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Christ's Passion eve fell dark and drear
Upon His faithful few,
In memory gleam'd anew.
And loud the chant of hope and glee
O’er Adam's eldest born,
Her travail pangs might mourn ?
" The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed ! it had been good for that man if he had not been born."
ALAS! that e'er the pangs of birth,
The consecrated throes, whereby
Untemper'd agony !
Yet sure as frail repenting Eve
For pardon knelt of yore, and now
Where all the world shall bow,
From fruit of her own favour'd womb,
The peace, the home, her wandering lost :Sure as to blessed Mary come
The Saints' and Martyrs' host,
To own, with many a thankful strain,
The channel of undying bliss, The bosom where the Lord hath lain,
The band that held by His ;
Sure as her form for evermore
The glory and the joy shall wear, That rob'd her, bending to adore
The Babe her chaste womb bare ;
So surely throes unblest have been,
And cradles where no kindly star Look'd down—no Angel's eye serene,
To gleam through years afar.
Did not our Lord speak out His ban,
The Christ for His betrayer mourn ? “Alas ! good were it for that man
If he had ne'er been born."
Nor may we doubt, His Mother mild
Upon that bosom pitying thought, Where Judas lay, a harmless Child,
By gold as yet unbought.
But Time, as holy sages sing,
When earth and sin have waxed old, A direr progeny will bring,
The last foe of the fold.
Of mortal seed, of woman bred,
The Antichrist, they write, will be, From a soft bosom duly fed,
Rock'd on a loving knee.
High grace at first to Judas came
Who knows but he, the Man of Sin, In the baptismal wave and flame
May his dread course begin ?
O ye who wait with hearts too light
By Font or cradle, fear in time! O let not all your dreams be bright,
Here in Earth's wayward clime !
From the foul dew, the blighting air,
Watch well your treasure newly won. Heaven's child and yours, uncharm’d by prayer,
May prove Perdition's son.
THE SAINTS' INFANCY.
“ And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an Angel."
WHERE is the brow to bear in mortals' sight
The Crown of pure angelic Light ?
And where the favoured eye
An infant on its mother smiling,
With the blest dew its cheeks are wet :-
There eyes, the Light to see.
He who vouchsafed to kindle that pure glow
Will feed it day and night, we know,
By duteous fear of sin