Here you will find the Long Poem St. Barnabas of poet John Keble
The world's a room of sickness, where each heart Knows its own anguish and unrest; The truest wisdom there, and noblest art, Is his, who skills of comfort best; Whom by the softest step and gentlest tone Enfeebled spirits own, And love to raise the languid eye, When, like an angel's wing, they feel him fleeting by:- FEEL only--for in silence gently gliding Fain would he shun both ear and sight, 'Twixt Prayer and watchful Love his heart dividing, A nursing-father day and night. Such were the tender arms, where cradled lay, In her sweet natal day, The Church of JESUS; such the love He to His chosen taught for His dear widowed Dove. Warmed underneath the Comforter's safe wing They spread th' endearing warmth around: Mourners, speed here your broken hearts to bring, Here healing dews and balms abound: Here are soft hands that cannot bless in vain, By trial taught your pain: Here loving hearts, that daily know The heavenly consolations they on you bestow. Sweet thoughts are theirs, that breathe serenest calms, Of holy offerings timely paid, Of fire from heaven to bless their votive alms And passions on GOD'S altar laid. The world to them is closed, and now they shine With rays of love divine, Through darkest nooks of this dull earth Pouring, in showery times, their glow of "quiet mirth." New hearts before their Saviour's feet to lay, This is their first, their dearest joy: Their next from heart to heart to clear the way For mutual love without alloy: Never so blest as when in JESUS' roll They write some hero-soul, More pleased upon his brightening road To wait, than if their own with all his radiance glowed. O happy spirits, marked by God and man Their messages of love to bear, What though long since in Heaven your brows began, The genial amarant wreath to wear, And in th' eternal leisure of calm love Ye banquet there above; Yet in your sympathetic heart We and our earthly griefs may ask and hope a part. Comfort's true sons! amid the thoughts of down That strew your pillow of repose, Sure 'tis one joy to muse, how ye unknown By sweet remembrance soothe our woes; And how the spark ye lit, of heavenly cheer, Lives in our embers here, Where'er the cross is borne with smiles, Or lightened secretly by Love's endearing wiles: Where'er one Levite in the temple keeps The watch-fire of his midnight prayer, Or issuing thence, the eyes of mourners steeps In heavenly balm, fresh gathered there; Thus saints, that seem to die in earth's rude strife, Only win double life: They have but left our weary ways To live in memory here, in Heaven by love and praise.