« VorigeDoorgaan »
LIFTING UP TO THE CROSS.
“ But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able."
Oft have I read of sunny realms, where skies are pure
at even, And sight goes deep in lucid air, and earth seems
nearer Heaven, And wheresoe'er you lift your eyes, the holy Cross,
they say, Stands guardian of your journey, by lone or crowded
way ; And I have mused how awfully its shadows and its
gleams Might haply fall on infants' eyes, and mingle with
their dreams, And draw them up by silent power of its o'er-shading
arm, And deepen on the tender brow Christ's seal and
Oft have I read, and dream'd, and now behold a token
A maiden from a distant isle, where Faith is fresh of
hue, Where Memory tarries, to reprove our cold irreverent
age, In churches set like stars around some saintly her
mitage ;Where old Devotion lingers beside the granite Cross, And pilgrims seek the healing well, far over moor and
moss, A noble-hearted maiden, from a believing shore, Is by, to see Christ's little ones Him crucified adore.
Upon a verdant hillock the sacred sign appears,
rears, With a sister's yearning love, and an elder sister's
pride, She lifts the new-baptized, to greet the Friend who for
him died. *
A traveller from Ireland witnessed this scene on the Continent, and described it to the Author.
Who may the maiden's thought divine, performing
thus in sight Of all the heavenly Watchers her pure unbidden rite ? While fearless to those awful Lips her treasure she
would raise, I see her features shrink, as though she fain would
Perchance a breath of self-reproach is fluttering round
her heart : Thou, darling, in our Saviour mayst for certain
claim thy part : The dews baptismal bright and keen are glistening on
thy brow, He cannot choose but own thee, in His arms received
e'en now. But much I've sinn’d and little wept : will He not say,
‘Begone ? I dare not meet His searching eye ; my penance is
undone. But thou and thy good Angel, who nerves mine arm to
bear And lift thee up so near Him, will strive for me in
Or chanced the Thorny Crown her first upseeking
glance to win, And the deep lines of agony traced by the whole
world's sin ? Oh, deeply in her bosom went the thought,
draw so nigh Unto those awful Lips, and share the Lord's departing
sigh, Who knoweth what mysterious pledge upon their souls
is bound, To copy in their own hearts' blood each keen and
bitter Wound ? If of the dying Jesus we the Kiss of Peace receive, How but in daily dying thenceforward dare we live ?
“ And was it meet, thou tender flower, on thy young
life to lay Such burden, pledging thee to vows thou never canst
unsay ? What if the martyrs' fire some day thy dainty limbs
devour ? What if beneath the scourge they writhe, or in dull What if thou bear the cross within, all aching and
famine cower ?
And 'twas I that laid it on thee:-what if thou fall
Such is Love's deep misgiving, when, stronger far
than Faith, She brings her earthly darlings to the Cross for life
O, be Thou present in that hour, high Comforter, to
lead Her memory to th' eternal Law, by the great King
decreed, What time the highly favoured one who on His bosom
lay, And He who of the chosen twelve first trode the
martyrs' way, Taught by their mother, crav'd the boon next to Thy
throne to be, For her dreams were of the Glory, but the Cross she
could not see.