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The Christian Year
by Blessed John Keble 

It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the Lord. 
                                                   1 KINGS xiii. 26.

PROPHET of God, arise and take
With thee the words of wrath divine, 
       The scourge of Heaven, to shake
       O’er yon apostate shrine.

Where Angels down the lucid stair
Came hovering to our sainted sires, 
       Now, in the twilight, glare
       The heathen’s wizard fires.

Go, with thy voice the altar rend,
Scatter the ashes, be the arm,
       That idols would befriend,
       Shrunk at thy withering charm.

Then turn thee, for thy time is short, 
But trace not o’er the former way,
       Lest idol pleasures court
       Thy heedless soul astray.

Thou know’st how hard to hurry by, 
Where on the lonely woodland road
       Beneath the moonlight sky
       The festal warblings flow’d;

Where maidens to the Queen of Heaven 
Wove the gay dance round oak or palm,
       Or breath’d their vows at even 
       In hymns as soft as balm.

Or thee, perchance, a darker spell
Enthralls: the smooth stones of the flood* 
       By mountain grot or fell
       Pollute with infant’s blood;

The giant altar on the rock,
The cavern whence the timbrel’s call 
       Affrights the wandering flock 
       Thou long’st to search them all.

Trust not the dangerous path again— 
O forward step and lingering will!
       O lov’d and warn’d in vain! 
       And wilt thou perish still?

Thy message given, thine home in sight, 
To the forbidden feast return?
       Yield to the false delight
       Thy better soul could spurn?

Alas, my brother! round thy tomb 
In sorrow kneeling, and in fear,
       We read the Pastor’s doom 
       Who speaks and will not hear.

The grey-hair’d saint may fail at last, 
The surest guide a wanderer prove;
       Death only binds us fast
       To the bright shore of love.