Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
Mediæval Hymns and Sequences. Hora Novissima.
II. “O happy, holy portion”
By John Mason Neale, trans. (1818–1866)
(From “Bernard of Clugny”)
(Selected Passages)

O HAPPY, holy portion,
  Refection for the blest:
True vision of true beauty,
  Sweet cure of all distrest!
Strive, man, to win that glory;        5
  Toil, man, to gain that light;
Send hope before to grasp it,
  Till hope be lost in sight:
Till Jesus gives the portion
  Those blessed souls to fill,        10
The insatiate, yet satiate,
  The full, yet craving still.
That fulness and that craving
  Alike are free from pain,
Where thou, midst heavenly citizens,        15
  A home like theirs shalt gain.
*        *        *        *        *
Jerusalem demands them:
  They paid the price on earth,
And now shall reap the harvest
  In blissfulness and mirth:        20
The glorious holy people,
  Who evermore relied
Upon their Chief and Father,
  The King, the Crucified:
The sacred ransomed number        25
  Now bright with endless sheen,
Who made the Cross their watchword
  Of Jesus Nazarene:
Who, fed with heavenly nectar,
  Where soul-like odours play,        30
Draw out the endless leisure
  Of that long vernal day:
And through the sacred lilies,
  And flowers on every side,
The happy dear-bought people        35
  Go wandering far and wide.
Their breasts are filled with gladness,
  Their mouths are tun’d to praise,
What time, now safe for ever,
  On former sins they gaze:        40
The fouler was the error,
  The sadder was the fall,
The ampler are the praises
  Of Him Who pardoned all.

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