John Keble

Here you will find the Poem Second Sunday After Epiphany of poet John Keble

Second Sunday After Epiphany

The heart of childhood is all mirth:
 We frolic to and fro
As free and blithe, as if on earth
 Were no such thing as woe.

But if indeed with reckless faith
 We trust the flattering voice,
Which whispers, "Take thy fill ere death,
 Indulge thee and rejoice;"

Too surely, every setting day,
 Some lost delight we mourn;
The flowers all die along our way
 Till we, too, die forlorn.

Such is the world's gay garish feast,
 In her first charming bowl
Infusing all that fires the breast,
 And cheats the unstable soul.

And still, as loud the revel swells,
 The fevered pulse beats higher,
Till the seared taste from foulest wells
 Is fain to slake its fire.

Unlike the feast of heavenly love
 Spread at the Saviour's word
For souls that hear His call, and prove
 Meet for His bridal board.

Why should we fear, youth's draught of joy
 If pure would sparkle less?
Why should the cup the sooner cloy,
 Which God hath deigned to bless?

For, is it Hope, that thrills so keen
 Along each bounding vein,
Still whispering glorious things unseen? -
 Faith makes the vision plain.

The world would kill her soon: but Faith
 Her daring dreams will cherish,
Speeding her gaze o'er time and death
 To realms where nought can perish.

Or is it Love, the dear delight
 Of hearts that know no guile,
That all around see all things bright
 With their own magic smile?

The silent joy that sinks so deep,
 Of confidence and rest,
Lulled in a father's arms to sleep,
 Clasped to a mother's breast?

Who, but a Christian, through all life
 That blessing may prolong?
Who, through the world's sad day of strife,
 Still chant his morning song?

Fathers may hate us or forsake,
 God's foundlings then are we:
Mother on child no pity take,
 But we shall still have Thee.

We may look home, and seek in vain
 A fond fraternal heart,
But Christ hath given His promise plain
 To do a Brother's part.

Nor shall dull age, as worldlings say,
 The heavenward flame annoy:
The Saviour cannot pass away,
 And with Him lives our joy.

Ever the richest, tenderest glow
 Sets round the autumnal sun -
But there sight fails: no heart may know
 The bliss when life is done.

Such is Thy banquet, dearest Lord;
 O give us grace, to cast
Our lot with Thine, to trust Thy word,
 And keep our best till last.