Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
I. “Birds have their quiet nest”
By John Samuel Bewley Monsell (1811–1875)
 
        BIRDS have their quiet nest,
Foxes their holes, and man his peaceful bed;
        All creatures have their rest,
But Jesus had not where to lay His head.
 
        And yet He came to give        5
The weary and the heavy-laden rest;
        To bid the sinner live,
And soothe our griefs to slumber on His breast.
 
        I who once made Him grieve,
I who once bid His gentle spirit mourn;        10
        Whose hand essay’d to weave
For His meek brow the cruel crown of thorn:—
 
        O why should I have peace?
Why—but for that unchanged, undying love,
        Which would not, could not cease,        15
Until it made me heir of joys above?
 
        Yes, but for pardoning grace,
I feel I never should in glory see
        The brightness of that face,
Which once was pale and agonized for me!        20
 
        Let the birds seek their nest,
Foxes their holes, and man his peaceful bed;
        Come, Saviour, in my breast
Deign to repose Thine oft-rejected head!
 
        Come! give me rest, and take        25
The only rest on earth Thou lov’st,—within
        A heart, that for Thy sake
Lies bleeding, broken, penitent for sin.
 
 
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