The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 81.

Another pious Anglican poet did not share the scruples of George Herbert. What George Herbert " dared not" do, John Keble in a beautiful poem called "Mother out of Sight" 1 declared that all his readers might safely do " unblamed " and " unforbidden."

"Saw ye the bright-eyed stately child 
With sunny locks so soft and wild, 
How in a moment round the room 
His keen eye glanced, then into gloom 
Returned, as they who suffer wrong 
When most assured they look and long ? 
Heard ye the quick appeal, half in dim fear, 
In anger half: ' My Mother is not here' ?

" Perchance some burthen'd heart was nigh, 
To echo back that yearning cry 
In deeper chords than may be known 
To the dull outward ear alone. 
What if our English air be stirred 
With sighs from saintly bosoms heard, 
Or penitents to leaning angels dear, 
'Our own, our only Mother is not here' ?

"Lightly they soothe the fair, fond boy, 
Nor is there not a hope and joy 
For spirits that half-orphan'd roam 
Forlorn in their far island home,
Oft as, in penance lowly bowed, 
Prayer—like a gentle evening cloud-
Enfolds them, through the mist they seem to trace, 
By shadowy gleams, a Royal Mother's face. 

"How but in love on thine own days, 
Thou blissful one upon thee gaze ! 
Nay, every day, each suppliant hour, 
Whene'er we kneel in aisle or bower, 
Thy glories we may greet unblamed, 
Nor shun the lay by seraphs framed, 
'Hail, Mary, full of grace !' O welcome sweet 
Which daily in all lands all saints repeat. 

"Therefore, as kneeling day by day, 
We to our Father duteous pray, 
So unforbidden we may speak 
An Ave to Christ's Mother meek 
(As children with 'good morrow ' come 
To elders in some happy home). 
Inviting so the saintly host above 
With our unworthiness to pray in love."

How sadly it sounds, as we think of the " half-orphan'd" whose Mother is "out of sight," how touching are the words betraying the instinctive yearnings of a gentle and loving spirit. How unspeakably grateful to God Catholics should be that they are lifted by their Faith above the mists of Anglican timidities. It is due to the clear teaching of the Faith that they have no need

"through the mist to seem to trace, 
By shadowy gleams, a Royal Mother's face."

For Catholics who practise their religion " our one, our only Mother," is never a Mother in the Shadow—never a " Mother out of Sight."