John Keble was an English churchman and poet, one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement, and gave his name to Keble College, Oxford.
Life and Writings
He was born in Fairford, Gloucestershire where his father, the Rev. John Keble, was Vicar of Coln St. Aldwyns. He attended Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and, after a brilliant academic performance there, became a Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, and was for some years a tutor and examiner in the University. While still at Oxford he took Holy Orders in 1815, and became first a curate to his father, and later curate of St Michael and St Martin's Church, Eastleach Martin in Gloucestershire.
The Christian Year
Meantime, he had been writing 'The Christian Year', which appeared in 1827, and met with ...
Hues of the rich unfolding morn,
That, ere the glorious sun be born,
By some soft touch invisible
Around his path are taught to swell; -
Thou rustling breeze so fresh and gay,
That dancest forth at opening day,
And brushing by with joyous wing,
Wakenest each little leaf to sing; -
Ye fragrant clouds of dewy steam,
By which deep grove and tangled stream
Pay, for soft rains in season given,
Their tribute to the genial heaven; -
Why waste your treasures of delight
Upon our thankless, joyless sight;
Who day by day to sin awake,
Seldom of Heaven and you partake?
Oh, timely happy, timely wise,
Hearts that with rising morn arise!
Eyes that the beam celestial view,
Which evermore makes all things new!
New every morning is the love
Our wakening and uprising prove;
Through sleep and darkness safely brought,
Restored to life, and power, and thought.
New mercies, each returning day,
Hover around us while we pray;
New perils past, new sins forgiven,
New thoughts of God, new hopes of Heaven.
If on our daily course our mind
Be set to hallow all we find,
New treasures still, of countless price,
God will provide for sacrifice.
Old friends, old scenes will lovelier be,
As more of Heaven in each we see:
Some softening gleam of love and prayer
Shall dawn on every cross and care.
As for some dear familiar strain
Untired we ask, and ask again,
Ever, in its melodious store,
Finding a spell unheard before;
Such is the bliss of souls serene,
When they have sworn, and stedfast mean,
Counting the cost, in all t' espy
Their God, in all themselves deny.
Oh, could we learn that sacrifice,
What lights would all around us rise!
How would our hearts with wisdom talk
Along Life's dullest, dreariest walk!
We need not bid, for cloistered cell,
Our neighbour and our work farewell,
Nor strive to wind ourselves too high
For sinful man beneath the sky:
The trivial round, the common task,
Would furnish all we ought to ask;
Room to deny ourselves; a road
To bring us daily nearer God.
Seek we no more; content with these,
Let present Rapture, Comfort, Ease,
As Heaven shall bid them, come and go:-
The secret this of Rest below.
Only, O Lord, in Thy dear love
Fit us for perfect Rest above;
And help us, this and every day,
To live more nearly as we pray.