John Keble

Here you will find the Poem Fourth Sunday In Advent of poet John Keble

Fourth Sunday In Advent

Of the bright things in earth and air
 How little can the heart embrace!
Soft shades and gleaming lights are there -
 I know it well, but cannot trace.

Mine eye unworthy seems to read
 One page of Nature's beauteous book;
It lies before me, fair outspread -
 I only cast a wishful look.

I cannot paint to Memory's eye
 The scene, the glance, I dearest love -
Unchanged themselves, in me they die,
 Or faint or false their shadows prove.

In vain, with dull and tuneless ear,
 I linger by soft Music's cell,
And in my heart of hearts would hear
 What to her own she deigns to tell.

'Tis misty all, both sight and sound -
 I only know 'tis fair and sweet -
'Tis wandering on enchanted ground
 With dizzy brow and tottering feet.

But patience! there may come a time
 When these dull ears shall scan aright
Strains that outring Earth's drowsy chime,
 As Heaven outshines the taper's light.

These eyes, that dazzled now and weak,
 At glancing motes in sunshine wink.
Shall see the Kings full glory break,
 Nor from the blissful vision shrink:

In fearless love and hope uncloyed
 For ever on that ocean bright
Empowered to gaze; and undestroyed,
 Deeper and deeper plunge in light.

Though scarcely now their laggard glance
 Reach to an arrow's flight, that day
They shall behold, and not in trance,
 The region "very far away."

If Memory sometimes at our spell
 Refuse to speak, or speak amiss,
We shall not need her where we dwell
 Ever in sight of all our bliss.

Meanwhile, if over sea or sky
 Some tender lights unnoticed fleet,
Or on loved features dawn and die,
 Unread, to us, their lesson sweet;

Yet are there saddening sights around,
 Which Heaven, in mercy, spares us too,
And we see far in holy ground,
 If duly purged our mental view.

The distant landscape draws not nigh
 For all our gazing; but the soul,
That upward looks, may still descry
 Nearer, each day, the brightening goal.

And thou, too curious ear, that fain
 Wouldst thread the maze of Harmony,
Content thee with one simple strain,
 The lowlier, sure, the worthier thee;

Till thou art duly trained, and taught
 The concord sweet of Love divine:
Then, with that inward Music fraught,
 For ever rise, and sing, and shine.