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Thanks be to the Eternal Father, who has made us one with Him through the benign Spirit of Christianity!
THROUGH the wide world went Marien
On a holy mission sent,
Throughout the world she went.
Sweet flowers sprang 'neath her feet;
Of virtues strong and sweet.
The desert beasts grew tame;
The merciful became.
I will in order tell
And what to her befel.
And at the break of day,
In quiet thought she lay.
The moon was pale and dim,
Over the ocean's rim.
“And I am alone,” said she,
Sing in the forest-tree :
Come to me when I call,
And I am loved by alt: “Though sun, and moon, and stars come out,
And flowers of fairest grace, And whate'er God made beautiful,
Are with me in this place : “ Yet I am all alone, alone,
Alone both night and day! So I will forth into the world,
And do what good I may: "For many a heart is sorrowful,
And I that heart may cheer;And many a weary captive pines
In dungeons dark and drear; And I the iron bonds may loose, —
Then why abide I here?
Yet longeth to repent ;
To the weak and innocent ;
And I may do the injured right,
May save the penitent!
And, thus as she did say,
And went forth on her way.
The thick wood and the green;
A cruel sight was seen.
Where singing birds were set ;
Two ruffian brothers met. “ Thou shalt not of our father's land,”
The elder said, “ have part!"
But stabbed him to the heart.
With desperate speed he ran, And gentle Marien stood beside
The bleeding, murdered man.
She washed his wounded side,
Who for the sinner died.
There stiff in death he lay; –
Went mourning on her way.
She came to where there sat,
A woman desolate.
And steadfast was her eye;
By her great misery. “What ails thee, mother!" Marien said,
In a gentle voice and sweet; “What aileth thee, my mother ?"
And knelt down at her feet.
Kind Marien still did say;
To the lone heart found their way.
She quickly raised her head ;; And “Who is 't calls me mother?"
Said she, “my child is dead!" “He was the last of seven sons
He is dead - I have none other; This is the day they bury him ;
Who is it calls me mother !" ""Tis I," said gentle Marien, " Dear soul, be comforted !"
And the peace of God that passeth word,
Upon her spirit lay,
As she went on her way.
The joyfulest song sang Marien
That e'er left human tongue; The very birds were mute to hear
The holy words she sung.
But now the darksome night came on,
And Marien lay her down Within a little way-side cave,
On mosses green and brown.
But the woman only wrung her hands,
And cried, “ My son is dead!" " Be comforted," said Marien,
And then she sweetly spake
The sting from death to take.
His soul by suffering tried : And how at last his mother stood
To see him crucified. of the disciples' broken hearts
She told, of pangs and pain; Of Mary at the sepulchre,
And Christ arisen again. “ Then sorrow not,” she said, “ as though
Thou wert of all berest;
This blessed faith is left.
Thou shalt embrace thy seven, More beautiful than earthly sons,
With our dear Lord in heaven!" Down on her knees the woman fell,
And " blessed be God," said she, “Who in my sorest need hath sent
This comforter to me!"
And in the deepest hush of night
Rude robbers entered in; And first they ate and drank, then rose
To do a deed of sin.
For with them was a feeble man,
Whom they had robbed, and they Here came to foully murder him,
And hide him from the day. Up from her bed sprang Marien,
With heavenly power endued ; And in her glorious innocence,
Stood 'mong the robbers rude. “Ye shall not take the life of man!"
Spake Marien low and sweet; “For this will God take strict account,
Before his judgment-seat!"
Out from the cave the robbers fled,
For they believed there stood, A spirit stern and beautiful,
Not aught of flesh and blood.
And two from out the robber-band
Thenceforward did repent, And lived two humble Christian men,
On righteous deeds intent.
Now Marien in the woman's house Abode a little space,
And comfort to the mother came; And a dear daughter's place
Had Marien in the woman's heart,
Doing the while a daughter's part. But now 't was time that she must go;
For Marien's duty was not there, Now grief was past and woe was done; So, with the rising of the sun,
She rose up forth to fare. " Nay, bide with me," the woman said,
« Or, if as thou dost say, Duty forbids that this may be, I a day's journey go with thee,
To speed thee on the way." So forth the loving pair set out,
The woman and the child ; And first they crossed the desert heath,
And then the mountains wild. And in the woman's arms she lay,
That night within the forest hoar, And the next morn, with loving heart, They said farewell, as those who part
To meet on earth no more. Upon her way went Marien, From morn till set of day,
When from the cave the robber-band
Had fled, the aged man
And marvelling much, began. “ Who art thou, child ? and those few words
Of might which thou hast spoken,
And lo! my bonds are broken;
My rigid bonds have broken !"
Through her God's power had wrought; And him from peril, nigh to death,
Thus wondrously had brought. She told him how holy Daniel's faith
The caged beasts disarmed ; How the three righteous children walked Through raging fire unharmed.
She told how Peter, bound with chains,
Lay in the prison-ward, How God's good angel freed him straight, And the strong prison's iron gate
Oped of its own accord.
“God knows our wants," said Marien
“ And in our sorest need, Puts forth his arm to rescue us, For he is merciful, and thus
It is that thou art freed."
"Let us go hence !" the old man said,
And o'er the forest sod, They, hand in hand, with quiet steps,
Went forward praising God. Ere noontide, to a forest grange
They came, a sylvan place, Where trooped, no longer searing man,
The forest's native race, The white doo and the antlered slag,
And every beast of chase.
'Twas joy to see them drawing near
The old man as he came; And this he stroked, and that he called
By some familiar name.
'Twas joy unto the little child
This little pleasant place to see; “ This is my home," he said, " and here
Thou shalt abide with me."
“I have no child to be mine heir,
And I am growing old ;-
And heir of all my gold.
And here within this wood, 'Mongst faithful, gentle things, shalt thou
Grow up to womanhood !"
Within the forest wild,
Was dearer than a child.
TAROUGH the wild wood went Marien,
For many a weary day;
The forest-turf she lay.
By moorlands dry and brown;
Into a little town.
A cross stood by the way,
A little prayer to say.
And soon beside her crept,
And all the while she wept. “Why weep you, child," asked Marien,
“What troubleth you so sore ?" At these words spoken tenderly,
The child wept more and more. " I have not heard," at length he said,
“ Kind words this many a year, My mother is dead - and my father
Is a hard man and severe. “I sit in corners of the house
Where none can see me weep; And in the quiet of the day
"Tis here I often creep. “The kid leaps by his mother's side,
The singing birds are glad : But when I play me in the sun,
My heart is ever sad.
All trouble, and therefore
For I of learning have no store !"
The child drooped down his head;
And of the Saviour read.
Of poverty and scorn;
The night that he was born.
To hail that Christmas night,
Beheld the glorious sight.
His parents he obeyed,
There dwelt the lovely Marien
Yet not long dwelt she there ;
A kinsman for the heir.
In wickedness grown old ;
And seized upon the gold;He slew the tamed forest-beasts,
The forest-grange he sold.
Away the child he sent :
But through the forest went.
Then how he grew to man's estate
And wandered up and down,
And in the busy town.
Page after page she read;
And how he raised the dead.
Even of low degree;
And set them on his knee.
He spoke in accents low,
To have been blessèd so!" “Thou shalt be blessed, gentle one!"
Said Marien kind and mild, “Christ, the Great Comforter, doth bless
Thee, even now, poor child!"
Until the closing day,
Rose up to go their way.
An ancient church, and here
“For the organ pealeth over head, And that sweet strain of holy sound Like a heavenly vesture wraps me round,
And my heavy heart doth cheer.” So Marien and the little child
Into the church they stole; And many voices rich and soft Rose upward from the organ loft, And the majestic instrument Pealed to an anthem that was sent
To soothe a troubled soul.
The pealing organ ceased,
Passed chorister and priest.
Went forward hand in hand Adown the chancel aisle, and then
At once they made a stand. Over the altar hung a piece
With holy influence fraught,
By some old painter wrought.
Was there like life expressed,
Were thronging to be blessed.
And weeping, tenderly
Or let me go to thee!"
Anon his little head dropped low,
And his white lips 'gan to say, “Oh kiss me gentle one, for now
Even I am called away -
It calleth me away!"
His meek arms on his breast,
Thus God had given him rest!
Sate down beside the dead,
As in a kingly bed.
When came the father there,
To say a morning prayer.
When, heart-struck, he surveyed
In his dead beauty laid.
His softened soul was torn
That little child had borne.
The footstep faint and low,
The look of hopeless woe. And many a shuddering memory
or harsh rebuke and blow.
As was his wont, he said,
He stood before the dead.
Ten long days' travel Marien went,
O'er woodland and o'er wold, Teaching and preaching by the way,
Like Jesus Christ of old.
A lodging she would find,
But blessings staid behind;
And plenteous peace of mind. With shepherd people on the hills;
With toiling peasant men, She sate ; with women dwelling lone,
On mountain or in glen. By wayside wells she sate her down,
With pilgrims old and bent; Or, hand in hand, with children small, To the village school she went.