86. External Religion

WHEN first earth's rulers welcomed home
    The Church, their zeal impress'd
Upon the seasons, as they come,
    The image of their guest.

Men's words and works, their hopes and fears,
    Henceforth forbid to rove,
Paused, when a Martyr claim'd her tears,
    Or Saint inspired her love.

But craving wealth, and feverish power,
    Such service now discard;
The loss of one excited hour
    A sacrifice too hard!

And e'en about the holiest day,
    God's own in every time,
They doubt and search, lest aught should stay
    A cataract of crime. {150}

Where shall this cease? must crosiers fall,
    Shrines suffer touch profane,
Till, cast without His vineyard wall,
    The Heaven-sent Heir is slain?

11, 1833.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
Copyright 2007 by The National Institute for Newman Studies. All rights reserved.