[" In minibus Tuis sortes meae."—Ps. said. 17.]
OLD friend of more than sixty years—.
Though spaces long and sad arrears And frequent failings to respond
May test but cannot snap the bond—
How fares it with you in the press Of twentieth-century storm and stress, Of voices many and party strife?
Two sevens mark your stage of life.
The blessings seven—the seven-branched lamp, Seasons and solemn rites all stamp That mystic number of the East, The slave each seventh year released, The stars, the parting words of Christ,
The sprinkling of the sacrificed.—
Still active, cheery ? My days soon, If Heaven shall grant another moon, Will equal yours. I would the past Could show more fruit, the night so fast Is speeding on, so short the lease, When this world's schemes and work must cease.
Shall what is wrought pass all away When on us gleams the latest ray ? Shall Virgil, Homer charm no more, With Plato's visionary lore ? The stateliness of Sophocles- ! Say, dying, must we die to these? If What they chanted was divine, High Heaven will rescue and refine And blend it with the undying hymn Qnired by Saints and Seraphim.
Whatever time or chance may bring, To Christ and Christlike men we'll cling. On seas unknown our vessel frail We venture : may He bid us hail ! No chart we have : His grasp of yore Th' impulsive timid saint upbore. And we may recognise His form, Hearing His voice above the storm. "Fear not that undiscovered land ! Thy destinies are in my hand."
And so farewell, East Anglian friend, May heavenly guardians thee attend !
FRANCIS ST. JOHN THACKERAY.