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O happy arms, where cradled lies,
And ready for the Lord's embrace,
That precious sacrifice,
The darling of His grace!
Blest eyes, that see the smiling gleam
Upon the slumbering features glow,
When the life-giving stream
Touches the tender brow!
Or when the holy cross is sign'd,
And the young soldier duly sworn
With true and fearless mind
To serve the Virgin-born.
But happiest ye, who seal'd and blest
Back to your arms your treasure take,
With Jesus' mark impress'd
To nurse for Jesus' sake:
To whom-as if in hallow'd air
Ye knelt before some awful shrine-
His innocent gestures wear
A meaning half divine:
By whom Love's daily touch is seen
In strengthening form and freshening hue,
In the fix'd brow serene,
The deep yet eager view.
Who taught thy pure and even breath
To come and go with such sweet grace ?
Whence thy reposing faith,
Though in our frail embrace?
O tender gem, and full of Heaven!
Not in the twilight stars on high,
Not in the moist flowers at even
See we our God so nigh.
Sweet one, make haste and know Him too,
Thine own adopting Father love,
That like thine earliest dew
Thy dying sweets may prove.
THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.
THERE is a Reaper whose name is Death,
And with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.
"Shall I have nought that is fair?" saith he, "Have nought but the bearded grain ? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me, I will give them all back again.”
He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kiss'd their drooping leaves;
It was for the Lord of Paradise,
He bound them in their sheaves.
"My Lord has need of these flow'rets gay,"
The Reaper said and smiled;
"Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where he was once a child.
66 They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
And saints, upon their garments white,
These sacred blossoms wear."
And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love,
She knew she should find them all again
In the fields of light above.
O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day;
'Twas an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away.
THE CHILD'S EVENING HYMN.
By E. M. CHANDLER.
FATHER, while the daylight dies,
Hear our grateful voices rise:
For the blessings that we share,
For thy kindness and thy care,
For the joy that fills our breast,
For the love that makes us blest,
We thank thee, Father.
For an earthly father's arm,
Shielding us from wrong and harm;
For a mother's watchful cares,
Mingled with her many prayers;
For the happy kindred band,
Midst whose peaceful links we stand,
We bless thee, Father.
Yet while 'neath the evening skies,
Thus we bid our thanks arise:
Father, still we think of those,
Who are bow'd with many woes,
Whom no earthly parent's arm
Can protect from wrong and harm ;—
The poor Slaves, Father.
Ah! while we are richly blest,
They are wretched and distrest:
Outcasts in their native land,
Crush'd beneath Oppression's hand,
Scarcely knowing even Thee,
Mighty Lord of earth and sea!
Oh, save them, Father!
Touch the flinty hearts, that long
Have, remorseless, done them wrong;
Ope the eyes that long have been
Blind to every guilty scene;
That the Slave-a Slave no more-
Grateful thanks to thee may pour,
And bless thee, Father.
"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”—Psalm, xiv.
"No God! no God!" The simplest flower
That on the wild is found,
Shrinks, as it drinks its cup of dew,
And trembles at the sound.
"No God!" astonish'd Echo cries
From out her cavern hoar;
And every wandering bird that flies
Reproves the atheist lore.
The solemn forest lifts its head
The Almighty to proclaim;
The brooklet, on its crystal urn,
Doth leap to grave
High swells the deep and vengeful sea
Along its billowy track,
And red Vesuvius opes his mouth
To hurl the falsehood back.
The palm-tree, with its princely crest,
The cocoa's leafy shade,
The bread-fruit, bending to its lord,
In yon far island glade;
The winged seeds that, borne by winds,
The roving sparrows feed,
The melon on the desert sands,
Confute the scorner's creed.
"No God!" With indignation high
The fervent sun is stirr'd,
And the pale moon turns paler still
At such an impious word!
And, from their burning thrones, the stars
Look down with angry eye,
That thus a worm of dust should mock
Passages for the Memory.
Works its own way, and ever more controls
Its own free essence. Liberty is duty,
Not license. Every pulse that beats
At the glad summons of imperious beauty
Obeys a law. The very cloud that fleets
Along the dead green surface of the hill,
Is ruled and scatter'd by a God-like will.
CONSOLATIONS OF RELIGION.
In this bad world, when mists and couchant storms
Hide Heaven's fine circlet, springs aloft in faith
Above the clouds that threat him, to the fields
Of ether, where the day is never veil'd
With intervening vapours; and looks down
Serene upon the troublous sea, that hides
The earth's fair breast, that sea whose nether face,
To groveling mortals frowns and darkens all;
But on whose billowy back, from man conceal'd,
The glaring sunbeam plays.
Thy pleasures most we feel when most alone,
The only pleasures we can call our own.
Lighter than air, Hope's summer visions die,
If but a fleeting cloud obscure the sky:
If but a beam of sober reason play,
Lo, Fancy's fairy frost-work melts away!
But can the wiles of Art, the grasp of Power,
Snatch the rich relics of a well-spent hour?
These, when the trembling Spirit wings her flight,
Pour round her path a stream of living light:
And gild those pure and perfect realms of rest,
Where Virtue triumphs, and her sons are blest!