84. Declension

WHEN I am sad, I say,
   "What boots it me to strive,
And vex my spirit day by day,
   Dead memories to revive?

"Alas! what good will come,
   Though we our prayer obtain,
To bring old times triumphant home,
   And wandering flocks regain?

"Would not our history run
   In the same weary round,
And service in meek faith begun,
   At length in forms be bound?

"Union would give us strength—
   That strength the earth subdue.
And then comes wealth, and pride at length,
   And sloth, and prayers untrue." {147}

Nay, this is worldly-wise;
   To reason is a crime,
Since the Lord bade His Church arise,
   In the dark ancient time.

He wills that she should shine;
   So we her flame must trim
Around His soul-converting Sign,
   And leave the rest to Him.

6, 1833.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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