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Upon thy death-bed name it : So mayst thou chase th' infernal horde, So learn with Angels to proclaim it,
Thrice Holy, One Almighty Lord.
“He hath set the world in their heart.”
Who may the wondrous birth declare
Of Earth and Heaven so vast and fair ?
Yet whensoe'er to Love's pure spring
A helpless Little One they bring,
Those wonders o'er again we see
In saving mystery.
All in the unregenerate child
Is void and formless, dark and wild,
Till the life-giving holy Dove
Upon the waters gently move,
And power impart, soft brooding there,
Celestial fruit to bear.
God on the first day spake in might,
“Let there be Light,” and there was Light.
So o'er the Font enlightening grace
As surely beams from Jesus' face,
As when in Jordan's wave He bow'd
Beneath the hovering cloud.
The second day, God stor’d on high
The dewy treasures of the sky:
And who the pure glad drops may tell,
Reserv'd in yon ethereal well,
Faith to revive
Hope's weary thirst allay ?
The third day dawn’d: at His command
The rushing waters left the land,
With herb and flower the green earth smild:
So art thou rescued, Christian Child,
From tossings of the world's rude sea,
In vernal peace to be.
Bright rose the fourth triumphal morn,
For then the sun and stars were born,
And the soft moon, whose chaste cold ray
Tells tidings of a purer day.
Christ in the Font became our Noon,
The holy Church, our Moon.
To the fifth dawn and eve belong
Motion and life, and flight and song,
In watery deeps and deeps of Heaven :-
Such gift to thee, dear babe, was given,
When from the earth He bade thee rise
To greet Him in the skies.
The sixth dread day, the last in place,
Dread in its deeps of untold grace,
Moulded, at morn, the cold dull clay,
Inspired, at eve, the quickening ray ;
The same sad morn and evening mild
Renewed us, earth-defiled.
Thee, awful image of the All-good,
That one atoning day renew'd
For the whole world : the fontal wave
To each apart the glory gave,
Washing us clean, that we might hide
In His love-pierced side.
Thus in each day of toil we read
Tokens of joy to Saints decreed.
What if the day of holy rest
The sleep foreshow of infant blest,
Borne from the Font, the seal new given,
Perchance to wake in Heaven ?