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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Rose’s Diary (1850). “How beautiful our lives may be!”

Henry Septimus Sutton (1825–1901)

HOW beautiful our lives may be, how bright

In privilege, how fruitful of delight!

For we of love have endless revenue;

And, if we grieve, ’tis not as infants do

That wake and find no mother in the night.

They put their little hands about, and weep

Because they find mere air, or but the bed

Whereon they lie; but we may rest, instead,

For ever on His bosom, Who doth keep

Our lives alike safe, when we wake, and sleep.

And lo! all round us gleam the angelic bands,

Swift messengers of Providence all-wise,

With frowning brows, perhaps, for their disguise,

But with what springs of love within the eyes,

And what strong rescue hidden in the hands!

And our lives may in glory move along,

First, holy-white, and then with goodness fair

For our dear Lord to see;—the keenest thong

Of all that whips us, welcome: and the air

Our spirits breathe, self-shaped into a song.