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

The Childhood of Christ

Anna H. Drury

WHAT earth appeared to Angel eyes

That Sabbath morn in Paradise,

When man before his Father stood,

And God beheld that all was good—

When Nature, guiltless yet of stain,

Returned her Maker’s smile again,

And over all created things

Lingered the Spirit’s brooding Wings—

So fair, so fresh, so free from taint,

Beyond all mortal skill to paint,

So calm in growing strength serene,

The Holy Childhood must have been.

A Garden fed with Heavenly Dew,

Where all things lovely bloomed and grew,

Where knowledge both of good and ill,

But left the heart more holy still.

But vainly would we seek to raise

The veil that shrouds Christ’s early days,

Each wondrous Act, each Word sublime

That beautified that glorious Prime.

A few brief lines of Sacred Writ

Contain the whole we know of it;

And where the eye of faith may see

The lowly Home of Galilee,

Where daily in His Mother’s sight

He grew in Wisdom, and in Might;

The path of meek obedience trod,

In favour both with man and God.

He grew in Wisdom! who can weigh

The meaning which those Words convey;

Or trace the deep mysterious line

Between the Human and Divine?

We only know the daily growth

Was that of Mind and Body both,

Until the Perfect Childhood passed

Into the Perfect Man at last.

Yet one recorded scene alone

A Glory o’er those years hath thrown,

Revealing to His Mother’s Soul

A Realm beyond her Love’s control.

Teaching both her, who meekly heard

And treasured every sacred Word,

And all His Church from age to age,

Who read them in the Gospel page.

That far above all earthly claim

Was that great Work for which He came,

And far beyond all earthly tie,

The Sonship of His Deity.

And if to those who love Him most

His Presence for a while be lost,

And on Life’s crowded road they find

That they have left their Lord behind.

Let them each erring step retrace,

And seek Him through His Means of Grace

Who, in His Father’s House of Prayer,

Still doth His Work of Mercy there.