John Keble

POETRY: Quinquagesima Sunday by Blessed John Keble

March 4, 2019

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the Earth. (Genesis 9:13) Sweet Dove! the softest, steadiest plume In all the sunbright sky, Brightening in ever-changeful bloom As breezes change on high;— Sweet Leaf! the pledge of peace and mirth, “Long sought, and lately won,” Bless’d increase of reviving Earth, When first it felt the Sun;— Sweet Rainbow! pride of summer days, High set at Heaven’s command, Though into drear and dusky haze Thou melt on either hand;— Dear tokens of a pardoning God, We hail ye, one and all, As when our father’s wak’d abroad, Freed from their twelvemonths’ thrall. How joyful from th’ imprisoning ark, On the green [...]

POETRY: Fifth Sunday After Epiphany by Blessed John Keble

February 13, 2019

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God. (Isaiah 59:1-2) “Wake, arm divine! awake, “Eye of the only Wise! “Now for thy glory’s sake, “Savior and God, arise, “And may thine ear, that sealed seems, “In pity mark our mournful themes!” Thus in her lonely hour Thy Church is fain to cry, As if thy love and power Were vanish’d from her sky; Yet God is there, and at his side He triumphs, who for sinners died. Ah! ‘tis the world enthralls The Heaven betrothed breast: The traitor Sense recalls The soaring soul from rest. That bitter sigh was all for earth, For glories gone, [...]

POETRY: St. Stephen’s Day by John Keble

December 26, 2018

As rays around the source of light Stream upward ere he glow in sight, And watching by his future flight Set the clear heavens on fire; So on the King of Martyrs wait Three chosen bands, in royal state, And all Earth owns, of good and great, Is gather’d in that choir. One presses on, and welcomes death: One calmly yields his willing breath, Nor slow, nor hurrying, but in faith Content to die or live: And some, the darlings of their Lord, Play smiling with the flame and sword, And, ere they speak, to His sure word Unconscious witness give. Foremost and nearest to His throne, By perfect robes of triumph known, And likest Him in look and tone, The holy Stephen kneels, With steadfast gaze, as when the sky Flew open to his fainting eye, [...]

PRAYER: An Horology by John Keble

June 18, 2018

Note: This selection of short prayers for every hour of the day, made partly from “The Devotions of Bishop Andrewes,” is intended, under God’s blessing, to aid the feeble endeavors of those saints upon Earth who humbly desire to show all faithful obedience to their blessed Master’s words, “Men ought always to pray.”   Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13)   O God, in the multitude of thy mercy, hear me. (Psalm 69:13)   The Lord’s Prayer Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in Earth as it is in Heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive [...]

POETRY: First Sunday After Easter by John Keble

April 8, 2018

Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself? (Numbers 16:9) First Father of the holy seed, If yet, invok’d in hour of need, Thou count me for thine own, Not quite an outcast if I prove, (Thou joy’s in miracles of love) Hear, from thy mercy-throne! Upon thine altar’s horn of gold Help me to lay my trembling hold, Though stain’d with Christian gore;— The blood of souls by Thee redeem’d, But, while I rov’d or idly dream’d, Lost to be found no more. For oft, when summer leaves were bright, And every flower was bath’d in light, In sunshine moments past, My willful heart would burst away From where the holy shadow lay, Where [...]

POETRY: Fifth Sunday In Lent by Blessed John Keble

March 18, 2018

And Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” (Exodus 3:3) Th’ historic Muse, from age to age, Thro’ many a waste heart-sickening page Hath trac’d the works of Man: But a celestial call to-day Stays her, like Moses, on her way, The works of God to scan. Far seen across the sandy wild, Where, like a solitary child, He thoughtless roam’d and free, One towering thorn was wrapt in flame; Bright without blaze it went and came: Who would not turn and see? Along the mountain ledges green The scatter’d sheep at will may glean The Desert’s spicy stores: The while, with undivided heart, The shepherd talks with God apart, And, as he talks, adores. Ye too, [...]

SERMON: The Dumb And Deaf Spirit by John Keble

March 4, 2018

He was casting out a devil, and it was dumb, and it came to pass that when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake. (Luke 11:14) As the holy time of Lent begins with the remembrance of our Lord overcoming Satan, so during the course of it we are warned by the church, again and again, of our warfare with the same evil spirit. Last Sunday we heard of an unclean devil being cast out of the daughter of a Canaanitish woman; and by and by, as the week of Christ’s Passion comes on, we shall hear more and more of Satan entering into Judas, and continuing to do Christ all the mischief he could. And on the third Sunday again we are told of a very remarkable case, a very signal blow struck in the warfare betwixt our Savior and our enemy. Jesus was [...]

POETRY: Third Sunday In Lent by Blessed John Keble

March 3, 2018

When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he shall come upon him and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. (Luke 11:21-22) See Lucifer like lightning fall Dash’d from his throne of pride; While, answering Thy victorious call, The Saints his spoils divide, This world of thine, by him usurp’d too long, Now opening all her stores to heal thy servants’ wrong. So when the first-born of thy foes Dead in the darkness lay, When thy redeem’d at midnight rose And cast their bonds away, The orphan’d realm threw wide her gates, and told Into freed Israel’s lap her jewels and her gold. And when their wondrous march was o’er, And they [...]

POETRY: Third Sunday After Epiphany by John Keble

January 21, 2018

When Jesus heard it he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel. (Matthew 8:10) I mark’d a rainbow in the north, What time the wild autumnal sun From his dark veil at noon look’d forth, As glorying in his course half done, Flinging soft radiance far and wide Over the dusky Heaven and bleak hillside. It was a gleam to memory dear, And as I walk and muse apart, When all seems faithless round and drear, I would revive it in my heart, And watch how light can find its way To regions farthest from the fount of day. Light flashes in the gloomiest sky, And Music in the dullest plain, For there the lark is soaring high Over her flat and leafless reign, And chanting in so [...]

SERMON: The Beginning of Miracles by John Keble

January 14, 2018

Thou hast kept the good wine until now. (John 2:10) Epiphany means “manifestation,” the manifestation of God on Earth: the eternal Son showing himself in sundry ways when he had taken our nature upon him, and had been made true Man as we are, of the substance of the Virgin Mary, his Mother. To outward appearance, he generally seemed as any other man; but every now and then tokens of Godhead broke out through the veil of his flesh, as flashes of lightning from a dark cloud; and these were so many Epiphanies, so many manifestations of his true self. The day, which we call the Feast of the Epiphany, is remarkable for three of these manifestations, three of the most glorious and blessed and most exactly set down in scripture. On [...]

POETRY: Thirteenth Sunday After Trinity by John Keble

September 10, 2017

And He turned unto His disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: for I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them: and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (Luke 10: 23–24) On Sinai’s top, in prayer and trance, Full forty nights and forty days The Prophet watch’d for one dear glance Of Thee and of Thy ways: Fasting he watch’d and all alone, Wrapt in a still, dark, solid cloud, The curtain of the Holy One Drawn round him like a shroud: So, separate from the world, his breast Might duly take and strongly keep The print of Heaven, to be express’d Ere long on Sion’s steep. There [...]

POETRY: Sunday After Ascension, by John Keble

May 28, 2017

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (Peter 4:10) The Earth that in her genial breast Makes for the down a kindly nest, Where wafted by the warm south-west It floats at pleasure, Yields, thankful, of her very best, To nurse her treasure: True to her trust, tree, herb, or reed, She renders for each scatter’d seed, And to her Lord with duteous heed Gives large increase: Thus year by year she works unfeed, And will not cease. Woe worth these barren hearts of ours, Where Thou hast set celestial flowers, And water’d with more balmy showers, Than e’er distill’d In Eden, on th’ ambrosial bowers— Yet nought we yield. Largely Thou givest, gracious [...]

POETRY: Fourth Sunday In Advent by John Keble

December 18, 2016

The eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. (Luke 32:3) Oft, as I gaze on landscape fair, In thought I feel me poor and base; Soft shades and gleaming lights are there— I know it well, but cannot trace. Mine eye unworthy seems to read One page of Nature’s beauteous book; It lies before me, fair outspread— I only cast a wishful look. I cannot paint to Memory’s eye The scene, the glance, I dearest love— Unchang’d themselves, in me they die, Or faint, or false, their shadows prove. In vain, with dull and tuneless ear, I linger by soft Music’s cell, And in my heart of hearts would hear What to her own she deigns to tell. ‘Tis misty all, both sight and sound— I only know ‘tis [...]

POETRY: Second Sunday In Advent by John Keble

December 4, 2016

Not till the freezing blast is still, Till freely leaps the sparkling rill, And gales sweep soft from summer skies, As o’er a sleeping infant’s eyes A mother’s kiss; ere calls like these, No sunny gleam awakes the trees, Nor dare the tender flowerets show Their bosoms to th’ uncertain glow. Why then, in sad and wintry time, Her heavens all dark with doubt and crime, Why lifts the Church her drooping head, As though her evil hour were fled? Is she less wise than leaves of spring, Or birds that cower with folded wing? What sees she in this lowering sky To tempt her meditative eye? She has a charm, a word of fire, A pledge of love that cannot tire; By tempests, earthquakes, and by wars, By rushing waves and falling stars, By every [...]

POETRY: All Saints’ Day, by John Keble

October 12, 2016

Why blow’st thou not, thou wintry wind, Now every leaf is brown and sere, And idly droops, to thee resigned, The fading chaplet of the year? Yet wears the pure aërial sky Her summer veil, half drawn on high, Of silvery haze, and dark and still The shadows sleep on every slanting hill. How quiet shews the woodland scene! Each flower and tree, its duty done, Reposing in decay serene, Like weary men when age is won, Such calm old age as conscience pure And self-commanding hearts ensure, Waiting their summons to the sky, Content to live, but not afraid to die. Sure if our eyes were purged to trace God’s unseen armies hovering round, We should behold by angels’ grace The four strong winds of Heaven fast bound, Their downward sweep a [...]

POETRY: St. Peter’s Day, by John Keble

September 14, 2016

Thou thrice denied, yet thrice beloved, Watch by Thine own forgiven friend! In sharpest perils faithful proved, Let his soul love Thee to the end. The prayer is heard—else why so deep His slumber on the eve of death? And wherefore smiles he in his sleep, As one who drew celestial breath? He loves and is beloved again— Can his soul choose but be at rest? Sorrow hath fled away, and pain Dares not invade the guarded nest. He dearly loves, and not alone; For his winged thoughts are soaring high Where never yet frail heart was known To breath in vain affection’s sigh. He loves and weeps; but more than tears Have sealed thy welcome and his love— One look lives in him, and endears Crosses and wrongs where’er he rove— That gracious [...]

SERMON: Sympathy With Saints And Martyrs, by John Keble

June 12, 2016

Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter v.9) When people are sick and in bad pain, we know how apt they are to imagine, Surely never anyone was so afflicted as I am.  How often do we hear them say, they are sure no person living can have a notion of what they suffer: no tongue, they are certain, can tell, no thought imagine it.  Yet all the while, physicians and nurses, and those about them, who are experienced in sickness, can tell them a good deal about their own feelings.  When they see their patients cast down with the notion of there being something new and strange in their trial, something worse than others have to bear, they would tell [...]

POETRY: Second Sunday After Trinity, by John Keble

June 8, 2016

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love  the brethren. (1 John 3:13) The clouds that wrap the setting sun When Autumn’s softest gleams are ending, Where all bright hues together run In sweet confusion blending:— Why, as we watch their floating wreath, Seem they the breath of life to breathe? To Fancy’s eye their motions prove They mantle round the Sun for love. When up some woodland dale we catch The many twinkling smile of ocean, Or with pleased ear bewildered watch His chime of restless motion; Still as the surging waves retire They seem to gasp with strong desire, Such signs of love old Ocean gives, We cannot choose but think he lives. Wouldst thou the [...]

POETRY: Ascension Day, by John Keble

May 5, 2016

Soft cloud, that while the breeze of May Chants her glad matins in the leafy arch, Draw’st thy bright veil across the Heavenly way Meet pavement for an angel’s glorious march: My soul is envious of mine eye, That it should soar and glide with thee so fast, The while my grovelling thoughts half buried lie, Or lawless roam around this earthly waste. Chains of my heart, avaunt I say— I will arise, and in the strength of love Pursue the bright track ere it fade away, My Savior’s pathway to his home above. Sure, when I reach the point where Earth Melts into nothing from th’ uncumbered sight, Heaven will o’ercome th’ attraction of my birth. And I shall sink in yonder sea of light: Till resting by th’ [...]

POETRY: Second Sunday After Easter by John Keble

April 6, 2016

He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High; which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall arise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.  (Numbers 24:16-17) O for a sculptor’s hand, That thou might’st take thy stand, Thy wild hair floating on the eastern breeze, Thy tranc’d yet open gaze Fix’d on the desert haze, As one who deep in Heaven some airy pageant sees. In outline dim and vast Their fearful shadows cast The giant forms of empires on their way To ruin: one by one They tower [...]

POETRY: The First Sunday After Epiphany by John Keble

January 10, 2016

They shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water-courses.   (Isaiah 44:4) Lessons sweet of spring returning, Welcome to the thoughtful heart! May I call ye sense or learning, Instinct pure, or heav’n-taught art? Be your title what it may, Sweet the lengthening April day, While with you the soul is free, Ranging wild o’er hill and lea. Soft as Memnon’s harp at morning, To the inward ear devout, Touch’d by light, with heavenly warning your transporting chords ring out. Every leaf in every nook, Every wave in every brook, Chanting with a solemn voice, Minds us of our better choice. Needs no show of mountain hoary, Winding shore or deepening glen, Where the landscape in its glory Teaches truth to wandering men— Give [...]

POETRY: Trinity Sunday by John Keble

June 3, 2015

If I have told you Earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of Heavenly things? (John 3:12) Creator, Savior, strengthening Guide, Now on Thy mercy’s ocean wide Far out of sight we seem to glide. Help us, each hour, with steadier eye To search the deepening mystery, The wonders of Thy sea and sky. The blessed angels look and long To praise Thee with a worthier song, And yet our silence does Thee wrong.— Along the Church’s central space The sacred weeks with unfelt pace Have borne us on from grace to grace. As travelers on some woodland height, When wintry suns are gleaming bright, Lose in arch’d glades their tangled sight;— By glimpses such as dreamers love Through her grey veil the leafless grove [...]

POETRY: The Christian Year — Morning and Evening, by John Keble

November 13, 2013

Morning His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.  (Lamentations 3:22-23)  Hues of the rich unfolding morn, That, ere the glorious sun be born, By some soft touch invisible Around his path are taught to swell;— Thou rustling breeze so fresh and gay, That dances forth at opening day, And brushing by with joyous wing, Wakens each little leaf to sing;— Ye fragrant clouds of dewy steam, By which deep grove and tangled stream Pay, for soft rains in season given, Their tribute to the genial heaven;— Why waste your treasures of delight Upon our thankless, joyless sight; Who day by day to sin awake, Seldom of Heaven and you partake? Oh, timely happy, timely wise, Hearts that with rising morn arise! Eyes that the beam celestial [...]