We heard faintly from the lips of a dying religious a few stanzas which she murmured while her tearful eyes were fixed on the crucifix in her hand.
We give them, just as we found them in a book belonging to one of the pious sisters.
They were, without doubt, written for the cloister, but why not bring into families from time to time a little of the calm, peaceful, loving atmosphere of religious houses?
To My Crucifix
Come, let me hold thee to my heart, my hope divine/ Thou blessed sign of heavenly happiness/ Thou whom I hold in live ne’er to resign/ Since the vows I profess.
Yes, let me hold thee close; for art thou not my all?/ Art thou not my treasure till my last hour is near?/ Art thou not of the Spouse, whose image thou dost recall/ The tenderest souvenir?
On thee, on thee alone, my fervent hopes I base/ Than sceptres thou more precious dost appear/ And beyond the empire of the world I place/ My crucifix most dear.
For thou dost take the place of riches and of home/ All that I’ve left thou dost become for me/ My love, my only good, wherever I may roam/ My family ‘this thee.
Beyond the nails and tears naught wish I to possess/ What are the world’s most dazzling favours worth?/ One sigh breathed at thy feet for me doth more express/ than loud songs of mirth.
Thou ne’er wilt leave me when the last hour’s at hand/ My dying glance thy holy face will seek/ For the mute prayer thou sure wilt understand/ I am too weak to speak.
When this poor frame lies motionless and cold/ My rigid fingers still will clasp my all/ When friends have left, thou still thy watch wilt hold/ Beneath my funeral pall.
Ah! yes, come to my heart, thou holy, wondrous sign!/ Speak of my God, whose love is ever high/ May I love Him, and follow, suffer, ne’er repine/ To my last earthly sigh.
– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889