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SAINT PETER'S DAY.
COLLECT. O Almighty God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy Apostle Saint Peter many excellent gifts, and commandedst him earnestly to feed thy flock; make, we beseech thee, all pastors diligently to preach thy holy word, and the people obediently to follow the same, that they may receive the crown of everlasting glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
LORD! when thy PETER, weak in faith,
Failed in thine hour of threatened death,
When thrice his ear the challenge heard,
More loud and more impassioned came;
One look from thee his fault reproved,
And made his slumbering conscience start;
And sent him forth a prey to grief,
Lord! when by human frailty led,
We pass thy gracious warning by,
And thee forsake, and thee deny;
Grant us to feel the keen rebuke,
That pitying look! O may it melt
Our hearts in penitential showers!
"When Herod would have brought him out, the same night Peter was sleeping." Acts xii. 6.
THOU thrice denied, yet thrice beloved,
Let his soul love thee to the end.
The prayer is heard, — else why so deep
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 love,One look lives in him, and endears
Crosses and wrongs where'er he rove:
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,
With brightening heart he bears it on,
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,
Calls to that last of glorious deeds, — But as he rises to rejoice,
Not Herod but an Angel leads.
the Tyrant's voice
He dreams he sees a lamp flash bright,
That fills up all the ample gloom.
The flame that in a few short years
Deep through the chambers of the dead
Touched he upstarts, — his chains unbind, Through darksome vault, up massy stair, His dizzy, doubting footsteps wind
To freedom and cool moonlight air.