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While Man's immortal part, when Time
Shall set the chainless spirit free,
May seek a brighter, happier clime
Than fancy e'er could feign for thee:
Though bright her fairy bowers may be,
Yet brief as bright their beauties fade,
And sad experience mourns to see
Each gourd Hope trusted in--decay'd.
But in those regions, calm and pure,
To which our holiest wishes cling,
Joys, that eternally endure,
Shall bloom in everlasting Spring:
There Seraph harps, of golden string,
Are vocal to the great I AM,
And souls redeem'd their anthems sing
Of grateful praises to the Lamb!
Shall they who here anticipate,
Through Faith's strong vision, eagle-eyed, Those joys immortal that await
Angelic spirits purified,
Shall such, however deeply tried,
E'er cast their glorious hopes away
Oh! be those hopes their heaven-ward guide,
Their steadfast anchor, and their stay.
Though many a flower that sweetly deck'd
Life's early path, but bloom'd to fade;
Though sorrow, poverty, neglect-
Now seem to wrap their souls in shade ;-
Let these look upward undismay'd,
From thorny paths in anguish trod
To regions where-in light array'd,
Still dwells their Saviour, and their God.
Sport on, then, lovely Summer fly,
With whom began my votive strain:
Yet purer joys their hopes supply,
Who, by Faith's alchemy, obtain
Comfort in sorrow, bliss in pain,
Freedom in bondage, light in gloom,
Through earthly losses, heavenly gain,
And Life immortal through the tomb.
LAMENTATION OVER PALESTINE.
'REFT of thy sons, amid thy foes forlorn,
Mourn, widow'd queen, forgotten Sion, mourn!
Is this thy place, sad city, this thy throne,
Where the wild desert rears its craggy stone!
While suns unbless'd their angry lustre fling,
And wayworn pilgrims seek the scanty spring?-
Where now thy pomp, which kings with envy view'd?
Where now thy might, which all those kings subdued ?
No martial myriads muster in thy gate;
No suppliant nations in thy temple wait:
No prophet bards, thy glittering courts among,
Wake the full lyre, and swell the tide of song:
But lawless Force, and meagre Want, are there,
And the quick-darting eye of restless fear;
While cold oblivion, 'mid thy ruins laid,
Folds his dank wing beneath the ivy shade.
Ye guardian saints! ye warrior sons of heaven!
To whose high care Judæa's state was given!
O, wont of old your nightly watch to keep,
A host of gods, on Sion's towery steep!
If e'er your secret footsteps linger still
By Siloa's fount, or Tabor's echoing hill,
If e'er your song on Salem's glories dwell,
And mourn the captive land you loved so well;
(For oft, 'tis said, in Kedron's palmy vale,
Mysterious harpings swell the midnight gale,
And, blest as balmy dews that Hermon cheer,
Melt in soft cadence on the pilgrim's ear!)
Forgive, blest spirits, if a theme so high
Mock the weak notes of mortal minstrelsy!
O Thou, their Guide, their Father, and their Lord,
Loved for thy mercies, for thy power adored;
If at thy name the waves forgot their force,
And refluent Jordan sought his trembling source;
If at thy name like sheep the mountains fled,
And haughty Sirion bow'd his marble head;
To Israel's woes a pitying ear incline,
And raise from earth thy long-neglected vine!
Her rifled fruits behold the heathen bear,
And wild-wood boars her mangled clusters tear.
Was it for this she stretch'd her peopled reign
From far Euphrates to the western main?
For this o'er many a hill her boughs she threw,
And her wide arms like goodly cedars grew?
For this, proud Edom slept beneath her shade,
And o'er the Arabian deep thy branches played?
O feeble boast of transitory power!
Vain, fruitless trust of Judah's happier hour!
Not such their hope, when through the parted main
The cloudy wonder led the warrior train:
Not.such their hope, when through the fields of night
The torch of heaven diffused its friendly light:
Not, when fierce conquest urged the onward war,
And hurl'd stern Canaan from his iron car:
Nor when five monarchs led to Gideon's fight,
In rude array, the harness'd Amorite :
Yes--in that hour, by mortal accents stay'd,
The lingering sun his fiery wheels delay'd;
The moon, obedient, trembled at the sound,
Curbed her pale car, and check'd her mazy round!
Let Sinai tell-for she beheld his might,
And God's own darkness veil'd her conscious height;
(He, cherub-borne, upon the whirlwind rode,
And the red mountain like a furnace glowed :)
Let Sinai tell-but who shall dare recite
His praise, His power, eternal, infinite ?
Awe-struck, I cease; nor bid my strains aspire,
Or serve his altar with unhallow'd fire.
By JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, an American poet.
O, DWELLERS in the valley-land,
Who in deep twilight grope and cower
Till the slow mountain's dial-hand
Shortens to noon's triumphal hour,——
While ye sit idle, do ye think
The Lord's great work sits idle too?
That light dare not o'erleap the brink
Of morn, because 'tis dark with you?
Though yet your valleys skulk in night,
In God's ripe fields the day is cried,
And reapers with their sickles bright,
Troop singing, down the mountain's side:
Come up, and feel what health there is
In the frank Dawn's delighted eyes,
As bending with a pitying kiss,
The night-shed tears of Earth she dries!
The Lord wants reapers: O, mount up,
Before night comes, and says,--" Too late!"
Stay not for taking scrip or cup,
The Master hungers while ye wait;
'Tis from these heights alone your eyes
The advancing spears of day can see,
Which o'er the eastern hill-tops rise,
To break your long captivity.
Lone watcher on the mountain-height!
It is right precious to behold
The first long surf of climbing light
Flood all the thirsty east with gold;
But we, who in the shadow sit,
Know also when the day is nigh,
Seeing thy shining forehead lit
With his inspiring prophecy.
Thou hast thine office; we have ours;
God lacks not early service here,
But what are thine eleventh hours
He counts with us from morning cheer;
Our day, for Him, is long enough,
And when he giveth work to do,
The bruised reed is amply tough
To pierce the shield of error through.
But not the less do thou aspire
Light's earlier messages to preach;
Keep back no syllable of fire,-
Plunge deep the rowels of thy speech.
Yet God deems not thine aëried sight
More worthy than our twilight dim,--
For meek Obedience, too, is Light,
And following that is finding Him.
Translated from the Spanish of Bartolome Leonardo de Argensola.
BLESSED, yet sinful one, and broken-hearted!
The crowd are pointing at the thing forlorn,
In wonder and in scorn!
Thou weepest days of innocence departed;
Thou weepest, and thy tears have power to move
The Lord to pity and love.
The greatest of thy follies is forgiven,
Even for the least of all the tears that shine
On that pale cheek of thine.
Thou didst kneel down, to Him who came from heaven,
Evil and ignorant, and thou shalt rise
Holy, and pure, and wise.
It is not much that to the fragrant blossom,
The ragged brier shall change; the bitter fir
Distil Arabian myrrh!
Nor that, upon the wintry desert's bosom,
The harvest should rise plenteous, and the swain
Bear home the abundant grain.
But come and see the bleak and barren mountains
Thick to their tops with roses: come and see
Leaves on the dry dead tree;
The perish'd plant, set out by living fountains,
Grows fruitful, and its beauteous branches rise,
For ever, towards the skies..
The name of the Author is unknown to us.
A LITTLE bark was floating down a stream
A broad, calm stream; the moon was high in heaven, And kiss'd the water with her pure, cool beam,
As it lay sleeping, like a child forgiven
Some little fault, who on its parent's breast
Pillows its head, and sobs itself to rest.