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 Paradise
where work is sweeter than play.
Yet often 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 guest
the Master of life and 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;
The cries of envy and anger
will change to the songs of cheer,
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-crust soil:
Heaven is blest with perfect rest,
but the blessing of Earth is toil.
Henry Van Dyke
Saint Felix of Valois
Saint Felix of Valois (1126-1212) was a member of
France's royal family and the grandson of King Henry I.
A gallant crusader, Felix traded the possibility of wearing
the French crown for Christ's call on his life He, and
Saint John of Matha, founded the Order of the Holy Trinity,
for the redemption of Christians being held as
slaves in Muslim lands.