John Keble

Here you will find the Poem Quinquagesima Sunday of poet John Keble

Quinquagesima Sunday

Sweet Dove! the softest, steadiest plume,
 In all the sunbright sky,
Brightening in ever-changeful bloom
 As breezes change on high; -

Sweet Leaf! the pledge of peace and mirth,
 "Long sought, and lately won,"
Blessed increase of reviving Earth,
 When first it felt the Sun; -

Sweet Rainbow! pride of summer days,
 High set at Heaven's command,
Though into drear and dusky haze
 Thou melt on either hand; -

Dear tokens of a pardoning God,
 We hail ye, one and all,
As when our fathers walked abroad,
 Freed from their twelvemonth's thrall.

How joyful from the imprisoning ark
 On the green earth they spring!
Not blither, after showers, the lark
 Mounts up with glistening wing.

So home-bound sailors spring to shore,
 Two oceans safely past;
So happy souls, when life is o'er,
 Plunge in this empyreal vast.

What wins their first and fondest gaze
 In all the blissful field,
And keeps it through a thousand days?
 Love face to face revealed:

Love imaged in that cordial look
 Our Lord in Eden bends
On souls that sin and earth forsook
 In time to die His friends.

And what most welcome and serene
 Dawns on the Patriarch's eye,
In all the emerging hills so green,
 In all the brightening sky?

What but the gentle rainbow's gleam,
 Soothing the wearied sight,
That cannot bear the solar beam,
 With soft undazzling light?

Lord, if our fathers turned to Thee
 With such adoring gaze,
Wondering frail man Thy light should see
 Without Thy scorching blaze;

Where is our love, and where our hearts,
 We who have seen Thy Son,
Have tried Thy Spirit's winning arts,
 And yet we are not won?

The Son of God in radiance beamed
 Too bright for us to scan,
But we may face the rays that streamed
 From the mild Son of Man.

There, parted into rainbow hues,
 In sweet harmonious strife
We see celestial love diffuse
 Its light o'er Jesus' life.

God, by His bow, vouchsafes to write
 This truth in Heaven above:
As every lovely hue is Light,
 So every grace is Love.