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

By Verses on Various Occasions. V. David and Jonathan

John Henry Newman (1801–1890)

Lazaret, Malta, January 16, 1833

Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.”

O HEART of fire! misjudged by wilful man,

Thou flower of Jesse’s race!

What woe was thine, when thou and Jonathan

Last greeted face to face!

He doomed to die, thou on us to impress

The portent of a blood-stain’d holiness.

Yet it was well:—for so, ’mid cares of rule

And crime’s encircling tide,

A spell was o’er thee, zealous one, to cool

Earth-joy and kingly pride;

With battle scene and pageant, prompt to blend

The pale calm spectre of a blameless friend.

Ah! had he lived, before thy throne to stand,

Thy spirit keen and high

Sure it had snapp’d in twain love’s slender band,

So dear in memory;

Paul of his comrade reft, the warning gives.—

He lives to us who dies, he is but lost who lives.