« PreviousContinue »
REFLECTION AND SENTIMENT.
Ode to Puty.
STERN Daughter of the Voice of God !
O Duty ! if that name thou love
To check the erring, and reprove;
Be on them ; who, in love and truth,
Upon the genial sense of youth: Glad hearts without reproach or blot ; Who do thy work, and know it not: Oh! if through confidence misplaced They fail, thy saving arms, dread Power! around them cast. Serene will be our days and bright,
And happy will our nature be,
And joy its own security
I, loving freedom, and untried ;
No sport of every random gust,
Too blindly have reposed my trust:
Or strong compunction in me wrought,
But in the quietness of thought:
The godhead's most benignant grace;
As the smile upon thy face : Flowers laugh before Thee on their beds And fragrance in thy footing treads; Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong, And the most ancient heavens, through Thee are fresh and
strong. To humbler functions, awful Power!
I call thee: I myself commend
Oh, let my weakness have an end !
To see a soul just set adrift
The ominous shadows never lift;
But 'tis more awful to behold
A helpless infant newly born, Whose little hands unconscious hold
The keys of darkness and of morn. Mine held them once ; I flung away
Those keys that might have open set The golden sluices of the day,
But clutch the keys of darkness yet; I hear the reapers singing go
Into God's harvest; 1, that might With them have chosen, here below
Grope shuddering at the gate of night. O glorious Youth! that once wast mine !
o high ideal! all in vain Ye enter at this ruin'd shrine
Whence worship ne'er shall rise again;
The snake rests in the altar-stone,
2 Ysalm of Life. Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
"Life is but an empty dream!” For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem. Life is real! Life is earnest !
And the grave is not its goal; “ Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul. Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting.
And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be a hero in the strife !
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Heart within, and God o'erhead! Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints in the sands of time;
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
With a heart for any fate ; Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait. LONGFELLOW.
Aspirations of Youth.
Up the mount of Glory;
In our country's story;
In the mines of knowledge ; Nature's wealth and learning's spoil,
Win from school and college ; Delve we there for richer gems Than the stars of diadems. Onward, onward will we press
Through the path of duty ;
Excellence true beauty.
Closer and closer then we knit
Hearts and hands together,
In the coldest weather:
Draw our souls in union,
To the saints' communion; Thither every hope ascend, There may all our labours end.
The Happy Life.
That serveth not another's will ;
And simple truth his utmost skill! Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death, Untied unto the worldly care
Of public fame or private breath;
Or vice; who never understood
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;
Whose conscience is his strong retreat ; Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great ; Who God doth late and early pray,
More of his grace than gifts to lend ; And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book or friend; This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall; Lord of himself, though not of lands; And, having nothing, yet hath all.