Interni Festi Gaudia
Our festal strains to-day reveal
The joys that faithful spirits feel,
As often as the inmost heart
In these true Sabbaths bears a part.
The pure of soul alone have grace
The future joys of Heav'n to trace,
And learn in foretaste sweet and rare
What glories deck the Blessed there:
What bliss, in that celestial land,
They know, the bright Angelic band;
Who see the King That crowns the fight,
In all His Majesty of light.
Blest is that Country, ever blest,
Which knoweth naught save joy and rest!
Whose citizens for ever raise
The long unbroken swell of praise!
Whom sweetness, more than earthly, fills;
Who know no grief, and mourn no ills;
Whom never more can foe alarm,
Nor storm approach to work them harm.
One day of those most glorious rays
Is better than ten thousand days:
Refulgent with celestial light,
And with God's fullest knowledge bright.
This cannot human fancy know,
Nor tongue of men nor angels show,
Till endless life the victory brings
That gives for earthly, heavenly things.
Let this our meditation be
Along the vale of misery;
This occupy each sleeping hour,
And exercise each waking power.
Thus shall we gain, this exile past,
Our Country's Blessed Crown at last;
Thus in His Glory shall adore
The King of Ages evermore.
The praises that the Blessed know
The Church shall intimate below,
Whene'er she greets, in yearly strain,
The birthdays of her saints again.
Now, all their battles past and gone,
The Crown of Glory is set on;
For Chastity, as lily white,
For Martyrdom, as ruby bright.
And these beside, a golden chain
Shall Doctors Catholic attain:
Where Angels round their monarch bow,
Such chain Augustine weareth now.
That we this Saint's blest life may reach,
That we his blessed faith may teach,
May join above, and love below,
The Spirit of All Grace bestow! Amen.
- Gautier reads Eterni: but I understand the poet to mean that the external celebration of the Festival is only the outspoken expression of the internal joy of the heart.