Lent Lilies

Fair children of unwilling spring,
They grow beside our leafless bowers,
And gentle hopes and perfumes bring,
To cheer our cold and dreary hours.
To sunless skies and scentless gale
They lift their leaves of golden hue,
Sweet Friend, they tell a cheering tale,
Our Lent has lilies, too.

For through this penitential time
Together have we watch'd and pray'd,
Together heard the matin chime,
And seen the tender evening fade;
We trod the steep appointed way,
We wash'd with tear-drops penitent,
In meek obedience, day by day,
The lilies of our Lent.

And not in vain these hours of woe
For haughty sons of sinful clay,
More rugged path He trod below
Who wash'd our heavy guilt away.
Yet cheerly tread—He rose who died,
Bright hope with all our grief is blent,
And we may wear, at Easter-tide,
The lilies of our Lent.

And when the toilsome strife is past,
All fasts, and fears, and vigils done,
How brightly then shall dawn, at last,
The everlasting Easter sun:
On eyes that tears shall never wet,
On hearts for ever pure and true;
Oh, dearly loved and rarely met,
Our Lent has lilies, too!

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