John Keble

Here you will find the Long Poem Eighteenth Sunday After Trinity of poet John Keble

Eighteenth Sunday After Trinity

It is so--ope thine eyes, and see -
 What viewest thou all around?
A desert, where iniquity
 And knowledge both abound.

In the waste howling wilderness
 The Church is wandering still,
Because we would not onward press
 When close to Sion's hill.

Back to the world we faithless turned,
 And far along the wild,
With labour lost and sorrow earned,
 Our steps have been beguiled.

Yet full before us, all the while,
 The shadowing pillar stays,
The living waters brightly smile,
 The eternal turrets blaze,

Yet Heaven is raining angels' bread
 To be our daily food,
And fresh, as when it first was shed,
 Springs forth the SAVIOUR'S blood.

From every region, race, and speech,
 Believing myriads throng,
Till, far as sin and sorrow reach,
 Thy grace is spread along;

Till sweetest nature, brightest art,
 Their votive incense bring,
And every voice and every heart
 Own Thee their God and King.

All own; but few, alas! will love;
 Too like the recreant band
That with Thy patient spirit strove
 Upon the Red-sea strand.

O Father of long-suffering grace,
 Thou who hast sworn to stay
Pleading with sinners face to face
 Through all their devious way:

How shall we speak to Thee, O LORD,
 Or how in silence lie?
Look on us, and we are abhorred,
 Turn from us, and we die.

Thy guardian fire, Thy guiding cloud,
 Still let them gild our wall,
Nor be our foes and Thine allowed
 To see us faint and fall.

Too oft, within this camp of Thine,
 Rebellions murmurs rise;
Sin cannot bear to see Thee shine
 So awful to her eyes.

Fain would our lawless hearts escape,
 And with the heathen be,
To worship every monstrous shape
 In fancied darkness free.

Vain thought, that shall not be at all!
 Refuse we or obey,
Our ears have heard the Almighty's call,
 We cannot be as they.

We cannot hope the heathen's doom
 To whom GOD'S Son is given,
Whose eyes have seen beyond the tomb,
 Who have the key of Heaven.

Weak tremblers on the edge of woe,
 Yet shrinking from true bliss,
Our rest must be "no rest below,"
 And let our prayer be this:

"LORD, wave again Thy chastening rod,
 Till every idol throne
Crumble to dust, and Thou, O GOD,
 Reign in our hearts alone.

"Bring all our wandering fancies home,
 For Thou hast every spell,
And 'mid the heathen where they roam,
 Thou knowest, LORD, too well.

"Thou know'st our service sad and hard,
 Thou know'st us fond and frail;
Win us to be loved and spared
 When all the world shall fail.

"So when at last our weary days
 Are well-nigh wasted here,
And we can trace Thy wondrous ways
 In distance calm and clear,

"When in Thy love and Israel's sin
 We read our story true,
We may not, all too late, begin
 To wish our hopes were new.

"Long loved, long tried, long spared as they,
 Unlike in this alone,
That, by Thy grace, our hearts shall stay
 For evermore Thine own."