Page images

Hence all thy groans and travail pains,

Hence, till thy God return,

In wisdom's ear thy blithest strains,
Oh Nature, seem to mourn.


And Simon answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless, at thy word I will let down the net : and when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes, and their net brake. St. Luke v. 5.


THE livelong night we've toiled in vain,

"But at thy gracious word

"I will let down the net again

"Do thou thy will, O Lord!"

[merged small][ocr errors]

So day by day and week by week,

In sad and weary thought,

They muse, whom God hath set to seek
The souls his Christ hath bought.

For not upon a tranquil lake

Our pleasant task we ply,

Where all along our glistening wake
The softest moonbeams lie ;

Where rippling wave and dashing oar
Our midnight chant attend,
Or whispering palm-leaves from the shore
With midnight silence blend.

Sweet thoughts of peace, ye may not last :
Too soon some ruder sound

Calls us from where ye soar so fast
Back to our earthly round.

For wildest storms our ocean sweep :— No anchor but the Cross

Might hold and oft the thankless deep Turns all our toil to loss.

Full many a dreary anxious hour,

We watch our nets alone

In drenching spray, and driving shower, And hear the night-bird's moan:

At morn we look, and nought is there;
Sad dawn of cheerless day!

Who then from pining and despair
The sickening heart can stay?

There is a stay-and we are strong;

Our Master is at hand,

To cheer our solitary song,

And guide us to the strand,

In his own time: but yet awhile
Our bark at sea must ride;

Cast after cast, by force or guile
All waters must be tried:

By blameless guile or gentle force,

As when He deign'd to teach

(The lode-star of our Christian course)

Upon this sacred beach.

Should e'er thy wonder-working grace

Triumph by our weak arm,

Let not our sinful fancy trace

Aught human in the charm:

To our own nets' ne'er bow we down,
Lest on the eternal shore

The angels, while our draught they own,
Reject us evermore :

Or, if for our unworthiness

Toil, prayer, and watching fail,
In disappointment Thou canst bless,

So love at heart prevail.

b Habakkuk i. 16. They sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense

unto their drag.

c St. Matth. xiii. 49.


David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord and Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin: thou shalt not die. 2 Samuel xii. 23.

WHEN bitter thoughts, of conscience born,

With sinners wake at morn,

When from our restless couch we start,

With fever'd lips and wither'd heart,

Where is the spell to charm those mists away,
And make new morning in that darksome day?
One draught of spring's delicious air,

One stedfast thought, that God is there.

These are thy wonders, hourly wrought",

Thou Lord of time and thought,
Lifting and lowering souls at will,
Crowding a world of good or ill

d See Herbert's Poems, p. 160.

« PreviousContinue »