101. The Church in Prayer

WHY loiterest within Simon's walls,
    Hard by the barren sea,
Thou Saint! when many a sinner calls
    To preach and set him free?

Can this be he, who erst confess'd
    For Christ affection keen,
Now truant in untimely rest,
    The mood of an Essene?

Yet he who at the sixth hour sought
    The lone house-top to pray,
There gain'd a sight beyond his thought,
    The dawn of Gentile day. {174}

Then reckon not, when perils lour,
    The time of prayer mis-spent;
Nor meanest chance, nor place, nor hour,
    Without its heavenward bent.

Off Sardinia
June 21, 1833.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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