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Not with a choir of angels without number,
And noise of lutes and lyres,
But gently, with the woven veil of slumber
Across Thine awful fires,
We yearn to watch Thy face, serene and tender,
Melt, smiling, calm and sweet,
Where round the print of thorns, in thornlike splendour,
Transcendent glories meet.
We have no hopes if Thou art close beside us,
And no profane despairs,
Since all we need is Thy great hand to guide us,
Thy heart to take our cares;
For us is no to-day, to-night, to-morrow,
No past time nor to be,
We have no joy but Thee, there is no sorrow,
No life to live but Thee.
The cross, like pilgrim-warriors, we follow,
Led by our eastern star;
The wild crane greets us, and the wandering swallow
Bound southward for Shinar;
All night that single star shines bright above us;
We go with weary feet,
But in the end we know are they who love us,
Whose pure embrace is sweet.
Most sweet of all, when dark the way and moonless,
To feel a touch, a breath,
And know our weary spirits are not tuneless,
Our unseen goal not Death;
To know that Thou, in all Thy old sweet fashion,
Art near us to sustain!
We praise Thee, Lord, by all Thy tears and passion,
By all Thy cross and pain!
For when this night of toil and tears is over,
Across the hills of spice,
Thyself wilt meet us, glowing like a lover
Before Love’s Paradise;
There are the saints, with palms and hymns and roses,
And better still than all,
The long, long day of bliss that never closes,
Thy marriage festival!