“Go up and watch the new-born rill” Keble’s poem for Easter Monday

Monday in Easter Week.

Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.  Acts x. 34, 35.

Go up and watch the new-born rill
   Just trickling from its mossy bed,
      Streaking the heath-clad hill
         With a bright emerald thread.

Canst thou her bold career foretell,
   What rocks she shall o’erleap or rend,
      How far in Ocean’s swell
         Her freshening billows send?

Perchance that little brook shall flow
   The bulwark of some mighty realm,
      Bear navies to and fro
         With monarchs at their helm.

Or canst thou guess, how far away
   Some sister nymph, beside her urn
      Reclining night and day,
         ’Mid reeds and mountain fern,

Nurses her store, with thine to blend
   When many a moor and glen are past,
      Then in the wide sea end
         Their spotless lives at last?

E’en so, the course of prayer who knows?
   It springs in silence where it will,
      Springs out of sight, and flows
         At first a lonely rill:

But streams shall meet it by and by
   From thousand sympathetic hearts,
      Together swelling high
         Their chant of many parts.

Unheard by all but angel ears
   The good Cornelius knelt alone,
      Nor dreamed his prayers and tears
         Would help a world undone.

The while upon his terraced roof
   The loved Apostle to his Lord
      In silent thought aloof
         For heavenly vision soared.

Far o’er the glowing western main
   His wistful brow was upward raised,
      Where, like an angel’s train,
         The burnished water blazed.

The saint beside the ocean prayed,
   This soldier in his chosen bower,
      Where all his eye surveyed
         Seemed sacred in that hour.

To each unknown his brother’s prayer,
   Yet brethren true in dearest love
      Were they—and now they share
         Fraternal joys above.

There daily through Christ’s open gate
   They see the Gentile spirits press,
      Brightening their high estate
         With dearer happiness.

What civic wreath for comrades saved
   Shone ever with such deathless gleam,
      Or when did perils braved
         So sweet to veterans seem?


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