14. The Hidden Ones

          HID are the saints of God;—
Uncertified by high angelic sign;
Nor raiment soft, nor empire's golden rod
                 Marks them divine.
Theirs but the unbought air, earth's parent sod,
          And the sun's smile benign;—
Christ rears His throne within the secret heart,
          From the haughty world apart.

          They gleam amid the night,
Chill sluggish mists stifling the heavenly ray;
Fame chants the while,—old history trims his light,
                 Aping the day;
In vain! staid look, loud voice, and reason's might
          Forcing its learned way,
Blind characters! these aid us not to trace
          Christ and His princely race. {43}

          Yet not all-hid from those
Who watch to see;—'neath their dull guise of earth,
Bright bursting gleams unwittingly disclose
                 Their heaven-wrought birth.
Meekness, love, patience, faith's serene repose;
          And the soul's tutor'd mirth,
Bidding the slow heart dance, to prove her power
          O'er self in its proud hour.

          These are the chosen few,
The remnant fruit of largely-scatter'd grace,
God sows in waste, to reap whom He foreknew
                 Of man's cold race;
Counting on wills perverse, in His clear view
          Of boundless time and space,
He waits, by scant return for treasures given,
          To fill the thrones of heaven.

          Lord! who can trace but Thou
The strife obscure, 'twixt sin's soul-thralling spell
And Thy keen Spirit, now quench'd, reviving now?
                 Or who can tell, {44}
Why pardon's seal stands sure on David's brow,
          Why Saul and Demas fell?
Oh! lest our frail hearts in the annealing break,
          Help, for Thy mercy's sake!

, 1829.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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