Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919). Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse. 1903.

By John Keble (1792–1866)


HOW welcome, in the sweet still hour,
    Falls on the weary heart,
      Listening apart,
Each rustling note from breeze and bower;
  The mimic rain ’mid poplar leaves,        5
  The mist-drops from the o’erloaded eaves,
  Sighs that the herd half-dreaming heaves,
Or owlet chanting his dim part;
    Or trickling of imprison’d rill
    Heard faintly down some pastoral hill,        10
    His pledge, who rules the froward will
With more than kingly power, with more than wizard art.
    But never mourner’s ear so keen
    Watch’d for the soothing sounds
      That walk their rounds        15
  Upon the moonlight air serene,
    As the bright sentinels on high
    Stoop to receive each contrite sigh
    When the hot world hath hurried by,
  And souls have time to feel their wounds.        20
    Nor ever tenderest bosom beat
    So truly to the noiseless feet
    Of shadows that from light clouds fleet,
Where Ocean gently rocks within his summer bounds,
    As saints around the Glory-Throne        25
      To each faint sigh respond
        And yearning fond
    Of penitents that inly moan.