A Chant by Adelaide Anne Procter

“Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.”I.Who is the Angel that cometh?Life!Let us not question what he brings,Peace or Strife,Under the shade of his mighty wings,One by …

“Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.”

I.

Who is the Angel that cometh?
Life!
Let us not question what he brings,
Peace or Strife,
Under the shade of his mighty wings,
One by one,
Are his secrets told;
One by one,
Lit by the rays of each morning sun,
Shall a new flower its petals unfold,
With the mystery hid in its heart of gold.
We will arise and go forth to greet him,
Singly, gladly, with one accord;–
“Blessed is he that cometh
In the name of the Lord!”

II.

Who is the Angel that cometh?
Joy!
Look at his glittering rainbow wings–
No alloy
Lies in the radiant gifts he brings;
Tender and sweet,
He is come to-day,
Tender and sweet:
While chains of love on his silver feet
Will hold him in lingering fond delay.
But greet him quickly, he will not stay,
Soon he will leave us; but though for others
All his brightest treasures are stored;–
“Blessed is he that cometh
In the name of the Lord!”

III.

Who is the Angel that cometh?
Pain!
Let us arise and go forth to greet him;
Not in vain
Is the summons come for us to meet him;
He will stay,
And darken our sun;
He will stay
A desolate night, a weary day.
Since in that shadow our work is done,
And in that shadow our crowns are won,
Let us say still, while his bitter chalice
Slowly into our hearts is poured,–
“Blessed is he that cometh
In the name of the Lord!”

IV.

Who is the Angel that cometh?
Death!
But do not shudder and do not fear;
Hold your breath,
For a kingly presence is drawing near.
Cold and bright
Is his flashing steel,
Cold and bright
The smile that comes like a starry light
To calm the terror and grief we feel;
He comes to help and to save and heal:
Then let us, baring our hearts and kneeling,
Sing, while we wait this Angel’s sword,–
“Blessed is he that cometh
In the name of the Lord!”

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