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The prayer is heard – else why so deep
His slumber on the eve of death? And wherefore smiles he in his sleep
As one who drew celestial breath?
He loves and is beloved again
Can his soul choose but be at rest? Sorrow hath fled away, and Pain
Dares not invade the guarded nest.
He dearly loves, and not alone:
For his winged thoughts are soaring high Where never yet frail heart was known
To breathe in vain affection's sigh.
He loves and weeps — but more than tears
Have sealed thy welcome and his loveOne look lives in him, and endears
Crosses and wrongs where'er he rove:
That gracious chiding look, Thy call
To win him to himself and Thee, Sweetening the sorrow of his fall,
Which else were rued too bitterly.
Even through the veil of sleep it shines,
The memory of that kindly glance;-
spares awhile his blissful trance.
Or haply to his native lake
His vision wafts him back, to talk With Jesus, ere his flight he take,
As in that solemn evening walk,
When to the bosom of his friend,
The Shepherd, He whose name is Good, Did His dear lambs and sheep commend,
Both bought and nourished with His blood:
Then laid on him the inverted tree,
Which firm embraced with heart and arm, Might cast o'er hope and memory,
O’er life and death, its awful charm.
With brightening heart he bears it on,
His passport through the eternal gates, To his sweet home - - so nearly won,
He seems, as by the door he waits,
The unexpressive notes to hear
Of angel song and angel motion, Rising and falling on the ear
Like waves in Joy's unbounded ocean.
His dream is changed the Tyrant's voice
Calls to that last of glorious deeds But as he rises to rejoice,
Not Herod but an Angel leads.
He dreams he sees a lamp flash bright,
Glancing around his prison room But 't is a gleam of heavenly light
That fills up all the ample gloom.
The flame, that in a few short years
Deep through the chambers of the dead Shall pierce, and dry the fount of tears,
Is waving o'er his dungeon-bed.
Touched he upstarts - his chains unbind
Through darksome vault, up massy stair, His dizzy, doubting footsteps wind
To freedom and cool moonlight air.
Then all himself, all joy and calm,
Though for a while his hand forego, Just as it touched, the martyr's palm,
He turns him to his task below;
The pastoral staff, the keys of heaven,
To wield awhile in grey-haired might, Then from his cross to spring forgiven, And follow Jesus out of sight.
COLLECT. Grant, O merciful God, that as thine holy apostle Saint James, leaving his father and all that he had, without delay was obedient unto the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him; so we, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections, may be evermore ready to follow thy holy commandments, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
And couldst thou, JAMES, to win the meed
Thy Saviour's cup of sorrow taste?
Which o’er thy Saviour past?
Thou couldst: such aid his Spirit lent!
The scornful look, the taunting word,
* The Greater.
The angry council's stern decree,
And last the fatal sword;
These came in turn; and then thy death!
The first of all thy brotherhood!
Like him baptized in blood!
We dare not rend the veil aside,
The secrets of the unseen world:
Of that dark veil unfurled;
Should seem that thou wert there to see,
And he, the favored of your Lord,
Beside your King adored.
For not in vain his word was given
For him and for his Gospel known,
Throned by Messiah's throne,