All Saints' Day

Why blow'st thou not, thou wintry wind,

Now every leaf is brown and sere,

And idly droops, to thee resigned,

The fading chaplet of the year?

Yet wears the pure aerial sky

Her summer veil, half drawn on high,

Of silvery haze, and dark and still

The shadows sleep on every slanting hill.

How quiet shews the woodland scene!

Each flower and tree, its duty done,

Reposing in decay serene,

Like weary men when age is won,

Such calm old age as conscience pure

And self-commanding hearts ensure,

Waiting their summons to the sky,

Content to live, but not afraid to die.

Sure if our eyes were purged to trace

God's unseen armies hovering round,

We should behold by angels' grace

The four strong winds of Heaven fast bound,

Their downward sweep a moment stayed

On ocean cove and forest glade,

Till the last flower of autumn shed

Her funeral odours on her dying bed.

So in Thine awful armoury, Lord,

The lightnings of the judgment-day

Pause yet awhile, in mercy stored,

Till willing heart swear quite away

Their earthly stains; and spotless shine

On every brow in light divine

The Cross by angel hands impressed,

The seal of glory won and pledge of promised rest.

Little they dream, those haughty souls

Whom empires own with bended knee,

What lowly fate their own controls,

Together linked by Heaven's decree; —

As bloodhounds hush their baying wild

To wanton with some fearless child,

So Famine waits, and War with greedy eyes,

Till some repenting heart be ready for the skies.

Think ye the spires that glow so bright

In front of yonder setting sun,

Stand by their own unshaken might?

No — where th'upholding grace is won,

We dare not ask, nor Heaven would tell,

But sure from many a hidden dell,

From many a rural nook unthought of there,

Rises for that proud world the saints' prevailing prayer.

Oh Champions blest, in Jesus' name,

Short be your strife, your triumph full,

Till every heart have caught your flame,

And, lightened of the world's misrule,

Ye soar those elder saints to meet,

Gathered long since at Jesus' feet,

No world of passions to destroy,

Your prayers and struggles o'er, your task all praise and joy.

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