Hymn After Fasting

Aurelius Clemens Prudentius.
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O Christ, of all Thy servants Guide,
Mild is the yoke Thou mak'st us bear,
Leading us gently by Thy side
With gracious care.
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Thy love took up our life's hard load
And spent in grievous toils its might:
Thy bond-slaves tread the easier road
Led by Thy light.
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Nine hours have run their course away,
The sun sped three parts of its race:
And what remains of the short day
Fadeth apace.
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The holy fast hath reached its end;
Our table now Thou loadest, Lord:
With all Thy gifts true gladness send
To grace our board.
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Such is our Master's gentle sway,
So kind the teaching in His school,
That all find rest who will obey
His easy rule.
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Thou would'st not have us scorn the grace
Of cleanliness and vesture fair:
Thou lovest not a soilèd face
And unkempt hair.
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Let him that fasts, Thou saidst, be clean,
Nor lose health's fair and ruddy glow:
Let no wan sallowness be seen
Upon his brow.
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'Tis better in glad modesty
Of our good works to shun display:
God sees what 'scapes our neighbour's eye
And will repay.
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That Shepherd keen seeks one lost sheep
Sickly and weak, strayed from the fold,
Fleece torn with briers of thickets deep,
Foolishly bold.
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He drives the wolves far from the track:
And found He brings on shoulders borne
To sunlit pen the wanderer back,
No more forlorn:
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Yea, to the meads and grassy fields
The lamb restores, where no thorn balks,
No rough burrs tear, no thistle yields
Its bristling stalks:
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But leaves of green herbs brightly glance
And in the grove the palm-trees dream,
And laurels shade the eddying dance
Of crystal stream.
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For all these gifts, O Shepherd dear,
What service can I render Thee?
No grateful vows my debt shall clear
For love so free.
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Though by self-chosen fasts severe
Our strength of limb we waste away:
Though, spurning food, we Thee revere
By night and day:
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Yet our works never can o'ertake
Thy love or with Thy gifts compare:
Our toils this earthen vessel break,
The more we dare.
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Therefore lest failing powers consume
Our fragile life and shrivelled veins
Pale 'neath the tyranny of rheum
And weakening pains:
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Thou dost not rule perpetual Lent
For man, nor modest fare deny:
Fearless may each unto his bent
His wants supply.
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Enough that all our acts by prayer
Be sanctified unto Thy will,
Whether we fast, or with due care
Our needs fulfil.
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Then shall God bless us for our good
And lead us to our soul's true wealth;
For, if but consecrated, food
Shall bring us health.
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O Lord, grant that our feast may spread
Marrow and strength throughout our flesh:
And may all Christly souls be fed
With vigour fresh.
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Hymns of Prudentius, 1905.
Hymn After Fasting Hymn After Fasting Reviewed by Francisco Nascimento on 19:50 Rating: 5

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