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The beautiful comes floating through my soul;
I strive with yearnings vain
This spirit to detain
Of the deep harmonies that past me roll.
Therefore, disturbing dreams
Trouble the secret streams
And founts of music that o'erflow my breast;
Something far more divine
Than may on earth be mine
Haunts my worn heart, and will not let me rest.
Shall I then fear the tone
That breathes from worlds unknown ?-
Surely these feverish aspirations there
Will grasp their full desire,
And this unsettled fire
Burn calmly, brightly, in immortal air
One more then-one more strain,-
To earthly joy and pain
A rich, and deep, and passionate farewell!
I pour each fervent thought
With fear, hope, trembling fraught,
Into the notes that o'er my dust shall swell.
A passage from the poems of LONGFELLOW.
THE bells themselves are the best of preachers;
Their brazen lips are learned teachers,
From their pulpits of stone in the upper air,
Sounding aloft, without crack or flaw,
Shriller than trumpets under the law,
Now a sermon and now a prayer.
The clangorous hammer is the tongue,
This way, that way, beaten and swung;
That from mouth of brass, as from mouth of gold,
May be taught the Testaments, New and Old.
And above it the great cross-beam of wood,
Representeth the Holy Rood,
Upon which, like the bell, our hopes are hung; And the wheel wherewith it is sway'd and rung
Is the mind of man, that round and round
Sways, and maketh the tongue to sound;
And the rope, with its twisted cordage three,
Denoteth the Scriptural Trinity
Of morals, and symbols, and history;
And the upward and downward motions show
That we touch upon matters high and low,
And the constant change and transmutation
Of action and of contemplation-
Downward, the Scripture brought from on high,
Upward, exalted again to the sky-
Downward, the literal interpretation,
Upward, the vision and mystery!
GOD THE ONLY COMFORTER.
By THOMAS MOORE.
O THOU that driest the mourner's tear,
How dark this world would be,
If, when deceived and wounded here,
We could not fly to thee!
The friends who in our sunshine live,
When winter comes are flown;
And he who has but tears to give,
Must weep those tears alone.
But thou wilt heal the broken heart,
Which, like the plants that throw
Their fragrance from the wounded part,
Breathes sweetness out of woe.
When joy no longer soothes or cheers,
And even the hope that threw
A moment's sparkle o'er our tears
Is dimm'd and vanish'd too;
Then sorrow, touch'd by thee, grows bright,
With more than rapture's ray;
As darkness shows us worlds of light
We could not see by day.
AUTHOR of Good! to thee I turn:
Thy ever-wakeful eye
Alone can all my wants discern,
Thy hand alone supply.
Oh let thy fear within me dwell,
Thy love my footsteps guide!
That love shall meaner loves expel,
That fear all fears besides,
And oh! by Error's force subdued,
Since oft my stubborn will,
Preposterous, shuns the latent good,
And grasps the specious ill;
Not to my wish, but to my want,
Do thou thy gifts apply:
Unask'd, what good thou knowest, grant;
What ill, though ask'd, deny.
The fame of WATTS as a religious teacher has eclipsed the reputation due to him as a poet. Many of his compositions are of high excellence, and one of the very best is the following, which is little known, but which deserves to be treasured as a gem of the first water.
How meanly dwells the immortal mind!
How vile these bodies are!
Why was a clod of earth design'd
To enclose a heavenly star?
Weak cottage where our souls reside!
This flesh a tottering wall-
With frightful breaches gaping wide,
The building bends to fall!
All round it storms of trouble blow,
And waves of sorrow roll;
Cold winds and winter storms beat through,
And pain the tenant-soul.
"Alas, how frail our state!” said I,
And thus went mourning on,
Till sudden from the cleaving sky
A gleam of glory shone.
My soul felt all the glory come,
And breathed her native air;
Then she remember'd heaven her home,
And she a prisoner here.
Straight she began to change her key,
And, joyful in her pains,
She sang the frailty of her clay
In pleasurable strains.
"How weak the prison where I dwell!
Flesh but a tottering wall-
The breaches cheerfully foretell
The house must shortly fall.
"No more, my friends, shall I complain,
Though all my heart-strings ache.
Welcome disease, and every pain,
That makes the cottage shake!
"Now let the tempest blow all round,
Now swell the surges high,
And beat the house of bondage down,
And let the stranger fly.
"I have a mansion built above
By the eternal Hand,
And should the earth's old basis move,
My HEAVENLY HOUSE must stand."
By ALEXANDER POPE.
YE nymphs of Solyma! begin the song:
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus, and the Aonian maids,
Delight no more-O Thou my voice inspire
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the bard begun :-
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a son!
From Jesse's root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies;
The etherial Spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descend the mystic Dove.
Ye heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail;
Returning justice lift aloft her scale;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-robed innocence from heaven descend.
Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn!
Oh, spring to light, auspicious Babe! be born.
See nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring:
See lofty Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance:
See spicy clouds from lowly Sharon rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfume the skies!
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers;
"Prepare the way, a God, a God appears!
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down, ye mountains! and ye valleys rise!
With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay;
Be smooth, ye rocks! ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes! by ancient bards foretold:
Hear Him, ye deaf! and all ye blind, behold!
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eye-ball pour the day:
'Tis he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm the unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap, exulting, like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear;
face he wipes off every tear: