Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ST. BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX, by PHOEBE CARY

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ST. BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In the shade of the cloister, long ago
Last Line: And we shall not call in vain for thee!
Subject(s): Bernard Of Clairvaux, Saint (1090-1153)

IN the shade of the cloister, long ago --
They are dead and buried for centuries --
The pious monks walked to and fro,
Talking of holy mysteries.

By a blameless life and penance hard,
Each brother there had proved his call;
But the one we name the St. Bernard
Was the sweetest soul among them all.

And oft as a silence on them fell,
He would pause, and listen, and whisper low,
"There is One who waits for me in my cell;
I hear Him calling, and I must go!"

No charm of human fellowship
His soul from its dearest love can bind;
With a "Jesu Dulcis" on his lip,
He leaves all else that is sweet behind.

The only hand that he longs to take,
Pierced, from the cross is reaching down;
And the head he loves, for his dear sake
Was wounded once with a thorny crown.

Ah! men and brethren, He whose call
Drew that holy monk with a power divine,
Was the One who is calling for us all,
Was the Friend of sinners -- yours and mine!

From the sleep of the cradle to the grave,
From the first low cry till the lip is dumb,
Ready to help us, and strong to save,
He is calling, and waiting till we come.

Lord! teach us always thy voice to know,
And to turn to thee from the world beside,
Prepared when our time has come to go,
Whether at morn or eventide.

And to say when the heavens are rent in twain,
When suns are darkened, and stars shall flee,
Lo! thou hast not called for us in vain,
And we shall not call in vain for thee!

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