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And each still lake and mountain lone
Had a stern legend of its own;
And hall, and cot, and valley-stream,
Were hallow'd by the minstrel's dream.
Then, musing in the woodland nook,
Each flower was as a written book,
Recalling, by memorial quaint,
The holy deed of martyr'd saint;
The patient faith, which, unsubdued,
Grew mightier, tried through fire and blood.
One blossom, mid its leafy shade,
The virgin's purity portray'd;
And one, with cup all crimson-dyed,
Spoke of a Saviour crucified;
And rich the store of holy thought
That little forest-flower brought,
Doctrine and miracle, whate'er
We draw from books, was treasured there;
Faith, in the wild woods tangled bound,
A blessed heritage had found;
And Charity and Hope were seen
In the lone isle, and wild ravine.
Then pilgrims, through the forest brown,
Slow journeying on from town to town,
Halting 'mong mosses green and dank,
Breathed each a prayer before he drank
From waters by the pathway side;
Then duly, morn and eventide,
Before those ancient crosses grey,
Now mould'ring silently away,
Aged and young devoutly bent
In simple prayer-how eloquent!
For each good gift man then possess'd
Demanded blessing, and was blest.
What though in our pride's selfish mood
We hold those times as dark and rude,'
Yet give we, from our wealth of mind,
More grateful feeling, or refined?
And yield we unto Nature aught
Of loftier, or of holier thought,
Than they who gave sublimest power
To the small spring, and simple flower?
LIGHT for the dreary vales
Of ice-bound Labrador!
Where the frost-king breathes on the slippery sails,
And the mariner wakes no more;
Lift high the lamp that never fails,
To that dark and sterile shore.
Light for the forest child!
An outcast though he be,
From the haunts where the sun of his childhood smiled,
And the country of the free;
Pour the hope of Heaven o'er his desert wild,
For what home on earth has he?
Light for the hills of Greece!
Light for that trampled clime
Where the rage of the spoiler refused to cease
Ere it wreck'd the boast of time;
If the Moslem hath dealt the gift of peace,
Can ye grudge your boon sublime?
Light on the Hindoo shed!
On the maddening idol-train,
The flame of the suttee is dire and red,
And the fakir faints with pain,
And the dying moan on their cheerless bed,
By the Ganges laved in vain.
Light for the Persian sky!
The Sophi's wisdom fades,
And the pearls of Ormus are poor
Armour when Death invades ;
Hark! Hark! 'tis the sainted martyr's sigh
From Ararat's mournful shades.
Light for the Burman vales!
For the islands of the sea!
For the coast where the slave-ship fills its sails
With sighs of agony,
And her kidnapp'd babes the mother wails
'Neath the lone banana-tree!
Light for the ancient race
Exiled from Zion's rest!
Homeless they roam from place to place,
Benighted and oppress'd;
They shudder at Sinai's fearful base;
Guide them to Calvary's breast.
Light for the darken'd earth!
Ye blessed, its beams who shed, Shrink not, till the day-spring hath its birth,
Till, wherever the footstep of man doth tread,
Salvation's banner, spread broadly forth,
Shall gild the dream of the cradle-bed,
And clear the tomb
From its lingering gloom,
For the aged to rest his weary head.
MORNING AND EVENING DEVOTION.
From a volume of Metrical Essays, by JOHN AMBROSE WILLIAMS, published in 1815. Mr. Williams was, we believe, the editor of a
CREATOR, Lord! I pour to thee
The strain of grateful adoration,
When morning wakes in ecstasy
The varied hymn of wide creation.
Then are thy looks like Mercy bright,
Streaming o'er heaven, and earth, and ocean,
Kindling in human eyes delight,
In human hearts devotion.
Creator, Lord! when darkly clear
The heavens appear in star-bright lustre,
I see thee through the spangled sphere;
I see thee in each burning cluster :
And then with awe, delight, and love,
On breezes floating soft and slowly,
I waft my humble prayer above
Like music-pensive, holy.
Creator, Lord! O deign to guide
My pilgrim-feet from paths of error ;
Shield me from peril and from pride,
From torturing guilt and gloomy terror.
And deign, eternal Sire of all !
To light my soul with dreams elysian,
And when thou shalt thy breath recall,
O realize each vision.
Creator, Lord! from vale and hill
The deepening shades of silent nature
Give to our bosom thoughts as still,
And lift man nearer man's Creator.
To seem to dwell beyond the sky,
The sweetest hour is solemn even;
To learn to live, to learn to die,
That calmest time is given.
Creator, Lord! the sun is up,
And dews from off the grass are stealing,
And every flower expands its cup,
The fragrance of the morn revealing;
And from the bower, and from the grove,
The feather'd songsters chant their gladness,
"Tis man alone whose tardy love
Awakens thoughts of sadness.
Creator, Lord! the guilty dread
The thickening gloom that falls in mildness,
But oh! what pangs are inward bred,
When darkness comes in storm and wildness!
For every evil done to-day,
Accept a painful heart's contrition,
Let sorrow wash the sin away,
And spare-from dark perdition.
LIFE, DEATH, AND ETERNITY.
This poem appeared many years ago without a name in one of the Magazines.
A SHADOW moving by one's side,
That would a substance seem,-
That is, yet is not,-though descried-
Like skies beneath the stream:
A tree that's ever in the bloom,
Whose fruit is never ripe;
A wish for joys that never come,
Such are the hopes of Life.
A dark, inevitable night,
A blank that will remain ;
A waiting for the morning light,
When waiting is in vain;
A gulph where pathway never led
To show the depth beneath;
A thing we know not, yet we dread,-
That dreaded thing is Death.
The vaulted void of purple sky
That everywhere extends,
That stretches from the dazzled eye,
In space that never ends:
A morning, whose uprisen sun
No setting e'er shall see;
A day that comes without a noon,-
Such is Eternity.
AT MUSING HOUR.
By THOMAS WELLS, an American.
Ar musing hour of twilight gray,
When silence reigns around,
I love to walk the churchyard way:
To me 'tis holy ground.
To me, congenial is the place
Where yew and cypress grow;
I love the moss-grown stone to trace,
That tells who lies below.
And, as the lonely spot I pass
Where weary ones repose,
I think, like them, how soon, alas!
My pilgrimage will close.