Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Paschal New-Moon


WELCOME thou little bow of light,
Faint gleaming in the Western height
O'er Day's decline!
Thou, to the busy world of men,
Art but the month begun again;
But to this eye of mine
Lighted by Faith's diviner ken,
A season and a sign.

Welcome, reflected in the rill,
Thine image on the waters, chill
From melting snows:
But brighter, in the depths serene,
Of my glad soul, thy sacred sheen
The Church's index shows;
Regent of holy-tides, and Queen
Of Easter's dawn and close.

Thou hast been waited for: the lore
Of holy sages, long before
Hath marked thy day:
For with thy heavenly march sublime,
The Paschal-eve and Paschal-prime
One Lord, one law, obey;
The Church hath calendar'd thy time,
And traced thy starry way.

And key-note of her Easter-song,
Is thy sweet tune, thy path along
In yon blue deep:
We watch thy crescent, till its rim
Is filled with glory to the brim,
And still our fast we keep;
Then, tide-like, swells our Easter-hymn,
Round the whole earth to sweep.

Thou bringest cheer; thou endest days
Of fast with feast, of plaint with praise,
Of rue with balm.
Beauty for ashes thou dost bring;
The oil of joy for sorrowing;
For grief thou bringest calm;
Thou changes! tears to triumphing,
And Litany to Psalm.

The bow of Joseph, thou! Thy light
Reminds me of the Hebrew's right
And Egypt's wrong;
Reminds me of Mosaic priests,
Their hyssop-branch, their bleeding beasts,
The prophet's goodly throng;
Their bitter herbs, unleavened feasts,
And hallelujah-song:

Reminds me of that night of gloom;
The Twelve, the One, the upper-room;
The Bread and Wine:
Of Olivet remindeth me,
Of Kedron and Gethsemane;
Of Thee, Redeemer mine!
Thy cross, Thy cries, Thy victory,
Stupendous love divine.

O Paschal moon, to wax and wane,
Though short thy date, how wide thy reign
Afar and near.
Thou art the Church's harvest-moon:
She sows in tears, but reapeth, soon,
A sheaf for every tear.
Shine on! We catch thy heavenly tune,
And shout the harvest-cheer.

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