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Fair is the star of evening bright,
A gem in heaven's blue zone; And fair the moonlight's robe of white
O’er earth's green surface thrown;
But Alpine snow, nor crystal stream,
Can pure delight impart, Nor moon, nor evening planet's gleam,
To match the guileless heart.
For these material works of God
Of Him memorials stand,
The wonders of his hand :
But guileless truth and innocence,
By God to men consigned, Reflect his moral excellence, An image of his mind.
Bp. Mant. SAINT MATTHEW'S DAY.
COLLECT. O Almighty God, who by thy blessed Son didst call Matthew from the receipt of custom, to be an apostle and evangelist; grant us grace to forsake all covetous desires, and inordinate love of riches, and to follow the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, world without end. Amen.
Prepare the feast! the viands bring,
Heap high the festal board!
The follower greets his Lord.
But who is he, the host, whose care
Provides the costly feast?
Around the heavenly guest?
'Tis Matthew, 't is the publican;
The favored host is he
Beside Tiberias' sea.
And they, the guests assembled round,
They boast no better name; One in disgraceful union found,
Allied to sin and shame.
O holy Jesus, and are these
Associates meet for thee?
And this the company?
“ Not to the righteous was I sent;
Not to the whole I cry;
The sick man's health am I.
“ For them my glory I resigned ;
For them endure the grave;
The perishing to save.”
Shepherd of Israel! Saviour dear!
Whose voice thy duteous sheep Safe in thy fold delighted hear,
And to thy pasture keep;
Repentant, lo! to thee we turn,
To thee for health we pray ;
Ye hermits blest, ye holy maids,
The nearest heaven on earth,
Free from rude care and mirth;
The secret lore of rural things,
Say, when in pity ye have gazed
On the wreathed smoke afar,
Hung, hiding sun and star,
To the green earth and open sky,
But Love's a flower that will not die
For lack of leafy screen,
That ne'er saw vernal green.
Even in this crowded wilderness,
There are in this loud stirring tide
Of human care and crime,
Of the everlasting chime;
carry music in their heart
How sweet to them, in such brief rest
As thronging cares afford,
To where their gracious Lord,
Spake, and was heard by fell disease
At once he rose, and left his gold;
His treasure and his heart
Earth and her idols part;
Shall sit, and floods unceasing pour
Nor can ye not delight to think
Where he vouchsafed to eat,
From touch of sinner's meat ;