, etc.


Smuni;e Parens dementias.

Father of mercies infinite,

Ruling all things that be, Who, shrouded in the depth and height,

Art One. and vet art Three;

Accept our chants, accept our tears,'

A mingled stream we pour;
Such stream the laden bosom cheers,

To taste Thy sweetness more.

Purge Thou with fire the o'ercharged mind,
Its sores and wounds profound;

And with the watcher's girdle bind
The limbs which sloth has bound.

That they who with their chants by night

Before Thy presence come,
All may be fill'd with strength and light

From their eternal home.

Grant this, O Father, etc.