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The seas are quiet when the winds are o'er,
So calm are we, when passions are no more!
For then we know how vain it was to boast
of fleeting things, so certain to be lost.
Clouds of affection from our youthful eyes
Conceal the emptiness which age
The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
Lets in new lights through chinks that time has made.
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home;
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view,
That stand upon the threshold of the new.
They eat Their daily bread, and draw the breath of Heaven Without or thought or thanks; Heaven's roof, to them, Is but a painted ceiling hung with lamps, No more, that lights them to their purposes. They wander loose about; they nothing see, Themselves except, and creatures like themselves, Short-lived, short-sighted, impotent to save. So on their dissolute spirits, soon or late, Destruction cometh, like an armed man, Or like a dream of murder in the night, Withering their mortal faculties, and breaking The bones of all their pride.
Were half the power that fills the world with terror,
Were half the wealth bestow'd on camps and courts, Given to redeem the human mind from error,
There were no need of arsenals nor of forts. The warrior's name would be a name abhorr'd ; And
every nation that should lift again Its band against a brother, on its forehead Would wear for evermore the curse of Cain.
Whence, but from Heaven, could men unskill'd in arts,
In several ages born, in several parts,
Weave such agreeing truths ? or how, or why,
Should all conspire to cheat us with a lie?
Unask'd their pains, ungrateful their advice,
Starving their gain, and martyrdom their price.
Divinest creed! and worthy to be taught
By Him, the Saviour, who thy tidings brought;
Thou wert the first, descending from above,
To teach the nations that their God was love;
That ire eternal dwelt not on His face,
But love and pity, and redeeming grace.
And all the joy this world since then has known,
Springs from this creed, and springs from this alone;
Whatever triumphs has been gain'd by mind
O'er Error, Hate, and Ignorance combined;
Whatever progress man may yet have made,
Owes all its worth to Thy benignant aid.
How fair the daughter of Jerusalem then!
How gloriously from Zion's bill she look'd!
Clothed with the sun, and in her train the moon,
And on her head a coronet of stars,
And girdling round her waist, with heavenly grace,
The love of Mercy bright: and in her hand
Immanuel's cross, her sceptre and her hope.
Friends counsel quick dismission of our grief ;
Mistaken kindness! Our hearts heal too soon :
Are they more kind than He who struck the blow?
Who bids it do His errand in our hearts,
And banish peace till nobler guests arrive,
And bring it back, a true and endless peace ?
Calamities are friends.
Oh! 'tis a sight the soul to cheer,
The promise of the fruitful year,
When God abroad his bounty flings,
And answering nature laughs and sings!
He, "for the evil and the good,"
For them, who with heart's gratitude,
For them, who thanklessly receive
The blessings He vouchsafes to give,
Bids from his storehouse in the skies,
"His rain descend, his sun arise."
As those we love decay, we die in part,
String after string is sever'd from the heart;
Till loosen'd life, at last, but breathing clay,
Without one pang is glad to fall away.
Unhappy he who latest feels the blow,
Dragg'd lingering on, from partial death to death, Till, dying, all he can resign is breath.
If I were a voice, a convincing voice,
I'd travel with the wind,
And wherever I saw the nations torn
By warfare, jealousy, or scorn,
Or hatred of their kind,
I'd fly, I'd fly, on the thunder crash,
And into their blinded bosoms flash;
And all their evil thoughts subdued,
I'd teach them Christian Brotherhood.
Not a tree,
A plant, a leaf, a blossom, but contains
A folio volume. We may read, and read,
And read again, and still find something new,
Something to please, and something to instruct,
E'en in the noisome weed.
From The Opening of the Sixth Seal, a Sacred Poem, by E. W. Cox. THOSE horrible realms, no human thoughts can frame,
No wildest vision paint ;--more hideous they
Than ever the delirious shadows seen
By the pale fever'd wretch, at midnight hour,
Amid his chamber glooms. A region, vast
And seeming boundless, but all dark and drear,
Save where the lurid flames, updancing, flung
Their ruby rays upon the black profound.
Sluggish and heavy was the mildest breeze,
And vainly would it fan the frequent forms
That, in those regions, wander'd to and fro,
Sullen and sad, musing of the lost heaven
In still unmurmuring silence,-and the cries
Of agony would fall upon their ears,
Grateful, as once the Seraph strains on high,
When they hymn'd also answering songs of praise ;-
And, as they heard the torturing groans around,
A smile would wreathe itself upon the cheek,
Sunken with sadness, and the faded eye
Would kindle with new fires,-but not such beams
As Seraph gaze imparts, but terrible rays
That gleam'd as fell as the red lightning torch.
To this so fearful place, no visible roof
Prescribed the boundaries impassable,
But all above it was one huge black mass
Of vaporous cloud, which none could penetrate,
Not even the immortal Spirits,—none but God,
And, through this dark vault, all in vain the flames
Proudly would rise, for its unbroken gloom
Drank in the rays, nor aught of his stern sway
Did Night resign to the fierce fires of Hell,
Though wide and far they shone, with hideous glare,
Huge, as if Etna, from her hundred mouths,
Sent forth her furnace flames.-And demons were
Hovering around them joyfully,-if joy
Can be in Hell,—and it was then their sport
To torture each the other as he could ;-
And still they feasted upon cries and groans,
Unsating and unsatiable, nor e'er,
By the fell task o'erwearied, turn'd away.
Some Spirits roam'd about the chill black shade
That hung around the fire-flames, with swift step,
Ceaselessly musing on their many crimes ;-
For, in their breasts, an ever-during flame
Would conscience kindle, and their hell was—Thought!
No momentary rest was theirs, nor once
In the infernal realms stay'd misery,–
Its woes forgotten ;-silence never there
Came grateful, but a mingled roar instead,
Scared rest from weariness. Unnumber'd groans,
And wild sbrieks, and harsh echoes of the gates
By power supreme up-flung,--the laugh of scorn,
The shout of impious joy, by demon lips
Utter'd, and by unnumber'd devils there
From cave and den with louder mirth sent back ;-
The roar of many flames, unceasing cries
Of agony and fear, in these fierce realms
Slept never, there can be no peace in hell.
ot such the realms of bliss, where all the just
For ever made their joyous place of rest,
After the toils and sorrowings of life,
Not such their habitation ;-glorious,
And grand, and beautiful it was, as beams
Upon the memory some delicious dream,
After long years have roll'd away ; no gloom,
No flames, no vaporous clouds, no groans were there,
But it was one extended space, where light,
As from ten thousand suns, shone ceaselessly.
Yet not as mid-day sun-beams, glowing fierce,
Were the mild rays, but rather as the soft
And gentle moonshine, beautiful and bright,
That woves the sleeper from his couch to gaze
Upon its soothing radiance. Flowers were none,
Or trees, or shrubs, or gushing fountain streams,
As flowers, and shrubs, and fountains, are on earth ;-
But there were shining things, of all soft hues,
And gem-like forms, on which the silvery rays
Lay dreaming, and, perchance, the spirits there,
From the far earth but late arrived, deep-rapt
Might have stood gazing on them, and in sport
Have framed the rays reflected into flowers,
And trees, and dancing fountains, such as once
It was their joy to meditate in life,