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Poems of St. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux, known as the 'Little Flower of Jesus'
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THE FLIGHT OF THE HOLY FAMILY INTO
EGYPT.

A Fragment.

THE ANGEL WARNS ST. JOSEPH.

Rise, Joseph! heed my cry!

All swiftly, silently,

To Egypt take your flight!

Depart, this very night!

Herod his fury now,

Is even to madness heaping;

He longs to slay the Lamb

In Mary’s tendance sleeping,

Take Mother and Child, and go

From an impending woe.

SONG OF THE ANGELS ACCOMPANYING
THE HOLY FAMILY.

Wonders on wonders piled!

Jesus, of Heaven the Lord,

Now upon earth exiled,

Flee, from a mortal’s sword.

So, unto God in flight,

Oh, let us give our love;

Let our white wings to-night

Protect Him from above!

Now bring the flowers most fair

To strew before His way!

A lullaby prepare,

Of songs most sweet and gay!

Console His Mother’s heart

By singing of His charms.

How fair, how sweet, Thou art,

Reposing in her arms!

Oh, let us speed afar,

For here dire perils are!

Fly, on this very night,

From dangers and from fright!

The Virgin bears our Star,

Beneath her veil afar,

­The Star of the elect,

Whom longing hearts expect.

Behold! Heaven’s Lord

Flees from a mortal’s sword!

THE ANGEL OF THE DESERT.

I come, I come, to sing your charms divine,

Blest Family who lure me to this place.

In this drear desert, lo! to-night doth shine

A Star more fair than heaven in all its grace.

But who shall comprehend this mystery: —

He came unto His own — they bade Him go!

A wanderer on the earth He made is He,

And none discern His beauty here below.

But if the great Thine empire now despise,

Thou King of Heaven, Thou mystic promised Star!

Long for Thy reign have looked. the tear-dimmed eyes,

And long the unhappy sought Thee from afar.

O Word Eternal! Wisdom true and deep!

Thy gifts are here, but they are for the meek:

The childlike soul, the tried, and them who weep,

It is to them, one day, Thy voice shall speak.

For Thou Thy wisdom often dost impart

To ignorant men, if they but humble be;

And Thou dost call the sinful to Thy Heart,

Because in them Thine image Thou dost see.

A day shall come, when, in the selfsame fold,

The lamb beside the lion safe shall feed;

And in Thy refuge here, this desert old,

Thy Name shall call forth many a holy deed.

O hidden God! what virginal souls, one day,

Catching from Thy vast fire of love the flame,

Shall hither haste, where Thou hast led the way;

And all these wastes for their possession claim.

Their ardent souls, their love like seraphs blest,

Shall fill the angels with supreme delight;

And hell shall tremble at their hymns, addrest

Unto God’s greater glory, day and night

Then Satan shall, in frantic jealousy,

Seek to deplete these houses of our Lord;

But knows he not the power and majesty

Of this frail Child, humble, unknown, ignored.

He dreams not that a lowly virgin-heart

Forever dwells in safety and in peace;

He dreams not of the strength, beyond his art,

She has from God, whose wonders never cease.

It may be that, one day, Thy spouses dear

Must share Thy exile, O Thou Holy Child!

But none shall quench their love, that burns most clear

Despite their exile and men’s fury wild.

Nor shall the vile world’s sacrilegious spite

Turn from their goal the virgins of the Lord;

Nor ever soil their robes of spotless white,

Nor mar their likeness to their King adored.

Ungrateful world! thy reign is well nigh done

Dost thou not see how this most holy Child

Culls joyously these roses like the sun,

These martyrs’ palms, these lilies undefiled?

Dost thou not see His faithful virgin band,

Holding their burning lamps with love alight

Dost thou not see heaven’s portals openstand

The saints to welcome in, to glory bright?

O happy moment! joy that knows no shade!

When the elect in gladness enter there;

And for their love, the great reward is paid, —

To see God’s face, that promised Vision fair!

Life’s exile o’er, gone are all pain and woe;

E’en faith itself, and hope itself, shall cease;

But everlasting rest those souls shall know.

The ecstasy of love and endless peace.

January 21, 1896.

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