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Frederick W. Faber

There is a Sabbath won for us,
A Sabbath stored above,
A service of eternal calm,
An altar-rite of love.

There is a Sabbath won for us,
Where we shall ever wait
In mute or voiceful ministries
Upon the Immaculate.

There shall transfigured souls be filled
With Christ’s eternal name,
Dipped, like bright censers, in the sea
Of molten glass and flame.

Yet set not in thy thoughts too far
Our heaven and earth apart,
Lest thou shouldst wrong the heaven begun
Already in thy heart.

Though heaven’s above and earth’s below,
Yet are they but one state,
And each the other with sweet skill
Doth interpenetrate.

Yea, many a tie and office blest,
In earthly lots uneven,
Hath an immortal place to fill,
And is the root of heaven.

And surely Sundays bright and calm,
So calm, so bright as this,
Are tastes imparted from above
Of higher Sabbath bliss.

We own no gloomy ordinance,
No weary Jewish day,
But weekly Easters, ever bright
With pure domestic ray;

A feast of thought, a feast of sight,
A feast of joyous sound,
A feast of thankful hearts, at rest,
From labor’s wheel unbound;

A day of such homekeeping bliss
As on the poor may wait,
With all such lower joys as best
Befit his human state.

He sees among the hornbeam boughs
The little sparkling flood;
The mill-wheel rests, a quiet thing
Of black and mossy wood.

He sees the fields lie in the sun,
He hears the plovers crying;
The plough and harrow, both upturned
Are in the furrows lying.

In simple faith he may believe
That earth’s diurnal way
Doth, like its blessèd Maker, pause
Upon this hallowed day.

And should he ask, the happy man!
If heaven be aught like this;—
’Tis heaven within him, breeding there
The love of quiet bliss.

Oh, leave the man, my fretful friend!
To follow nature’s ways,
Nor breathe to him that Christian feasts
Are no true holydays.

Is earth to be as nothing here,
When we are sons of earth?
May not the body and the heart
Share in the spirit’s mirth?

When thou has cut each earthly hold
Whereto his soul may cling,
Will the poor creature left behind
Be more a heavenly thing?

Heaven fades away before our eyes,
Heaven fades within our heart,
Because in thought our heaven and earth
Are cast too far apart.


To discover more hymns, visit our growing list of Powerful Poetry.


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