“What went ye out into the wilderness to see ? A reed shaken with the wind?"

COME take a woodland walk with me,
And mark the rugged old Oak Tree,
How steadily his arm he flings
Where from the bank the fresh rill springs,
And points the waters' silent way
Down the wild maze of reed and spray.
Two furlongs on they glide unseen,
Known only by the livelier green.

There stands he, in each time and tide,
The new-born streamlet's guard and guide.
To him spring shower and summer sun,
Brown autumn, winter's sleet, are one.
But firmest in the bleakest hour
He holds his root in faith and power,
The splinter'd bark, his girdle stern,
His robe, grey moss and mountain fern.

Mark'st thou in him no token true
Of heaven's own Priests, both old and new,
In penitential garb austere
Fix'd in the wild, from year to year
The lessons of stern love to teach,
To penitents and children preach,
Bold words and eager glances stay,
And gently level Jesus' way?



“Palma virens semper manet conservatione et diuturnitate, non immutatione foliorum."-St. Ambrose, Hexaemeron, iii. 71.

Why of all the woodland treasure,

Holy Palm, art thou preferred,

When the voice of praise is heard,
When we tread our thankful measure ?

Why before our Saviour borne ?
Why by glorious Spirits worn ?

Is it for thy verdure, brightest

In the zone of colours bright ?

Or that with aërial height
Thou the genial clime requitest,

Like courageous mountain maid,
Nor of sun nor air afraid ?

Is it that in antique story

Conquerors own’d thee for their meed ?

Nay, thine honours are decreed
For thy green unchanging glory,

Wearing thy first leafy crown,
Till thy vigorous life die down.

Pines may tower, and laurels flourish

Deathless green is only thine ;

Type of hearts which airs divine
Cheer, and high communions nourish,

Hearts on whose pure virgin wreath
Sin indulg'd might never breathe.



“ Ye also as lively stones, are built up, a spiritual House.” “I will make thy seed as the dust of the Earth.”

“What is the Church, and what am I? A world, to one poor sandy grain, A waste of sea and sky

To one frail drop of rain.

66 What boots one feeble infant tone
To the full choir denied or given,
Where millions round the Throne

Are chanting, morn and even ?"

Nay, the kind Watchers hearkening there
Distinguish in the deep of song
Each little wave, each air

Upon the faltering tongue.

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