SAINT MARTHA'S ON THE HILL.
Tas.oven earth and air and sky and sea
Unconquerably runs The current of divinity ; It lifts the daisy that aspires Towards the heavenly blue, and fires The night's ten thousand suns.
But man, fast bound by time and space, Though God is everywhere, Must seek Him in some special place, Where to all eyes as in a shrine Is manifest the great design To show the Presence there.
And not by help of ancient creed Can all discern His face, And not by force of human need; For faith is weak and doubts invade, And power of general love is made
A rare and guarded grace.
Yet though too blind to see the goal, Too lame to follow—still I thank the giver of my soul That in one spot I can descry The footprints made when He
Saint Martha's on the Hill.
No pride of craftsmanship or art For curious eyes to scan Has in my temple any part; It is a tiny chapel raised By simple folk who worked and praised, Upon a crosswise plan.
A little chapel grey with years, And bleached by sun and rain, One solid four-square tower it rears Above strong walls which still oppose Firm front to elemental foes That rage at them in vain.
The centre of converging storms, Unnoighboured and alone, A sleepless vigil it performs ; It watches over dale and down, O'er scattered cot and clustered town, A silent prayer in stone.
Far southward from Saint Martha's Hill,
And to the east and west,
The downs heave up green shoulders, till The distance with its magic blue Envelops every other hue, And crest is lost in crest.
Safe sheltered by the encircling downs The chequered valleys show Their tapestry of greens and browns, Made rich by fields of golden grain, And threaded by a silver vein Where Wey's clear waters flow.
A churchyard bare of shrub or tree, All open to the sky, To every wind of heaven free, Lies round tho chapel, carpeted With soft, sweet turf whore happy dead In dreamless slumber lie.
For, far removed from camp or mart, Beneath the sacred sod Of that blest hill they sleep apart : Forgotten by the world below, After life's spendthrift toil they know The rest that comes from God.
And, oh, it must be good to sleep Within that churchyard bare, While turn by turn the seasons keep A bedside watch, and God may see Safe in Saint Martha's nursery His children pillowed there.
Lone chapel !—where in ages dead The passing pilgrim stayed To hear the words of comfort said, And gain refreshment for the quest That drew him from the sunset west To where a saint was laid,
A soothing and a healing balm Clings to your shadow still, The memory of an ancient calm ; And like the pilgrims and not
less We of these days can learn to bless Saint Martha's on the Hill.
Man is too circumscribed to find The Soul in all around, In force and matter, heart and mind; But here and there his eyes unclose, And then he praises God and knows He treads on holy ground.
And happy he in such a case Who feels his spirit thrill To meet the Vision in a place As fair and lovely as tome Is your high, lonely sanctuary— Saint Martha's on the Hill.
Bt. Martha's Chapel, Guildford.