159. Candlemas

{279} (A Song.)

THE Angel-lights of Christmas morn,
    Which shot across the sky,
Away they pass at Candlemas,
    They sparkle and they die.

Comfort of earth is brief at best,
    Although it be divine;
Like funeral lights for Christmas gone,
    Old Simeon's tapers shine.

And then for eight long weeks and more,
    We wait in twilight grey,
Till the high candle sheds a beam
    On Holy Saturday.

We wait along the penance-tide
    Of solemn fast and prayer;
While song is hush'd, and lights grow dim
    In the sin-laden air. {280}

And while the sword in Mary's soul
    Is driven home, we hide
In our own hearts, and count the wounds
    Of passion and of pride.

And still, though Candlemas be spent
    And Alleluias o'er,
Mary is music in our need,
    And Jesus light in store.

The Oratory

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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