[From Poems; by Rev Robert Brown, 1826]


SOON, rising from yon azure wave,
The moon shall climb the eastern skies,
Bright as the saint when from his grave
The judgment trump shall bid him rise
Even now begins the silvery beam
To tremble on Saint Mary's stream.

How sweet at this still hour to rove,
And by the moon's soft light to view
The foliage of that dusky grove,
The water of that streamlet blue,
The ivy robe which age has thrown
On yonder chapel's mouldering stone.

Time was when, at this lonely hour,
Reminded by the vesper bell,
That sounded from yon chapel's tower,
The self-sequestering maid would tell,
With awful look and bended knee,
Her often numbered rosary.

Ages there were when in this land
The demon Superstition reigned,
When all were swayed by his command,
When all, obedient to the fiend,
Yielded to sculptured wood and stone
The honour due to God alone.

Then from the wretched layman's eye
The sacred volume was concealed;
The glass through which the realms of joy
To man's dim vision are revealed;
The chart by which he steers his way
Through life's dark wave to endless day.

Then strove the people of the Isle
Heaven's awful anger to assuage,
By fasts, by vigils, by the toil
Of long and lonely pilgrimage,
Heedless of Him whose blood alone
For man's transgression can atone.

That time has fled! no longer here
Do men to Superstition bow;
His gorgeous shrines no more appear,
And vanished are his idols now,
Like the gay visions of the night,
When glows the east with morning's light.

Within this convent's mouldering walls
The flitting bat a dwelling finds;
The dreary shower unhindered falls,
And sadly sound the rushing winds,
Seeming in every gust to say,
" Thou, too, O man, shalt pass away."

But whence this revolution? whence
The fallen demon's overthrow?
The Bible, under Providence,
The Bible laid the monster low
Scared by that lamp's unmantled ray,
The hideous tyrant prostrate lay.

Let none the Bible's God defy,
Nor from its pages man debar;
Let it be seen by every eye,
As yon bright moon or argent star,
Spread like the wave, the light, the air!
Let the whole world the treasure share.

Let all the precious book possess,
Its heavenly pages all explore,
Learn thence their nature's sinfulness,
Repent, believe, and sin no more;
Walk in the path that all have trod
Who sleep in Christ, who dwell with God.

Then hope shall make each mourner smile,
And peace each sufferer's mind possess;
The world no longer shall we style
A waste and howling wilderness;
No longer Adam's fall deplore,
Eden shall bloom on earth once more.

Then praise shall dwell on every tongue,
From every heart thanksgiving flow,
Songs in the distant stars be sung,
Remotest worlds with rapture glow,
Archangels strike their harps on high,
And heaven's bright legions shout for joy.

  Back index next Nunnery

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2008