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

St. Peter in Prison

John Samuel Bewley Monsell (1811–1875)

WHO is he that sleeps in chains,

Fears not penalties nor pains:

Calmly sleeps, tho’ malice waits

For him at his prison gates;

Dreams not of impending sorrow,

Which may visit him to-morrow,

But, like infant on the breast

Of its mother, sinks to rest?

He to whom his God hath giv’n

Peace on earth, and hope in Heav’n!

Who is he whom watch and ward,

Lock and key and wakeful guard,

Rome’s quaternions, rough and bold,

Chains and prison, cannot hold?

From whose hands the fetters fall,

To whom angel voices call,

Who by angel light doth see,

And by angel hand is free?

He for whom, both night and day,

The Redeemer’s Church doth pray!

When our peace with God is made,

None can vex or make afraid:

Tho’ the wrath of man be strong,

It can do the soul no wrong;

Fear of evil tidings never

Can the trusting heart dissever

From the rest, and the repose,

The believing spirit knows:

Cheering thoughts! which Christians may

Deepen on St. Peter’s Day.

And when prayer with one accord

Rises earnest to the Lord;

Tho’ the might of mortal power

Darkling o’er the Church may lower;

Tho’ the promise seem to fail,

And the gates of Hell prevail,

God will never leave His own

Unprotected or alone:

Ere His Church shall want a friend,

Angels will from Heaven descend.