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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.

At Nazareth

George Alexander Chadwick (1840–1923)

THESE are the flowery fields, where first

The wisdom of the Christ was nursed:

Here first the wonder and surprise

Of Nature lit the sacred eyes:

Waters, and winds, and woodlands here,

With earliest music charmed His ear,

For all His conscious youth drew breath,

Among these hills of Nazareth.

The mothers praised His kingly head,

His fearless and elastic tread,

His ringing voice in grove and dell

Singing the songs of Israel.

And Mary watched with joy and tears,

And pride and awe, the ripening years

Of her fair flower that bloom’d beneath

The cliffs that shelter Nazareth.

By fancies blinded and beguiled,

Men say the Saviour never smiled;

Ah, perfect youth and perfect boy,

How could He choose but thrill for joy?

Nor yet the cruel cross He bore,

Him God and man loved more and more;

He prospered, and drew balmy breath

In the fresh air of Nazareth.

And younger children, unreproved,

Made mirth around the youth they loved;

To Him none proffered suit in vain,

Unsolaced none confessed his pain;

Oftimes He cooled the fevered head,

And watch’d beside the sleepless bed:

Best comforter in life and death,

Was Jesus unto Nazareth.

The quiet hills, the skies above,

The faces round were bright with love;

He lost not, in the tranquil place,

One hint of wisdom or of grace;

Not unobserved, nor vague nor dim,

The secret of the world to Him,

The prayer He heard which Nature saith

In the still glades by Nazareth.

Yet graver, with the growth of years,

The step, the face, the heart appears;

The burden of the world He knows,

The unloved Helper’s lonely woes

Till, when the summons bids Him rise

From that still place of placid skies,

Fearless, yet sorrowing unto death,

Jesus goes forth from Nazareth.