Home  »  The Poets’ Bible  »  St. Matthew

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

St. Matthew

John Samuel Bewley Monsell (1811–1875)

“And as Jesus passed from thence, He saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He said unto him, Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him.”—MATT. IX. 9.

FROM fisher’s net, from fig-tree’s shade,

God gathers whom He will;

Touch’d by His grace, all men are made

His purpose to fulfil.

But not alone from shady nooks,

Fresh with life’s noontide dew;

From humble walks or quiet books,

Calls He His chosen few.

Out of the busiest haunts of life,

Its most engrossing cares,

Its nightly travail, daily strife,

Self-woven golden snares—

He for His vineyard doth provide,

His gentle voice doth move

The world’s keen votaries to His side,

With Its persuasive love.

So Matthew left his golden gains,

At the great Master’s call;

His soul the love of Christ constrains

Freely to give up all.

The tide of life was at its flow,

Rose higher day by day;

But he a higher life would know

Than that which round him lay.

Nor Fortune, bright with fav’ring smile,

Can tempt him with her store;

Too long she did his heart beguile,

He will be hers no more.

To one sweet Voice his soul doth list,

And, at its “Follow Me,”

Apostle, and Evangelist

Henceforth for Christ is he.

O Saviour! when prosperity

Makes this world hard to leave,

And all its pomps and vanity

Their meshes round us weave:

When Mammon with its subtle chain,

Fair, because forged in gold,

The soul, which up to Heaven would strain

In captive thrall doth hold:

When life with all its balmiest hours

In sunshine round us lies;

And bee-like, ’mid a thousand flowers

Fond fickle fancy flies:

Oh grant us grace that to Thy call

We may obedient be;

And, cheerfully forsaking all,

May follow only Thee.