John Keble

25 April 1792 – 29 March 1866 / Fairford, Gloucestershire

Gunpowder Treason

Beneath the burning eastern sky
The Cross was raised at morn:
The widowed Church to weep stood by,
The world, to hate and scorn.

Now, journeying westward, evermore
We know the lonely Spouse
By the dear mark her Saviour bore
Traced on her patient brows.

At Rome she wears it, as of old
Upon th' accursed hill:
By monarchs clad in gems and gold,
She goes a mourner still.

She mourns that tender hearts should bend
Before a meaner shrine,
And upon Saint or Angel spend
The love that should be thine.

By day and night her sorrows fall
Where miscreant hands and rude
Have stained her pure ethereal pall
With many a martyr's blood.

And yearns not her parental heart,
To hear THEIR secret sighs,
Upon whose doubting way apart
Bewildering shadows rise?

Who to her side in peace would cling,
But fear to wake, and find
What they had deemed her genial wing
Was Error's soothing blind.

She treasures up each throbbing prayer:
Come, trembler, come and pour
Into her bosom all thy care,
For she has balm in store.

Her gentle teaching sweetly blends
With this clear light of Truth
The aerial gleam that Fancy lends
To solemn thoughts in youth. -

If thou hast loved, in hours of gloom,
To dream the dead are near,
And people all the lonely room
With guardian spirits dear,

Dream on the soothing dream at will:
The lurid mist is o'er,
That showed the righteous suffering still
Upon th' eternal shore.

If with thy heart the strains accord,
That on His altar-throne
Highest exalt thy glorious Lord,
Yet leave Him most thine own;

Oh, come to our Communion Feast:
There present, in the heart
As in the hands, th' eternal Priest
Will His true self impart. -

Thus, should thy soul misgiving turn
Back to the enchanted air,
Solace and warning thou mayst learn
From all that tempts thee there.

And, oh! by all the pangs and fears
Fraternal spirits know,
When for an elder's shame the tears
Of wakeful anguish flow,

Speak gently of our sister's fall:
Who knows but gentle love
May win her at our patient call
The surer way to prove?
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