Page images
PDF

Come away! for Life and Thought

Here no longer dwell;
But in a city glorious —
A great and distant city — have bought

A mansion incorruptible.
Would they could have stayed with us!

A PSALM OF LIFE. - Long fellow.

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 further 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 not like dumb, driven cattle!

Be a hero in the strife!

[blocks in formation]

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !

Let the dead Past bury its dead !
Act, - act in the living Present!

Heart within, and God o'erhead !

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us

Footsteps on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,

Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait.

BERMUDAS. - Marvell.

Where the remote Bermudas ride,
In the ocean's bosom unespied ;
From a small boat that rowed along,
The list'ning winds received this song.

“ What should we do but sing His praise,
That led us through the watery maze
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own ?
Where He the huge sea-monsters wracks,
That lift the deep upon their backs.

He lands us on a glassy stage,
Sare from the storms, and prelate's rage.
He gave us this eternal spring,
Which here enamels everything;
And sends the fowls to us in care,
On daily visits through the air.
He hangs in shades the orange bright,
Like golden lamps in a green night;
And does in the pomegranates close
Jewels more rich than Ormus shows.
He makes the figs our mouths to meet ;
And throws the melons at our feet.
But apples plants of such a price,
No tree could ever bear them twice.
With cedars, chosen by His hand
From Lebanon, He stores the land;
And makes the hollow seas, that roar,
Proclaim the Ambergris on shore.
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The gospel's pearl upon our coast;
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple, where to sound His name.
0, let our voice His praise exalt,
Till it arrive at heaven's vault!
Which, thence (perhaps) rebounding, may
Echo beyond the Mexique bay.”

Thus sung they, in the English boat,
An holy and a cheerful note;
And all the way, to guide their chime,
With falling oars they kept the time.

TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY,

TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.

Keble. "The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not

intermeddle with his joy." — PROVERBS xiv. 10.

Why should we faint and fear to live alone,

Since all alone — so Heaven has willed — we die, Nor even the tenderest heart, and next our own,

Knows half the reasons why we smile or sigh ?

Each in its hidden sphere of joy or woe,

Our hermit spirits dwell, and range apart; Our eyes see all around, - in gloom or glow, —

Hues of their own, fresh borrowed from the heart.

And well it is for us our God should feel

Alone our secret throbbings; so our prayer May readier spring to heaven, nor spend its zeal

On cloud-born idols of this lower air.

For if one heart in perfect sympathy

Beat with another, answering love for love, Weak mortals all entranced on earth would lie,

Nor listen for those purer strains above.

Or what if Heaven for once its searching light

Lent to some partial eye, disclosing all The rude, bad thoughts that in our bosom's night

Wander at large, nor heed Love's gentle thrall ?

Who would not shun the dreary, uncouth place ?

As if, fond leaning where her infant slept, A mother's arm a serpent should embrace;

So might we friendless live, and die unwept.

Then keep the softening veil in mercy drawn,
Thou who canst love us, though thou read'st us

true!
As on the bosom of the aerial dawn

Melts in dim haze each coarse, ungentle hue.

A SONNET. — Wordsworth.

SCORN not the Sonnet; critic, you have frowned, Mindless of its just honors; with this key Shakspeare unlocked his heart; the melody Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound; A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound; Camoens soothed with it an exile's grief; The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle-leaf Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned His visionary brow; a glow-worm lamp, It cheered mild Spenser, called from Faery-land To struggle through dark ways; and, when a damp Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand The thing became a trumpet, whence he blew Soul-animating strains, - alas, too few!

EXPERIENCE. – Jane Taylor.

How false is found, as on in life we go,
Our early estimate of bliss and woe!
Some sparkling joy attracts us, that we fain
Would sell a precious birthright to obtain.

« PreviousContinue »