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Thy dress was like the lilies,
Ånd thy heart is pure as they: One of God's holy messengers
Did walk with me that day.
I saw the branches of the trees
Bend down thy touch to meet,
The clover-blossoms in the grass
Rise up to kiss thy feet.
Sleep, sleep to-day, tormenting cares,
Of earth and folly born!”.
Solemnly sang the village choir
On that sweet Sabbath morn.
Through the closed blinds the golden sun
Pour'd in a dusty beam, Like the celestial ladder seen
By Jacob in his dream.
And ever and anon the wind,
Sweet-scented with the hay, Turn'd o'er the hymn book's fluttering leaves
That on the window lay.
Long was the good man's sermon,
Yet it seem'd not so to me;
For he spoke of Ruth the beautiful,
And still I thought of thee.
Long was the prayer he utter d,
Yet it seem'd not so to me ;
For in my heart I pray'd with him,
And still I thought of thee.
alas! the place seems changed, Thou art no longer here : Part of the sunshine of the scene
With thee did disappear. Though thoughts, deep-rooted in my heart
Like pine-trees, dark and high, Subdue the light of noon, and breathe
A low and ceaseless sigh :
This memory brightens o'er the past
As when the sun conceal'd
Bebind some cloud that near us hangs
Shines on a distant field.
By ROBERT SOUTHEY.
NAY, William, nay, not so ! the changeful year
In all its due successions to my sight
Presents but varied beauties, transient all,
All in their season good. These fading leaves,
That with their rich variety of hues
Make yonder forest in the slanting sun
So beautiful, in you awake the thought
Of winter,—cold, drear winter,—when these trees
Each like a fleshless skeleton shall stretch
Its bare brown boughs ; when not a flower shall spread
Its colours to the day, and not a bird
Carol its joyance,--but all nature wear
One sullen aspect, bleak and desolate,
To eye, ear, feeling, comfortless alike.
many colour'd beauties speak
Of times of merriment and festival,
The year's best holiday : I call to mind
The school-boy days, when in the falling leaves
I saw with eager hope the pleasant sign
Of coming Christmas; when at morn I took
My wooden kalendar, and counting up
Once more its often-told account, smooth'd off
Each day with more delight the daily notch.
To you the beauties of the autumnal year
Make mournful emblems, and you think of man
Doom'd to the grave's long winter, spirit-broken,
Bending beneath the burthen of his years,
Sense-dulld and fretful, “full of aches and pains,"
Yet clinging still to life. To me they show
The calm decay of nature when the mind
Retains its strength, and in the languid eye
Religion's holy hopes kindle a joy
That make old age look lovely. All to you
Is dark and cheerless ; you in this fair world
See some destroying principle abroad,
Air, earth, and water full of living things,
Each on the other preying; and the ways
Of man, a strange perplexing labyrinth,
Where crimes and miseries, each producing each,
Render life loathsome, and destroy the hope
That should in death bring comfort. Ob, my friend,
That thy faith were as mine! that thou couldst see
Death still producing life, and evil still
Working its own destruction; could'st behold
The strifes and troubles of this troubled world
With the strong eye that sees the promised day
Dawn through this night of tempest! All things then
Would minister to joy ; then should thine heart
Be heal'd and harmonized, and thou wouldst feel
God, always, every where, and all in all.
Lo, the lilies of the field,
How their leaves instruction yield !
Hark to nature's lesson, given
By the blessed birds of heaven!
Every bush and tufted tree
Warbles sweet philosophy :
“Mortal, fly from doubt and sorrow :
God provideth for the morrow!
Say, with richer crimson glows
The kingly mantle than the rose ?
Say, have kings more wholesome fare
Than we citizens of air ?
Barns nor hoarded grain have we,
Yet we carol merrily.
Mortal, fly from doubt and sorrow:
God provideth for the morrow !
"One there lives, whose guardian eye
Guides our humble destiny;
One there lives, who, Lord of all,
Keeps our feathers lest they fall.
Pass we blithely then the time,
Fearless of the snare and lime,
Free from doubt and faithless sorrow:
God provideth for the morrow!"
Passages for the Aemory.
THOU SHALT NOT KILL.
"THOU shalt not kill "-in times of dread,
The thrilling accents came,
Pealing from Sinai's hallow'd head
In thunder and in flame.
"Thou shalt not kill"—to me alone
Belongs the gift of life—
A gift I delegate to none,
In this dark world of strife:
Midst passion's din and tumult's fray,
Let this one thought hang o'er,
That none shall dare to take away,
What none can e'er restore.
The old grey minsters! how they rear their heads
Amid the green vales of our fertile land,
Telling of bygone years and things that were ;—
Those glorious piles, that seem to mock at time,
To God's most holy service dedicate,
Enrich'd with sculptures rare, and effigies,
That with clasp'd hands seem ever mutely praying--
Dumb intercessors for us sinful men ;
And with their solemn bells, that send afar
The tidings of great joy, and bid us leave
The turmoil and the strife of busy life,
And worship, as we should, the living God.
The warriors of Messiah, messengers
Of peace, and light, and life; whose eye, unsealed,
Saw up the path of immortality,
Far into bliss, saw men, immortal men,
Wide wandering from the way eclipsed in night,
Dark, moonless, moral night; living like beasts,
Like beasts descending to the grave, untaught
Of life to come, unsanctified, unsaved;
Who strong, though seeming weak; who warlike, though
Unarm'd with bow and sword; appearing mad,
Though sounder than the schools alone e'er made
The doctor's head; devote to God and truth.
He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend.
The man of pure and simple heart
Through life disdains a double part:
He never needs the screen of lies
His inward bosom to disguise.
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
"Live while you live!" the epicure would say,
And seize the pleasures of the present day;
"Live while you live!" the sacred preacher cries,
And give to God each moment as it flies;
Lord, in my view let both united be!
I live in pleasure while I live in Thee.