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And through the mists of passion and of sense,
And through the tossing tide of chance and pain,
To hold his course unfaltering, while the voice
Of Truth and Virtue up the steep ascent
Of Nature calls him to his high reward,—
The applauding smile of Heaven? Else wherefore burns
In mortal bosoms this unquenched hope
That breathes from day to day sublimer things,
And mocks possession? Wherefore darts the mind
With such resistless ardour to embrace
Majestic forms, impatient to be free;
Spurning the gross control of wilful might,
Proud of the strong contentions of her toils,
Proud to be daring? Who but rather turns
To heaven's broad fire his unconstrained view
Than to the glimmering of a waxen flame?
Who that from Alpine heights his labouring eye
Shoots round the wide horizon, to survey
Nilus or Ganges, rolling his bright wave
Through mountains, plains, through empires black with
And continents of sand, will turn his
To mark the windings of a scanty rill
That murmurs at his feet? The high-born soul
Disdains to rest her heaven-aspiring wing
Beneath its native quarry. Tired of earth,
And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft
Through fields of air, pursues the flying storm,
Rides on the volley'd lightning through the heavens,
Or, yoked with whirlwinds and the northern blast,
Sweeps the long track of day. Then high she soars
The blue profound, and hovering round the sun,
Beholds him pouring the redundant stream
Of light, beholds his unrelenting sway
Bend the reluctant planets to absolve
The fated rounds of time: thence far effused
She darts her swiftness up the long career
Of devious comets, through its burning signs
Exulting measures the perennial wheel
Of Nature; and looks back on all the stars,
Whose blended light as with a milky zone
Invests the orient. Now amazed she views
The empyreal waste where happy spirits hold
Beyond this concave heaven their calm abode,
And fields of radiance, whose unfading light
Has travell'd the profound six thousand years,
Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things.
E'en on the barriers of the world untired
She meditates the eternal depth below,
Till, half recoiling, down the headlong steep
She plunges, soon o'erwhelm'd and swallow'd up
In that immense of being. There her hopes
Rest at the fated goal: for, from the birth
Of mortal man, the sovereign Maker said,
That not in humble nor in brief delight,
Not in the fading echoes of Renown,
Power's purple robes, nor Pleasure's flowery lap,
The soul should find enjoyment; but from these
Turning disdainful to an equal good,
Through all the ascent of things enlarge her view,
Till every bound at length should disappear,
And infinite perfection close the scene.
By WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, written for the ceremony of the opening of the Crystal Palace at New York, and reported to have been there sung by the Sacred Music Society" with profound effect."
HERE, where all climes their offerings send,-
Here, where all arts their tribute lay,-
Before thy presence, Lord, we bend,
And for thy smile and blessing pray.
For thou dost sway the tides of thought,
And hold the issues in thy hand,
Of all that human toil has wrought,
And all that human skill has plann'd.
Thou lead'st the restless Power of Mind
O'er destiny's untrodden field,
And guidest him, wandering, bold but blind,
To mighty ends not yet reveal'd.
A Sonnet, by Sir AUBREY DE VERE.
COUNT each affliction, whether light or grave,
God's messenger sent down to thee. Do thou
With courtesy receive him: rise and bow;
And ere his shadow pass thy threshold, crave
Permission first his heavenly feet to lave.
Then lay before him all thou hast. Allow
No cloud of passion to usurp thy brow,
Or mar thy hospitality; no wave
Of mortal tumult to obliterate
The soul's marmoreal calmness. Grief should be
Like joy, majestic, equable, sedate;
Confirming, cleansing, raising, making free ;
Strong to consume small troubles; to commend
Great thoughts, grave thoughts, thoughts lasting to the end.
TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
From KEBLE'S Christian Year.
"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself."-Philippians iii. 21.
RED o'er the forest peers the setting sun,
The line of yellow light dies fast away
That crown'd the eastern copse: and chill and dun
Falls on the moor the brief November day.
Now the tired hunter winds a parting note,
And Echo bids good-night from every glade;
Yet wait awhile and see the calm leaves float
Each to his rest beneath their parent shade.
How like decaying life they seem to glide!
And yet no second spring have they in store,
But where they fall, forgotten to abide
Is all their portion, and they ask no more.
Soon o'er their heads blithe April airs shall sing,
A thousand wild-flowers round them shall unfold,
green buds glisten in the dews of Spring,
And all be vernal rapture as of old.
Unconscious they in waste oblivion lie,
In all the world of busy life around
No thought of them; in all the bounteous sky
No drop, for them, of kindly influence found.
Man's portion is to die and rise again—
Yet he complains, while these unmurmuring part
With their sweet lives, as pure from sin and stain,
As his when Eden held his virgin heart.
And haply half unblamed his murmuring voice
Might sound in heaven, were all his second life
Only the first renew'd-the heathen's choice,
A round of listless joy and weary strife.
For dreary were this earth, if earth were all,
Though brighten'd oft by dear Affection's kiss ;-
Who for the spangles wears the funeral pall?
But catch a gleam beyond it, and 'tis bliss.
Heavy and dull this frame of limbs and heart,
Whether slow-creeping on cold earth, or borne
On lofty steed, or loftier prow, we dart
O'er wave or field: yet breezes laugh to scorn Our puny speed, and birds, and clouds in heaven, And fish, like living shafts that pierce the main, And stars that shoot through freezing air at evenWho but would follow, might he break his chain ? And thou shalt break it soon; the groveling worm Shall find his wings, and soar as fast and free As his transfigured Lord with lightning form
And snowy vest-such grace He won for thee,
When from the grave he sprung at dawn of morn,
And led through boundless air thy conquering road,
Leaving a glorious track, where saints, new-born,
Might fearless follow to their blest abode.
But first, by many a stern and fiery blast
The world's rude furnace must thy blood refine,
And many a gale of keenest woe be pass'd,
Till every pulse beat true to airs divine,
Till every limb obey the mounting soul,
The mounting soul, the call by Jesus given.
He who the stormy heart can so control,
The laggard body soon will waft to Heaven.
THE TRAVELLER'S HYMN OF GRATITUDE.
How are thy servants blest, O Lord!
How sure is their defence !
Eternal wisdom is their guide,
Their help, Omnipotence!
In foreign realms, and lands remote,
Supported by thy care,
Through burning climes I pass'd unhurt,
And breathed in tainted air.
Thy mercy sweeten'd every soil,
Made every region please;
The hoary Alpine hills it warm'd,
And smooth'd the Tyrrhene seas.
Think, O my soul, devoutly think,
How, with affrighted eyes,
Thou saw'st the wide-extended deep
In all its horrors rise.
Confusion dwelt in every face,
And fear in every heart:
When waves on waves, and gulfs on gulfs,
O'ercame the pilot's art.
Yet then from all my griefs, O Lord,
Thy mercy set me free;
Whilst in the confidence of prayer
My soul took hold on thee.
For though in dreadful whirls we hung
High on the broken wave,
I knew thou wert not slow to hear,
Nor impotent to save.
The storm was laid, the winds retired,
Obedient to Thy will:
The sea that roar'd at Thy command,
At Thy command was still.