Privileges Withdrawn

To J.

Thou hast been dwelling in a gleam
Of glorious light sent straight from Heaven,
It mingled with thy morning beam,
It broke the twilight of thine even.

It came with concord of sweet sound,
With herald strain of church-bells ringing,
With words of mercy breathing round,
And chanted prayer, and choral singing.

Along thy daily path it lay,
For inward peace, for added grace,
And thou didst linger in the ray,
The world shut out a little space.

'Tis past, or if it lingers yet,
Poor weary heart, 'tis not for thee —
Still morn and eve those sweet bells set,
Chime to the murmurs of the sea.

Still by the fair shrine, never cease,
The cry of penitence and prayer,
The answering voice of hope and peace,
And pardon — but thou art not there.

In vain the distant measure thrills
Thine heart, and vibrates in thine ear,
'Tis but an echo from the hills
That cheats the home-sick mountaineer.

'Tis but the wild wave's murmuring tone,
In ocean shell far inland heard —
Yet say not — dream not thus alone,
Is heavenward thought to rapture stirr'd.

Sweet are the strains that upward float,
When Christian hearts in rapture meet,
And passing sweet the priestly note,
That leads them to a Saviour's feet.

But these denied, let no quick word,
Nor thought o'er fond, nor hopeless sigh,
O, living temple of the Lord!
Sin to thine inward commune high.

Thou hast a shrine no hand can close,
No duty leave its courts untrod;
Where the true heart in secret knows
The Presence of the Spirit's God.

There grief may all her woes reveal,
There penitence may bring her shame,
Submission by the altar kneel,
And self-devotion feed the flame.

There patience wearing duty's chain,
And meek-faced love and pure desire,
May breathe within as sweet a strain
As ever thrill'd from yonder choir.

There, though thine heart in vain should yearn
For other voice estranged or dumb,
If thine own incense duly burn,
The great High Priest Himself shall come.

Ah! dream in sorrowing mood no more,
Of vows unpaid, unpardon'd sin,
Thou art not shut from Eden's door,
Thy truest Heaven is found within.

Deep in that wounded heart of thine
The temple of thy refuge lies,
Thyself the odour and the shrine,
And thine own will the sacrifice.
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