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Oft morning dreams presage approaching fate; And morning dreams, as poets tell, are true; Led by pale ghosts, I enter Death's dark gate, And bid the realms of light and life adieu.
I hear the helpless wail, the shriek of wo;
I see the muddy wave, the dreary shore;
The sluggish streams that slowly creep below,
Which mortals visit, and returns no more.
Farewell, ye blooming fields! ye cheerful plains!
Enough for me the churchyard's lonely mound,
Where Melancholy with still silence reigns,
And the rank grass waves o'er the cheerless ground.
There let me wander at the shut of eve,
When sleep sits dewy on the labourer's eyes; The world and all its busy follies leave,
And talk with wisdom where my Daphnis lies.
There let me sleep forgotten in the clay,
When death shall shut these weary aching eyes; Rest in the hopes of an eternal day,
Till the long night is gone, and the last morn arise.
Written by Lord Byron, a few weeks before his death, on the blank leaf of a Bible.
WITHIN this awful volume lies
The mystery of mysteries;
Happiest they of human race
To whom their God has given grace
To read, to fear, to hope, to pray,
To lift the latch, to force the way;
And better had they ne'er been born,
Than read to doubt, or read to scorn.
As much have I of worldly good
As e'er my Master had,
I diet on as dainty food
And am as richly clad,
Tho' plain my garb, tho' scant my board,
As Mary's Son and Nature's Lord.
The manger was his infant bed,
His home the mountain-cave,
He bad not where to lay his head,
He borrow'd e'en his grave;
Earth yielded him no resting spot,
Her maker, but she new him not"
As much the world's good-will I share,
Its favours and applause,
As He whose blessed name I bear,
Hated without a cause;
Despis'd, rejected, mock'd by pride,
Betray'd, forsaken, crucified.
Why should I court my Master's foe?
Why should I fear its frown?
Why should I seek for rest below,
Or sigh for brief renown?
A pilgrim to a better land,
An heir of joy at God's right hand.
THE BIBLE A GUIDE.
WHAT is the world? a wildering maze,
Where sin hath track'd ten thousand ways
Her victims to ensnare;
All broad and winding, and aslope,
All tempting with perfidious hope,
All ending in despair.
Millions of pilgrims throng these roads
Bearing their baubles or their loads
Down to eternal night.
One humble path that never bends,
Narrow, and rough, and steep ascends
From darkness into light.
Is there no guide to show that path?
The Bible-he alone who hath
The Bible need not stray.
But he who hatb and will not give
Himself shall lose the way.
EPITAPH ON A BELIEVER.
FORGIVE, blest shade, the tributary tear,
That mourns thy exit from a world like this;
Forgive the wish that would have kept thee here,
And staid thy progress to the realms of bliss.
No more confin'd to grov'lling scenes of earth,
No more a tenant pent in mortal clay,
Now should we rather hail thy glorious flight
And trace thy journey to the realms of day.
AWAKE, my soul and with the sun,
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
To pay thy morning sacrifice.
Thy precious time mispent, redeem;
Each present day, thy last, esteem;
Improve thy talent with due care,
For the great day thyself prepare.
In conversation be sincere,
Keep conscience, as the noontide, clear,
Think how the all-seeing God thy ways,
And all thy secret thoughts surveys.
Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels bear thy part;
Who all night long, unwearied sing
High praise to the eternal King.
Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
Scatter my sins as morning dew;
Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with thyself my spirit fill.
Direct, control, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say;
That all my powers, with all their might,
In thy sole glory may unite.
GLORY to Thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light.
Keep me, O! keep me, King of kings,
Under thy own almighty wings.
Forgive me, Lord, for thy dear Son,
The ill that I this day have done;
That with the world, myself, and Thee,
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.
Teach me to live-that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed;
To die that this vile body may
Rise glorious at the awful day.
O may my soul on Thee repose,
And may sweet sleep my eyelids close;
Sleep that may me more vigorous make,
To serve my God when I awake.
When in the night I sleepless lie,
My soul with heavenly thoughts supply;
Let no ill dreams disturb my rest,
No powers of darkness me molest.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below:
Praise him above, ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Written on the blank leaf of a Bible.
Hail! blessed book thy page by me
Has been, alas! too oft forgot;
Though I have found when far from thee,
The world contain'd no sunny spot.
Would that this heart was just as free
From guilt, as when I first was taught
To read thy page, which bade me flee
From sin, in word, in deed, or thought.
Though cold neglect laid thee aside,
Though I have broke thy sacred laws;