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THOU, whose spell can raise the dead,
Bid the Prophet's form appear.
Samuel, raise thy buried head!
King, behold the phantom seer!
Earth yawn'd; he stood, the centre of a cloud :
Light changed its hue, retiring from his shroud.
Death stood all glassy in his fixed eye;
His hand was wither'd, and his veins were dry;
His foot, in bony whiteness, glitter'd there,
Shrunken and sinewless, and ghastly bare;
From lips that moved not, and unbreathing frame,
Like cavern'd winds, the hollow accents came.
Saul saw, and fell to earth, as falls the oak,
At once, and blasted by the thunder-stroke.
Why is my sleep disquieted?
Who is he who calls the dead?
Is it thou, O, King? Behold,
Bloodless are these limbs, and cold;
Such are mine; and such shall be
Thine to-morrow, when with me:
Ere the coming day is done,
Such shall thou be, such thy son.
Fare thee well, but for a day,
Then we mix our mouldering clay;
Thou, thy race, lay pale and low;
Pierced by shafts of many a bow;
And the falchion by thy side
To thy heart thy hand shall guide:
Crownless, breathless, headless, fall
Son and sire, the house of Saul.
CHILDREN GATHERING FLOWERS.
IN THE CHURCHYARD OF SALISBURY CATHEDRAL.
By the Rev. W. LISLE BOWLES.
WHEN summer comes the little children play,
In the churchyard of our cathedral grey,
Busy as morning bees, and gathering flowers,
In the brief sunshine; they of coming hours
Reck not, intent upon their play, though Time
Speed like a spectre by them, and their prime
Bear on to sorrow- -"Angel, cry aloud!'"
Tell them of Life's long evening-of the shroud:
No! let them play; for age alone, and care,
Too soon will frown to teach them what they are.
Then let them play; but come, with aspect bland,
Come, Charity, and lead them by the hand;
Come, Faith, and point amidst life's saddest gloom,
A light from Heaven, that shines beyond the tomb.
When they look up, and in the clouds admire
The lessening shaft of that aërial spire,
So be their thoughts uplifted from the sod,
Where Time's brief flowers they gather-to their God.
By GEORGE E. SHIRLEY.
ARE all the memories of life
Buried when life has fled?
Are we forbid to keep again
The birthdays of the dead?
Time was when each successive year
Brought one bright day of mirth,
The looked-for anniversary
Of some beloved one's birth.
The birthday feasts of childhood's age,
The feasts of riper years,
Remind us of like youthful joys
Remember'd now with tears.
For they with whom those days were spent,
Have done with all on earth,
The fond home circle's broken up
That hailed each day of birth.
Yet as the days come round again
Marked with affection's seal,
Once more we think of those we've lost,
Once more their presence feel.
The blessed spirits now in Heaven,
May not such cycles keep,
Time metes not out their happiness,
They know not night or sleep.
Yet may they still retain the thoughts
And haply still they keep in Heaven
The calendar of Earth.
Far off are they, but still towards them
Our loving arms we spread,
And ever in our hearts we'll keep
The birthdays of the dead.
O KING of earth, and air, and sea!
The hungry ravens cry to thee;
To thee the scaly tribes that sweep
The bosom of the boundless deep.
Thy bounteous hand with food can bless
The bleak and lonely wilderness;
And thou hast taught us, Lord, to pray
For daily bread from day to day.
And O, when through the wilds we roam,
That part us from our heavenly home;
When lost in danger, want and woe,
Our faithless tears begin to flow;
Do thou thy gracious comfort give,
By which alone the soul may live;
And grant thy servants, Lord, we pray
The bread of life, from day to day.
THE CALL OF THE CHRISTIAN.
By JOHN G. WHITTIER.
NoT always as the whirlwinds rush
On Horeb's mount of fear,
Not always as the burning bush
To Midian's shepherd seer,
Nor as the awful voice which came
To Israel's prophet bards,
Nor as the tongues of cloven flame,
Nor gift of fearful words--
Not always thus, with outward sign
Of fire or voice from Heaven,
The message of a truth divine,
The call of God is given!
Awaking in the human heart
Love for the true and right-
Zeal for the Christian's "better part,"
Strength for the Christian's fight.
Nor unto manhood's heart alone
The holy influence steals:
Warm with a rapture not its own,
The heart of woman feels!
As she who by Samaria's wall
The Saviour's errand sought-
As those who with the fervent Paul
And meek Aquila wrought :
Or those meek ones whose martyrdom
Rome's gather'd grandeur saw :
Or those who in their Alpine home
Braved the Crusader's war,
When the green Vaudois, trembling, heard,
Through all its vales of death,
The martyr's song of triumph pour'd
From woman's failing breath.
And gently, by a thousand things
Which o'er our spirits pass,
Like breezes o'er the harp's fine strings,
Or vapours o'er a glass,
Leaving their token strange and new
Of music or of shade,
The summons to the right and true
And merciful is made.
Oh, then, if gleams of truth and light
Flash o'er thy waiting mind,
Unfolding to thy mental sight
The wants of human kind;
If brooding over human grief,
The earnest wish is known
To soothe and gladden with relief
An anguish not thine own:
Though heralded with nought of fear,
Or outward sign, or show:
Though only to the inward ear
It whispers soft and low;
Though dropping, as the manna fell,
Unseen, yet from above,
Noiseless as dew-fall, heed it well-
Thy Father's call of love!
By Professor KEBLE.
WHERE is it mothers learn their love?-
In every Church a fountain springs
O'er which th' eternal Dove
Hovers on softest wings.
What sparkles in that lucid flood
Is water, by gross mortals ey'd :
But seen by Faith, 'tis blood
Out of a dear Friend's side.
A few calm words of faith and prayer, A few bright drops of holy dew, Shall work a wonder there
Earth's charmers never knew..