A vision of a savage land,
A glimpse of cloud-ringed seas;
A moonlit deck, a murderous hand;
No more, no more of these!
No more! how heals the tender flesh,
Once torn by savage beast?
The wound, re-opening, bleeds afresh,
Each season at the least!
O day, for dawn of thee how prayed
The spirit, sore distressed;
Thy latest beams, upslanting, made
A pathway for the blest.
And robes, new-donned, of the redeemed,
Gleamed white past grief's dark pall:
So this, a day of death which seemed,
A birthday let us call.
Remembering, such day as this,
A soul from flesh was shriven,
By death, God's messenger of bliss;
A spirit entered Heaven.
Thy dying head no loving breast
Upheld, O early slain;
But soon, mid welcoming saints, 'twas prest
Where God's own Child has lain!
Though none at death broke Bread for thee,
Or poured the Sacred Wine;
Thou, nourished at His Board, dost see
The Substance of the Sign.
We mourned thee! Heaven's new born, and rich
Past all our prayers could claim,
Secure in blessedness, of which
We have not learnt the name.