How many blessed groups this hour are bending, Through England's primrose meadow-paths, their way Towards spire and tower, 'midst shadowy elms ascending, Whence the sweet chimes proclaim the hallowed day! The halls from old heroic ages gray Pour their fair children forth; and hamlets low, With those thick orchard-blooms the soft winds play, Send out their inmates in a happy flow, Like a freed vernal stream. I may not tread With them those pathways, to the feverish bed Of sickness bound; yet, O my God! I bless Thy mercy, that with Sabbath peace hath filled My chastened heart, and all its throbbings stilled To one deep calm of lowliest thankfulness.
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