“When the shore is won at last, Who will count the billows past?” Keble’s Poem for St John’s Day

St. John’s Day.

Peter seeing him, saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?  Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me.  St. John xxi. 21, 22.

Lord, and what shall this man do?”
Ask’st thou, Christian, for thy friend?
If his love for Christ be true,
Christ hath told thee of his end:
This is he whom God approves,
This is he whom Jesus loves.

Ask not of him more than this,
Leave it in his Saviour’s breast,
Whether, early called to bliss,
He in youth shall find his rest,
Or armèd in his station wait
Till his Lord be at the gate:

Whether in his lonely course
(Lonely, not forlorn) he stay,
Or with Love’s supporting force
Cheat the toil, and cheer the way:
Leave it all in His high hand,
Who doth hearts as streams command.

Gales from Heaven, if so He will,
Sweeter melodies can wake
On the lonely mountain rill
Than the meeting waters make.
Who hath the Father and the Son,
May be left, but not alone.

Sick or healthful, slave or free,
Wealthy, or despised and poor—
What is that to him or thee,
So his love to Christ endure?
When the shore is won at last,
Who will count the billows past?

Only, since our souls will shrink
At the touch of natural grief,
When our earthly loved ones sink,
Lend us, Lord, Thy sure relief;
Patient hearts, their pain to see,
And Thy grace, to follow Thee.

SOURCE

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