A Sabbath Poem

“Sabbath” by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton

Fresh glides the brook and blows the gale,
Yet yonder halts the quiet mill!
The whirring wheel, the rushing sail,
How motionless and still!

Six days of toil, poor child of Cain,
Thy strength the slave of Want may be;
The seventh thy limbs escape the chain,—
A God hath made thee free!

Ah, tender was the Law that gave
This holy respite to the breast,
To breathe the gale, to watch the wave,
And know—the wheel may rest!

But where the waves the gentlest glide
What image charms, to lift, thine eyes?
The spire reflected on the tide
Invites thee to the skies.

To teach the soid its nobler worth
This rest from mortal toils is given;
Go, snatch the brief reprieve from earth
And pass—a guest to Heaven.

They tell thee, in their dreaming school,
Of Power from old dominion hurled,
When rich and poor, with juster rule,
Shall share the altered world.

Alas! since Time itself began,
That fivble hath but fooled the hour;
Each age that ripens Power in Man,
But subjects Man to Power.

Yet every day in seven, at least,
One bright republic shall be known;—
Man's world awhile hath surely ceast,
When God proclaims his own!

Six days may Rank divide the poor,
O Dives, from thy banquet-hall;
The seventh the Father opes the door,
And holds His feast for all!

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