W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.
St. Bartholomew, the ApostleJohn Samuel Bewley Monsell (18111875)
Violets do love to lie,
Only for the tell-tale air,
No one could discover where:
But there’s an Eye which on them dwells
With sunshine soft and true,
A Hand which fills their purple bells
With drops of morning dew.
And with bee and babbling brook
Communing, with fragrant sigh,
Live, and bloom, and breathe, and die;
No gloomy anchorites are they,
In lonely severance sad,
But in their gentle, quiet way
They make God’s creatures glad.
Scatter’d everywhere around,
Violets of Heav’nly birth,
Perfuming all parts of earth;
Fed by the sun and dews of heav’n,
They sleep not night nor day,
Still giving back what they are giv’n
In their own quiet way.
Modesty their fairest grace,
So to soothe that none may know
Whence the healing perfumes flow;
Themselves, unseen by human eye,
By human hand unsoil’d
Their soul’s immortal purity
By thought of self unspoil’d.
Fitter for their place above;
Useful in the humblest way,
Fragrant even in decay;
And all the while their covenant
With Heav’n and earth fulfil,
The only thing of God they want,
Power to do His will.
Where of old Nathaniel paid
To the Lord his hidden vows;
Through its broad umbrageous boughs,
Upon the saint’s lone hour of need
Fell Heav’n’s approving smile,
And own’d an Israelite indeed,
In whom there was no guile.
Now to God he stands reveal’d;
Now the blessed fruit receiving,
Which had grown from meek believing,
The hidden saint his Lord ordains
His messenger to be,
To gather in far richer gains,
And greater things to see.
Set apart by God, and holy,
Changed in office, and in name,
Saint Bartholomew became;
And on his day the Church doth pray
Of God, in Christ’s dear Name,
To love that word which he believed,
Preach, and receive the same.