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Let there be light! God said, and forthwith light
Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure,
Sprung from the deep ; and, from her native east,
To journey through the airy gloom began,
Sphered in a radiant cloud.
Like to the falling of a star,
Or as the flights of eagles are ;
Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue,
Or silver drops of morning dew;
Or like a wind that chafes the flood,
Or bubbles which on water stood;
Even such is man, whose borrow'd light
Is straight call'd in, and paid to-night.
The wind blows out, the bubble dies,
The spring entomb’d in autumn lies ;
The dew dries up, the star is shot
The flight is past, and man forgot.
DR. H. KING.
By day, by night, in calms, in wintry storms,
When closely view'd, when dimly distant seen,
It matters not; thy endless giant forms
Start from their base with such majestic mien,
The soul astonish'd reels. The dazzling sheen
Of thy eternal, trackless, spotless snows,
Well shadows forth the purity, I ween,
The might, the majesty, the fix'd repose
Of Him, at whose decree thy gorgeous summits rose !
W. H. LEATHAM.
All flesh is grass and all its glory fades
Like the fair flower dishevell’d in the wind;
Riches have wings and grandeur is a dream.
The man we celebrate must find a tomb
And we that worship him ignoble graves.
By Dr. John BOWRING. The cold wind strips the yellow leaf, The stars are twinkling faintly o'er us! All nature wears her garb of grief, While day's fair book is closed before us. The songs have ceased, and busy men Are to their beds of silence creeping; The pale, cold moon looks out again On the tired world so softly sleeping. Oh! in an hour so still as this, From care, and toil, and tumult stealing, I'll consecrate an hour to blissTo meek devotion's holy feeling ; And rise to thee-to thee, whose hand Unroll’d the golden map of heaven; Mantled with beauty all the land ; Gave light to morn, and shade to even. Being, whose all-pervading might The laws of countless worlds disposes; Yet gives the sparkling dews their lightTheir beauty to the blushing roses. Thou, Ruler of our destiny ! With million gifts hast thou supplied us, Hid from our view futurity, Unveiling all the past to guide us. Though dark may be earth's vale and damp, A thousand stars shine sweetly o'er us, And immortality's pure lamp Gladdens and gilds our path before us. And in the silence of the scene Sweet tones from heaven are softly speaking ; Celestial music breathes between, The slumbering soul of bliss awaking. Short is the darkest night, whose shade Wraps nature's breast in clouds of sadness; And joy's sweet flowers, that seem to fade, Shall bloom anew in kindling gladness.
This joy be ours !-our weeks shall roll-
And let them roll-our bark is driven
Safe to its harbour-and our soul
Awaking, shall awake in heaven.
A fine passage from The Course of Time, a poem by ROBERT
It was an eve of Autumn's holiest mood;
The corn-fields, bathed in Cynthia's silver light,
Stood ready for the reaper's gathering hand;
And all the winds slept soundly. Nature seemid,
In silent contemplation, to adore
Its Maker. Now and then, the aged leaf
Fell from its fellows, rustling to the ground;
And, as it fell, bade man think on his end.
On vale and lake, on wood and mountain high,
With pensive wing outspread, sat heavenly Thought,
Conversing with itself.
And up the east, unclouded, rode the moon
With all her stars, gazing on earth intense,
As if she saw some wonder walking there.
Such was the night, so lovely, still, serene,
When, by a hermit-thorn that on the bill
Had seen a hundred flowery ages pass,
A damsel kneel'd to offer
This ancient thorn had been the meeting-place
Of love, before his country's voice had callid
The ardent youth to fields of honour, far
Beyond the wave : and hither now repaird
Nightly the maid, by God's all-seeing eye
Seen only, while she sought this boon alone
Her lover's safety and his quick return.
A tear-drop wander'd on her lovely face ;
It was a tear of faith and holy fear,
Pure as the drops that hang at dawning-time
On yonder willows by ihe stream of life.
On her the moon look’d steadfastly; the stars,
That circle nightly round the eternal Throne,
Glanced down well pleased ; and Everlasting Love
Gave gracious audience to her prayer
Return'd from long delay,
With glory crown'd, of righteous actions won,
The sacred thorn, to memory dear, first sought
The youth, and found it at the happy hour.
Wrapp'd in devotion, pleading with her God,
She saw him not, heard not his foot approach.
All holy images seem'd too impure
To emblem her he saw. A seraph kneel'd,
Beseeching for his ward, before the Throne,
Seem'd fittest, pleased him best. Sweet was the thought,
But sweeter still the kind remembrance came,
That she was flesh and blood, form'd for himself,
The plighted partner of his future life.
And as they met, embraced, and sat embower'd
In woody chambers of the starry night,
Spirits of love about them minister'd,
And God, approving, bless'd the holy joy!
FAR in that dark and silent land,
Where pulses rest and hearts are cold,
Deep coffin'd in the sunless mould,
We, tearful, lone, and sorrowing stand,
And lift our aching hearts to God,
While to our trembling lips we press
The brimming cup of bitterness,
And bend beneath the heavy rod;
And make lament,-Rest, spirit, rest!
Thy spring hath reach'd its autumn soon,
Full soon thy day-spring found its noon,
And twilight gather'd in the west.
Rest, gently rest! and loving earth
Will fold thee in her calm embrace,
And flowers above thy resting-place
Shall wait for thy resplendent birth.
Rest, loved one, rest! we feel, we know
That earth is meaner than the skies;
Nor could we tempt thee from the prize
That glitters on thy radiant brow,
To taste the cup we taste, again.
Rest, gently rest! our loves are one,
In wedlock yet, anear the throne-
In wedlock ever-never twain.
Nor henceforth dread the gloomy shore
Thy feet have press'd, and in the race
Of life we run with quicker pace;
For heaven lies nearer than before.
Dark Israel we fear no more,
For joy is strangely blent with woe; We thirst to know what angels know, And heaven seems dearer than before.
Rest, calmly rest! with all the blest,
Though Spring hath Autumn reach'd, so soonSo soon thy day-spring found its noon, And twilight gather'd in the west.
THE DAY OF REST.
A fine passage from GRAHAME's Sabbath.
How still the morning of the hallow'd day!
Mute is the voice of rural labour, hush'd
The ploughboy's whistle and the milkmaid's song.
The scythe lies glittering in the dewy wreath
Of tedded grass, mingled with faded flowers
That yestermorn bloom'd waving in the breeze.
Sounds the most faint attract the ear;-the hum
Of early bee, the trickling of the dew,
The distant bleating, midway up the hill.
Calmness sits throned on yon unmoving cloud.
To him who wanders o'er the upland leas
The blackbird's note comes mellower from the dale,
And sweeter from the sky the gleesome lark
Warbles his heaven-tuned song; the lulling brook
Murmurs more gently down the deep-worn glen ;