THIS was in all my prayers, since first I prayed,
A parsonage in a sweet garden's shade;
The Church adjoining with its ivied tower;
A peal of bells; a clock to tell the hour;
A rustic flock to feed from day to day;
And kneel with them, at morn and eve, and pray.
He, who doth all things well, denied my prayer,
And bade me take the apostle's staff; and bear;
The scattered sheep, o'er hill and dale, pursue,
Tend the old flocks, and gather in the new;
Count ease, and health, and life, and all things, loss,
So I make known, the blessed, bleeding Cross.
These quiet scenes, that never can be mine,
This home-bred happiness, dear friend, be thine;
Each choicest gift, and influence from above,
Descend on thee, and all that share thy love;
Peace, which the world gives not, nor can destroy,
The prelibation of eternal joy.
NORTHFIELD VICARAGE, August 3, 1841.