Night of Mid-June, in heavy vapours dying, Like priestly hands thy holy touch is lying Upon the world's wide brow; God-like and grand all nature is commanding The "peace that passes human understanding"; I, also, feel it now. What matters it to-night, if one life treasure I covet, is not mine! Am I to measure The gifts of Heaven's decree By my desires? O! life for ever longing For some far gift, where many gifts are thronging, God wills, it may not be. Am I to learn that longing, lifted higher, Perhaps will catch the gleam of sacred fire That shows my cross is gold? That underneath this cross - however lowly, A jewel rests, white, beautiful and holy, Whose worth can not be told. Like to a scene I watched one day in wonder: - A city, great and powerful, lay under A sky of grey and gold; The sun outbreaking in his farewell hour, Was scattering afar a yellow shower Of light, that aureoled With brief hot touch, so marvellous and shining, A hundred steeples on the sky out-lining, Like network threads of fire; Above them all, with halo far outspreading, I saw a golden cross in glory heading A consecrated spire: I only saw its gleaming form uplifting, Against the clouds of grey to seaward drifting, And yet I surely know Beneath the seen, a great unseen is resting, For while the cross that pinnacle is cresting, An Altar lies below. Night of Mid-June, so slumberous and tender, Night of Mid-June, transcendent in thy splendour Thy silent wings enfold And hush my longing, as at thy desire All colour fades from round that far-off spire, Except its cross of gold.
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