Nurse, Let Me Draw

“N URSE , let me draw the baby's veil aside,
I want to see the Cross upon her brow.”
Nay, maiden dear, that seal may not abide
In sight of mortals' ken; 'tis vanish'd now.

“Alas, for pity! when the holy man
Said even now, ‘I sign thee with the cross,’
What joy to think that I at home should scan
The bright, clear lines! O, sad and sudden loss!”

Complain not so, my child: no loss is here,
But endless gain. If thou wilt open wide
Faith's inward eye, soon shall to thee appear
What now by wondering angels is descried,

Thy Lord's true token, seen not but believ'd,
And therefore doubly blest. O, mark it well,
And be this rule in thy young heart receiv'd,
Blest, who content with Him in twilight dwell.

Saints, while the very image He denied,
Made much of the dim shadow: now He gives
The image. In adoring faith abide,
As in spring-time we watch unfolding leaves.

Woe to impatient hands, that ere its prime
Force the bud open, mar the unready flower:
Woe to faint hearts that will not wait the time,
To know the secrets of your blissful bower.

Thy saints, O Lord, and Thine own Mother dear
Are round Thee as a glory cloud: we see
The general glow, not each in outline clear,
Or several station: all are hid in Thee.

In prayer we own Thee, Father, at our side,
Not always feel or taste Thee; and 'tis well.
So, hour by hour, courageous faith is tried;
So, gladlier will the morn all mists dispel.
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