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The Jewish Year

No. II

שבת נח

by Grace Aguilar

"Found grace before the Lord! Oh blest
   Was Noah in His sight,
Blest that the love within his breast
   Was pure to meet the light,
Blest, that in him the good was found,
And smiled amid the dearth around.

Faithful amidst the biting scorn,
   The jeers, of wretched men;
Faithful of threatening wrath to warn
   Again and yet again;
Trusting in simple faith the word
That mark'd him cherish'd of the Lord.

Long years 'twas his to work and wait,
   The strange command obey,
Nor doubted, tho' the threatened fate
   Long suffering would delay;
He walk'd with God, he sought to fill
His soul with pray'r, and do His will.

And when the rushing torrents came
   With Death's deep, blackest wo,
And vainly on the Eternal's Name
   The dying call's below:
Secure he rode the mountain wave,
And clasp'd the Arm outstretch'd to save

He had not wavr'd in his trust,
   Nor wander'd from the way,
The storm that laid proud hearts in dust,
   Did on him harmless play.
A Father's arm upheld the ark
And kept secure, the fragile bark.

And we, like him, may watch and pray
   Against affliction's hour,
Upon a Father's love to stay,
   When tempest's round us lower.
And like him, trust in faith, and still,
Tho' mockers jeer, adore His will.

Tho' never more, the depths o'erflow
   The world, so bright and fair,
Oh many a dark and lonely wo,
   The human heart must bear.
And sorrow is a fearful thing,
Without an ark, on which to cling.

An ark of refuge still is ours,
   And still that voice of love
Which Noah warn'd of darker hours.
   Yet whispers from above,
And breathes a spirit in His word,
E'en as the voice His servant heard.

The mountains may from earth depart,
   The hills be hence remov'd,
But never from our Father's heart,
   Shall pass His well belov'd,
His kindness shall not change or cease
Nor fail, the covenant of His peace.

A little moment He may seem
   His first-born to forsake,
The glory of His holy beam,
   From us, a brief while take,
But in His mercy, yet once more
Will He, His own to joy restore:

In little wrath, awhile conceal,
   From us His darken'd face;
But soon, oh soon will love reveal
   From His pure dwelling-place;
With everlasting love restore
His presence to His own once more.

Thus, thus He speaks, our father's God,
   Our Saviour and our King,
And shall we, grovelling in the sod,
   Forbear to clasp His wing?
And doubt repiningly His word,
And shrink in wo from hope deferr'd?

Oh no! oh no! the fainting heart,
   May cling in faith to Him,
And He will light and peace impart,
   Tho' earthly light grow dim;
His word is changeless, as the love
That beams around, below, above:

Changeless in wrath, and shall it be,
   Less faithful to fulfill,
When that effulgent love we see,
   The spirit's waves to still?
Our faith, our heart, as Noah give,
And e'en mid storms, our souls shall live.

We may not doubt, we may not pause,
   Believe, and work, and pray;
E'en tho' there seem no threat'ning cause,
   Love will not brook delay.
God of the chosen tribe, the lost, the opprest,
Oh, let Thy spirit in our hearts find rest.