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THE legend of Felix is ended, the toiling of Felix is done ;
The Master has paid him his wages, the goal of his journey is won;
He rests, but he never is idle ; a thousand years pass like a day,
In the glad surprise of that Paradise where work is sweeter than play.
But I think the King of that country comes out from his tireless host,
And walks in this world of the weary, as if He loved it the most;
For here in the dusty confusion, with eyes that are heavy and dim,
He meets again the labouring men who are looking and longing for Him.
He cancels the curse of Eden, and brings them a blessing instead:
Blessed are they that labour, for Jesus partakes of their bread.
He puts His hand to their burdens, He enters their homes at night:
Who does his best shall have as a guest the Master of life and of light.
And courage will come with His presence, and patience return at His touch,
And manifold sins be forgiven to those who love Him much ;
And the cries of envy and anger will change to the songs of cheer,
For the toiling age will forget its rage when the Prince of Peace draws near.
This is the gospel of labour — ring it, ye bells of the kirk -—
The Lord of Love came down from above, to live with the men who work.
This is the rose that He planted, here in the thorn-cursed soil-—
Heaven is blest with perfect rest, but the blessing of Earth is toil.