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And in that boat were three,-a wild old man,
A lovely maiden, and a gentle boy:
Nothing they said, and though each cheek was wan,
Their eyes were gleaming with unearthly joy :
Their hands were clasp'd, as if in silent prayer,-
They communed with their heavenly Father there!
The mighty river flowing slowly on,
The death-like calm,-the blue and cloudless sky,— Nothing bespeak of violence or wrong,
Nor the soft brightness of the maid's blue eye;
Yet 'tis their blessed, angel-envied doom,
To win the crown and palm of martyrdom!
For they are followers of Him who bore
For them, for all man's bitter curse and pain; For this, without or sail, or helm, or oar,
Must they be drifted onward to the main, Condemn'd to perish on the far-off wave, Without one friend to sympathize or save!
Five days have pass'd, and still the victims live,-
Feeble and speechless in the dark they lie.
Famish'd and parch'd, and yet they do not grieve,
Nor feel the throb of thrilling agony!
Their thoughts are anchor'd on eternal things,-
Their friend and guardian is the King of kings.
The sky is glowing with a crimson hue,
The farewell splendour of departing day ; But soon that eve the chilling night breeze blew, And foam'd and flash'd the emerald-tinted spray, Clouds gather'd fast--the thunder's distant growl Mingled responsive with the wild winds' howl!
The tempest bursts! upon the murky deep
That small boat tosses wildly to and fro,Now mounting upwards on the watery steep, Now plunging 'mid the coral rocks below: It strikes! the Martyr's earthly ties are riven, And their freed spirits soar away to heaven!
'Tis early morn,—a flock of rosy light
Is streaming through the portals of the east,
Chasing away the shadows of the night,
Rousing the skylark in her lowly nest:
The wind is hush'd; the fearful storm is o'er,
And the spent billow faintly leaves the shore.
A corpse is lying on the shell-strew'd strand,
Thrown there and left by the retiring tide,—
An ebon cross is in his fast-closed hand,
Bless'd emblem of the faith for which he died,-
And on his breast is bound a parchment scroll,
God's gracious message to man's sin-stain'd soul.
And half-clad men and boys are standing by,
Who mourn the stripling's melancholy fate,-
Their faces beam with holy charity,
Though rude their speech and all uncouth their gait;
But much they fear to touch the sacred Book,
Nor dare on its mysterious signs to look.
A time-worn seer, whose white and scanty hair,
And hoary beard, as by the west wind stirr'd,
Play'd with the soft and fragrance-breathing air,
Their simple talk and exclamations heard;
Smiling, for he was wiser than the rest,--
He took the roll from off the Martyr's breast.
He reads, he weeps! ah, whence that big round tear?
The light is gushing o'er his thoughtful soul;
The patriarch bends his knee in childlike prayer,
And knows the truth and yields to its control,--
And bids his pagan brothers seek above
Another Deity, who rules by love!
O God, how wondrous are thy ways! the blood
Of faithful martyrs is thy church's seed;
From out of evil thou derivest good-
The savage tribe receive the Christian's creed;
The Britons bow their proud wills in the dust:
O God! the Britons in thy mercy trust!
THE DOOMED PROPHET.
By Miss JEWSbury.
Jeremiah xxviii. 16, 17,
'Tis said-'tis done! the arrowy word
Hath pierced the prophet's soul ;
And though, in human accents heard,
Less stern the thunders roll,
The Spirit in that human tone
Hath changed the rebel-seer to stone,
Hath crush'd him like a scroll!
And he, the God-defier wild,
Shrinks to the coward and the child.
The crowd that hung upon him late,
And loved the hopes he built,
That crowd hath left him to his fate,
A monument of guilt:
Scorn'd is the idol of their trust,
Whose visions worthless as the dust,
And words like water spilt,
Have plunged the captives deeper still
In wrong and sorrow, gloom and ill.
Behold the prophet on the ground,
His mantle o'er his head,
Dreaming his death in every sound,
His doom in every tread!
Morn rises vainly red and bright,
To him a sun is but a light
To lead him to the dead:
And when the trees in twilight wave,
To him they whisper of the grave.
He holds his life from hour to hour,
He feels it ebb away;
Fear at his heart a phantom power,
A spirit of decay,-
And grim Remorse with coiling bind, Playing the serpent with his mind, -These hath he night and day! And shrinking from the eyes of men, He ever moaneth-" When, oh when!
"When ?—Will th' avenger instant slay?
Say-spoke he as I deem ?
Am I in very deed his prey ?
O earth, and sun, and stream-
Bringing lost Paradise to mind,-
Should not the beautiful be kind?
Answer ye-say I dream.
Alas! alas! from earth and sky
Breathes but one answer- Thou shalt die !'
"O for another year! to stand
And see the spring return,
Sowing her lilies o'er the land,-
To hear the turtle mourn,
And wish my heart as soft a thing,
To hear the valleys laugh and sing-
It is in vain I yearn !
Alas! alas! from earth and sky
Breathes but one answer- Thou shalt die!""
The Prophet passed from human view,
He died 'mid Babel's reeds,
And Judah's captive exiles knew
Their God beheld their deeds.
Oh! when, from longer wanderings brought,
When, from more distant nations sought,
Shall they put off their weeds?
No more by idol-seers oppress'd,
Find in their own TRUE PROPHET, rest?
Passages for the Memory.
THE VILLAGE CHURCH.
Dear is the ancient village church, which rears
By the lone yew, or lime, or elm-girt mound,
Its modest fabric: clear, and pleasant sound
Of bells, the grey embattled tower that wears
Of changeful hue the marks of by-gone years,
Buttress, and porch, and arch with mazy round
Of curious feet or shapes fantastic crown'd;
Tall pinnacles and mingled window tiers,
Norman, or misnamed Gothic. Fairer spot
Thou givest not, England, to the tasteful eye,
Nor to the heart more soothing. Blest their lot!
Know they their bliss, who own their dwelling nigh
Such resting-place; there by the world forgot,
In life to worship, and when dead to lie!
GOD IN CHRIST RECONCILED.
"Tis said, that God is a consuming fire, But oh! 'tis sure, He now lays by his ire; He thunders out,
With trumpet's shout,
No judgment from Mount Sinai; but a still
Soft voice of love and free good will:
He that appear'd then in a warlike dress,
Seeks now the stray sheep in the wilderness.
Even now a radiant angel goeth forth,
A spirit that hath healing in its wings-
And flieth east and west, and south and north,
To do the bidding of the King of kings;
Stirring men's hearts to compass better things,
And teaching brotherhood as that sweet source,
Which holdeth in itself all blessed springs;
And showeth how to guide its silver course,
When it shall flood the world with deep exulting force.
Farewell! but never from my heart
Shall time thine image blot-
The dreams of other days depart,
Thou shalt not be forgot—
And never in the suppliant sigh,
Pour'd forth to Him who rules the sky,
Shall my own name be breathed on high,
And thine remember'd not.