Sunday, November 02, 2003

From "The Dream of Gerontius"
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.


Now let the golden prison ope its gates,
Making sweet music, as each fold revolves
Upon its ready hinge. And ye, great powers,
Angels of Purgatory, receive from me
My charge, a precious soul, until the day,
When, from all bond and forfeiture released,
I shall reclaim it for the courts of light.


1. Lord, Thou hast been our refuge: in every

2. Before the hills were born, and the world was:
from age to age Thou art God.

3. Bring us not, Lord, very low: for Thou hast said,
Come back again, ye sons of Adam.

4. A thousand years before Thine eyes are but as
yesterday: and as a watch of the night which
is come and gone.

5. The grass springs up in the morning: at evening
tide it shrivels up and dies.

6. So we fail in Thine anger: and in Thy wrath are
we troubled.

7. Thou hast set our sins in Thy sight: and our
round of days in the light of Thy countenance.

8. Come back, O Lord! how long: and be entreated
for Thy servants.

9. In Thy morning we shall be filled with Thy
mercy: we shall rejoice and be in pleasure all
our days.

10. We shall be glad according to the days of our
humiliation: and the years in which we have
seen evil.

11. Look, O Lord, Upon Thy servants and on Thy
work: and direct their children.

12. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be
upon us: and the work of our hands, establish
Thou it.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.


Softly and gently, dearly-ransom'd soul,
In my most loving arms I now enfold thee,
And, o'er the penal waters, as they roll,
I poise thee, and I lower thee, and hold thee.

And carefully I dip thee in the lake,
And thou, without a sob or a resistance,
Dost through the flood thy rapid passage take,
Sinking deep, deeper, into the dim distance.

Angels, to whom the willing task is given,
Shall tend, and nurse, and lull thee, as thou liest;
And Masses on the earth, and prayers in heaven,
Shall aid thee at the Throne of the Most Highest.

Farewell, but not for ever! brother dear,
Be brave and patient on thy bed of sorrow;
Swiftly shall pass thy night of trial here,
And I will come and wake thee on the morrow. "

The Oratory.
January, 1865.


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