John Keble

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

Fourth Sunday After Trinity

It was not then a poet's dream,
 An idle vaunt of song,
Such as beneath the moon's soft gleam
 On vacant fancies throng;

Which bids us see in heaven and earth,
 In all fair things around,
Strong yearnings for a blest new birth
 With sinless glories crowned;

Which bids us hear, at each sweet pause
 From care and want and toil,
When dewy eve her curtain draws
 Over the day's turmoil,

In the low chant of wakeful birds,
 In the deep weltering flood,
In whispering leaves, these solemn words -
 "God made us all for good."

All true, all faultless, all in tune
 Creation's wondrous choir,
Opened in mystic unison
 To last till time expire.

And still it lasts; by day and night,
 With one consenting voice,
All hymn Thy glory, Lord, aright,
 All worship and rejoice.

Man only mars the sweet accord
 O'erpowering with "harsh din"
The music of Thy works and word,
 Ill matched with grief and sin.

Sin is with man at morning break,
 And through the livelong day
Deafens the ear that fain would wake
 To Nature's simple lay.

But when eve's silent footfall steals
 Along the eastern sky,
And one by one to earth reveals
 Those purer fires on high,

When one by one each human sound
 Dies on the awful ear,
Then Nature's voice no more is drowned,
 She speaks, and we must hear.

Then pours she on the Christian heart
 That warning still and deep,
At which high spirits of old would start
 E'en from their Pagan sleep.

Just guessing, through their murky blind
 Few, faint, and baffling sight,
Streaks of a brighter heaven behind,
 A cloudless depth of light.

Such thoughts, the wreck of Paradise,
 Through many a dreary age,
Upbore whate'er of good and wise
 Yet lived in bard or sage:

They marked what agonizing throes
 Shook the great mother's womb:
But Reason's spells might not disclose
 The gracious birth to come:

Nor could the enchantress Hope forecast
 God's secret love and power;
The travail pangs of Earth must last
 Till her appointed hour.

The hour that saw from opening heaven
 Redeeming glory stream,
Beyond the summer hues of even,
 Beyond the mid-day beam.

Thenceforth, to eyes of high desire,
 The meanest thing below,
As with a seraph's robe of fire
 Invested, burn and glow:

The rod of Heaven has touched them all,
 The word from Heaven is spoken:
"Rise, shine, and sing, thou captive thrall;
 Are not thy fetters broken?

"The God Who hallowed thee and blest,
 Pronouncing thee all good -
Hath He not all thy wrongs redrest,
 And all thy bliss renewed?

"Why mourn'st thou still as one bereft,
 Now that th' eternal Son
His blessed home in Heaven hath left
 To make thee all His own?"

Thou mourn'st because sin lingers still
 In Christ's new heaven and earth;
Because our rebel works and will
 Stain our immortal birth:

Because, as Love and Prayer grow cold,
 The Saviour hides His face,
And worldlings blot the temple's gold
 With uses vile and base.

Hence all thy groans and travail pains,
 Hence, till thy God return,
In Wisdom's ear thy blithest strains,
 Oh Nature, seem to mourn.