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Hora Christi
(1856-1948 / United States)

Hora Christi

Sweet is the time for joyous folk
   Of gifts and minstrelsy;
Yet I, O lowly-hearted One,
   Crave but Thy company.
On lonesome road, beset with dread,
   My questing lies afar.
I have no light, save in the east
   The gleaming of Thy star.

In cloistered aisles they keep to-day
   Thy feast, O living Lord!
With pomp of banner, pride of song,
   And stately sounding word.
Mute stand the kings of power and place,
   While priests of holy mind
Dispense Thy blessed heritage
   Of peace to all mankind.

I know a spot where budless twigs
   Are bare above the snow,
And where sweet winter-loving birds
   Flit softly to and fro;
There with the sun for altar-fire,
   The earth for kneeling-place,
The gentle air for chorister,
   Will I adore Thy face.

Loud, underneath the great blue sky,
   My heart shall paean sing,
The gold and myrrh of meekest love
   Mine only offering.
Bliss of Thy birth shall quicken me;
   And for Thy pain and dole
Tears are but vain, so I will keep
   The silence of the soul.

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