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

By John Keble (1792–1866)

The Burial of the Dead

THE DEEP knell dying down, the mourners pause,
Waiting their Saviour’s welcome at the gate;
        Sure with the words of Heaven
        Thy Spirit met us there,
And sought with us along the accustom’d way        5
The hallow’d porch, and entering in beheld
        The pageant of sad joy
        So dear to Faith and Hope.
O hadst thou brought a strain from Paradise
To cheer us, happy soul, thou hadst not touched        10
        The sacred springs of grief
        More tenderly and true,
Than those deep-warbled anthems, high and low,
Low as the grave, high as th’ Eternal Throne;
        Guiding through light and gloom        15
        Our mourning fancies wild,
Till gently, like soft golden clouds at eve
Around the western twilight, all subside
        Into a placid faith,
        That even with beaming eye        20
Counts thy sad honours, coffin, bier, and pall,
(So many relics of a frail love lost),
        So many tokens dear
        Of endless love begun.