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17.

CONTINUAL SERVICES.

(For the Sunday before Advent.)

“ Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.'

O ENDLESS round of Nature's wheel,
How doth thine untired course reveal

The universal spring
Of Power and Motion ! Not in keen
And sudden startings, far between,

But smooth as sea-bird's wing,
Gliding unwearied, now in Air

And now in Ocean,
As though Life's only call and care

Were graceful motion.

*“ Continuo, non vero per saltum."

Newton.

Such are your changes, Space and Time,
Dying away in softest chime,

With gentlest intervals
Aye lessening on the ear, and felt
As when into each other melt

The hues where evening falls.
Thus moon to moon gives silent place,

And bright stars waning
Gradual retire, while morn's still pace

On night is gaining.

Thus or for increase or decay
The seasons wind their viewless way,

Nor but by word of man
Or measure rude by man imposed,
Is known when day or year hath closed,

Summer or Winter's span. And ever onward as we go,

The wide earth rounding, The horizon moves in gentle flow,

Not in harsh bounding.

For why ? the unseen Preserver's law
Is nigh, to master and o'erawe

The creatures in their race,
Else starting each its own wild way.
So Nature saved from disarray,

Is free to wait on Grace :
And still, as Earth and Time steal on

To their dread ending,
New fragments may of both be won

For holy spending.

Thus high may soar the instructed soul, Watching young fingers idly roll

The mimic earth, or trace
In picture bright of blue and gold
The orbs that round the sky's deep fold

Each other circling chase.
When plainest strikes the inward ear

What Heaven hath spoken,
Then most for our own chant we fear,

So harsh and broken.

His spheres, recede they or advance,
Before Him in mysterious dance

Keep tune and time ; nor e'er
Fails from this lower world a wreath
Of incense, such as sweet flowers breathe,

And vernal breezes bear.
Only man's frail sin-wearied heart

Bears, half in sadness,
A wavering, intermitted part

In that high gladness.

Yes : so it was ere JESUS came.
Alternate then His altar-flame
Blazed

up

and died away ; And Silence took her turn with Song, And Solitude with the fair throng

That owned the festal day. For in earth's daily circuit then

One only border Reflected to the Seraph's ken

Heaven's light and order.

But now to the revolving sphere
We point, and say, No desert here,

No waste so dark and lone,
But to the hour of sacrifice
Comes daily in its turn, and lies

In light beneath the Throne.
Each point of time, from morn to eve,

From eve to morning,
The shrine doth from the Spouse receive

Praise and adorning.

While on our couch we listless dream,
Or drink perforce of care’s dull stream,

Yet somewhere in that hour
The holy words are uttered, Earth
Is partner made in Angels' mirth,

The unspeakable, pure shower
Of blessings to the unbloody rite

Even now is winging Its awful way, The Infinite

To meek hearts bringing.

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