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Years fled—and left me childhood's joy,
Gay sports and pastimes dear, I rose a wild and wayward boy,
Who scorned the curb of fear.
Yet, ere at night I slept,
And down I fell and wept.
But oft at day's decline,
Blest mother! was it thine ?-
My pulse was bounding high,
And pleasure lured my eye;
Maintained its mystic sway,
With gentle force it lay.
As from the lowly sod;
Nor sin against thy God.”
My kindly warmth away,
Yet when with lordly sway,
That guides the warrior throng ;
These manly locks among,
And now, though Time hath set
His frosty seal upon my lot,
These temples feel it yet.
A mother's holy prayer,
CVI. ON PRAYER.—Montgomery. Prayer is the Soul's sincere desire,
Uttered, or unexpressed; The motion of a hidden fire,
That trembles in the breast.
The falling of a tear,
When none but God is near. Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try, Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
The majesty on high. Prayer is the Christian's native breath,
The Christian's native air : His watchword at the gates of Death.
He enters Heaven with Prayer.
Returning from his ways;
And cry, “Behold he prays !"
In word, in deed, in mind,
Sweet fellowship they find,
Nor prayer is made on Earth alone,
The Holy Spirit pleads;
For Sinners intercedes.
The Life, the Truth, the Way,
Lord ! teach us how to pray.
CVII. WHAT IS TIME ?-Marsden. I asked an aged man, a man of cares, Wrinkled, and curved, and white with hoary hairs : “ Time is the warp of life," he said, “Oh, tell The young, the fair, the gay, to weave it well !" I asked the ancient, venerable dead, Sages who wrote, and warriors who bled; From the cold grave a hollow murmur flowed, “ Time sowed the seed we reap in this abode !" I asked a dying sinner, ere the tide Of life had left his veins : « Time !" he replied ; " I've lost it !” Ah, the treasure ! and he died. 1 asked the golden sun, and silver spheres, Those bright chronometers of days and years : They answered, "Time is but a meteor glare!" And bade us for eternity prepare. I asked the Seasons, in their annual round, Which beautify, or desolate the ground; And they replied, (no oracle more wise,) 66° Tis Folly's blank, and wisdom's highest prize !" I asked a spirit lost : but oh, the shriek That pierced my soul! I shudder while I speak ! It cried, “ A particle! a speck! a mite Of endless years, duration infinite !" Of things inanimate, my dial I Consulted, and it made me this reply :
“Time is the season fair of living well,
CVIII. THE POPLAR FIELD.—Cowper. The poplars are felled, farewell to the shade, And ihe whispering sound of the cool colonnade; The winds play no longer nor sing in the leaves, Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives. Twelve years have elapsed, since I last took a view Of my favorite field, and the bank where they grew; And now in the grass behold they are laid, And the tree is my seat, that once lent me a shade. The blackbird has fled to another retreat, Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat, And the scene, where his melody charmed me before, Resounds with his sweet flowing ditty no more. My fugitive years are all hasting away, And I must ere long lie as lowly as they, With a turf on my breast, and a stone at my head, Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead. 'Tis a sight to engage me, if any thing can, To muse on the perishing nature of man;
Tho' his life be a dream, bis enjoyments, I see,
Reprinted according to the original copy.
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower, The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell forever laid, The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn, The swallow twittering from the strawbuilt shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the ecohoing horn, No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, Or busy housewife ply her evening care;