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The Christian Year
by Blessed John Keble 
(used with the permission of the Canterbury Project website, 
transcribed by Miss Julia Beth Bruskin)



As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. Zech. xi. 11.  
AT length the worst is o’er, and Thou art laid 
Deep in thy darksome bed; 
All still and cold beneath you dreary stone 
Thy sacred form is gone; 
Around those lips where power and mercy hung, 
The dews of death have clung; 
The dull earth o’er Thee, and thy foes around, 
Thou sleep’st a silent corse, in funeral fetters wound. 

Sleep’st Thou indeed? or is thy spirit fled, 
At large among the dead? 
Whether in Eden bowers thy welcome voice 
Wake Abraham to rejoice, 
Or in some drearier scene thine eye controuls 
The thronging band of souls; 
That, as thy blood won earth, thine agony 
Might set the shadowy realm from sin and sorrow free. 

Where’er Thou roam’st, one happy soul, we know, 
Seen at thy side in woe, 
Waits on thy triumph—even as all the blest 
With him and thee shall rest. 
Each on his cross, by Thee we hang a while, 
Watching thy patient smile, 
Till we have learn’d to say, "Tis justly done, 
"Only in glory, LORD, thy sinful servant own." 

Soon wilt Thou take us to thy tranquil bower 
To rest one little hour, 
Till thine elect are number’d, and the grave 
Call Thee to come and save: 
Then on thy bosom borne shall we descend, 
Again with earth to blend, 
Earth all refin’d with bright supernal fires, 
Tinctur’d with holy blood, and wing’d with pure desires. 

Meanwhile with every son and saint of thine 
Along the glorious line, 
Sitting by turns beneath thy sacred feet 
We’ll hold communion sweet, 
Know them by look and voice, and thank them all 
For helping us in thrall, 
For words of hope, and bright examples given 
To shew through moonless skies that there is light in Heaven. 

O come that day, when in this restless heart 
Earth shall resign her part, 
When in the grave with Thee my limbs shall rest, 
My soul with Thee be blest! 
But stay, presumptuous—CHRIST with thee abides 
In the rock’s dreary sides: 
He from the stone will wring celestial dew 
If but the prisoner’s heart be faithful found and true. 

When tears are spent, and Thou art left alone 
With ghosts of blessings gone, 
Think thou art taken from the cross, and laid 
In JESUS’ burial shade; 
Take Moses’ rod, the rod of prayer, and call 
Out of the rocky wall 
The fount of holy blood; and lift on high 
Thy grovelling soul that feels so desolate and dry. 

Prisoner of Hope thou art—look up and sing 
In hope of promis’d spring. 
As in the pit his father’s darling lay 
Beside the desert way, 
And knew not how, but knew his GOD would save 
Even from that living grave, 
So, buried with our LORD, we’ll close our eyes 
To the decaying world, till Angels bid us rise.