164. St. Philip Neri in his
    Mission

{293} (A song.)

IN the far North our lot is cast,
    Where faithful hearts are few;
Still are we Philip's children dear,
    And Peter's soldiers true.

Founder and Sire! to mighty Rome,
    Beneath St. Peter's shade,
Early thy vow of loyal love
    And ministry was paid.

The solemn porch, and portal high,
    Of Peter was thy home;
The world's Apostle he, and thou
    Apostle of his Rome.

And first in the old catacombs,
    In galleries long and deep,
Where martyr Popes had ruled the flock,
    And slept their glorious sleep, {294}

There didst thou pass the nights in prayer,
    Until at length there came,
Down on thy breast, new lit for thee,
    The Pentecostal flame;—

Then, in that heart-consuming love,
    Didst walk the city wide,
And lure the noble and the young
    From Babel's pomp and pride;

And, gathering them within thy cell,
    Unveil the lustre bright,
And beauty of thy inner soul,
    And gain them by the sight.

And thus to Rome, for Peter's faith
    Far known, thou didst impart
Thy lessons of the hidden life,
    And discipline of heart.

And as the Apostle, on the hill
    Facing the Imperial Town,
First gazed upon his fair domain,
    Then on the cross lay down, {295}

So thou, from out the streets of Rome
    Didst turn thy failing eye

Unto that mount of martyrdom,

    Take leave of it, and die. [Note]


The Oratory
.
1850.

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Note

On the day of his death, Philip, "at the beginning
of his Mass, remained for some time looking
fixedly at the hill of St. Onofrio, which was visible
from the chapel, just as if he saw some great
vision. On coming to the Gloria in Excelsis, he
began to sing, which was a very unusual thing
for him, and he sang the whole of it with the
greatest joy and devotion," &c.—Bacci's Life.
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