Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Amenophis and Other Poems (1892).
VII. A Hymn of Repentance
By Francis Turner Palgrave (1824–1897)
 
WHEN low on life’s horizon, sunk from heaven,
  The sun goes down, and night collects on high,
And grisly shapes of sin, as clouds storm-driven,
  In sad procession move against the sky,
      Lord, who can bear to die?        5
          But Thou say’st, No;
          Not so; not so:—
  Though in death’s twilight terror take thee,
  I will not leave thee or forsake thee.
 
They pass, the sins of youth, once loved, now loathéd,        10
  In Passion’s purple hues and folly dyed;
The sins of age, with leper whiteness clothéd;—
  The lust, the lie, the selfishness, the pride:
      Who may such sight abide?
          But Thou say’st, No;        15
          Not so; not so:—
  Though dark remorse and shame o’ertake thee,
  I will not leave thee or forsake thee.
 
O Lord and Judge, when from Thy mouth the sentence,
  Flames, and with prostrate knee and downcast eyes        20
We sigh before the Throne our late repentance,
  How should the spirit hope for wings to rise
      To Heaven’s own Paradise?
          But Thou say’st, No;
          Not so; not so;—        25
  To Him Who bled for man betake thee;
  He will not leave thee or forsake thee.
 
Thrice-holy Child, Who, pure from pure proceeding,
  By Mary’s side in gifts and graces grew;
Thou Who for our sake once hung pale and bleeding,        30
  Wilt Thou exact from me the penance due,
      Whose sins Thy death renew?
          But Thou say’st, No;
          Not so; not so;—
  Close to My wounded side I take thee;        35
  I will not leave thee or forsake thee.
 
 
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