St. Mark's Day

John Keble 1792 (Fairford) – 1866 (Bournemouth)

Oh! who shall dare in this frail scene
On holiest happiest thoughts to lean,
  On Friendship, Kindred, or on Love?
Since not Apostles' hands can clasp
Each other in so firm a grasp
  But they shall change and variance prove.

Yet deem not, on such parting sad
Shall dawn no welcome dear and glad:
  Divided in their earthly race,
Together at the glorious goal,
Each leading many a rescued soul,
  The faithful champions shall embrace.

For e'en as those mysterious Four,
Who the bright whirling wheels upbore
  By Chebar in the fiery blast.
So, on their tasks of love and praise
This saints of God their several ways
  Right onward speed, yet join at last.

And sometimes e'en beneath the moon
The Saviour gives a gracious boon,
  When reconciled Christians meet,
And face to face, and heart to heart,
High thoughts of holy love impart
  In silence meek, or converse sweet.

Companion of the Saints! 'twas thine
To taste that drop of peace divine,
  When the great soldier of thy Lord
Called thee to take his last farewell,
Teaching the Church with joy to tell
  The story of your love restored.

O then the glory and the bliss,
When all that pained or seemed amiss
  Shall melt with earth and sin away!
When saints beneath their Saviour's eye,
Filled with each other's company,
  Shall spend in love th' eternal day!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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John Keble

John Keble was an English churchman and poet, one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement. Keble College, Oxford was named after him. more…

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"St. Mark's Day" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 11 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/23617/st.-mark's-day>.

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