Prepare new honors for His name, and songs before unknown.

In John Keble’s The Christian Year, one finds a poem simply titled, “Good Friday.”

  1. Is it not strange, the darkest hour
    That ever dawned on sinful earth
    Should touch the heart with softer pow’r
    For comfort than an angel’s mirth?
    That to the Cross, the mourners’ eye should turn?
    Sooner than where the stars of Christmas burn?
  1. Yet so it is: for duly there
    the bitter herbs of earth are set,
    Till temper’d by the Savior’s pray’r
    And with the Savior’s lifeblood wet,
    They turn to sweetness and drop holy balm,
    Soft as imprison’d martyr’s deathbed calm.
  1. O shame beyond the bit’tr’st thought
    That evil spirit ever framed
    That sinners know what Jesus wrought,
    Yet feel their haughty hearts untam’d
    That souls in refuge, holding by the cross,
    Should wince and fret at this world’s little loss.
  1. Lord of my heart, by Thy last cry
    Let not Thy blood on earth be spent
    Lo at Thy feet I fainting lie,
    Mine eyes upon Thy wounds are bent
    Upon thy streaming wounds my weary eyes
    Wait like the parched earth on April skies.
  1. Wash me and dry these bitter tears,
    O let my heart no further roam.
    ‘Tis Thine by vows, and hopes and fears
    Long since—O call Thy wand’rer home.
    To that dear home, safe in Thy wounded side,
    Where broken hearts their sin and shame may hide.

The Christian Year in CCEL

Is It Not Strange, the Darkest Hour?

John Keble, 1827

Softer Power

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