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I have lost a hope, that many a year
Looked far on a gleaming way,
When the walls of life were closing round,
And the sky was sombre gray.
For long, too long, in distant climes
My lot was cast, and then
A frail and casual intercourse
Was all I had with men;
But lonelily in distant climes
I was well content to roam,
And felt no void, for my heart was full
Of the friend it had left at home.
And now I was close to my native shores,
And I felt him at my side,
His spirit was in that homeward wind,
His voice in that homeward tide;
For what were to me my native shores,
But that they held the scene
Where my youth's most genial flowers had blown,
And affection's root had been ?
I thought, how should I see him first,
How should our hands first meet;
Within his room, — upon the stair,-
At the corner of the street ?
I thought, where should I hear him first,
How catch his greeting tone ? -
And thus I went up to his door,
And they told me he was gone!
O, what is life but a sum of love,
And death but to lose it all ?
Weeds be for those that are left behind,
And not for those that fall!
TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
And now how mighty a sum of love
Is lost for ever for me.
No, I'm not what I was yesterday,
Though change there be little to see.
TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY. - Milton.
LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth
Wisely hast shunned the broad way and the green,
And with those few are eminently seen
That labor up the hill of heavenly truth,
The better part with Mary and with Ruth
Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,
And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen,
No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.
Thy care is fixed, and zealously attends
To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light,
And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be
Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful friends
Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Hast gained thy entrance, virgin wise and pure.
TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. —
Keble. “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I for.
give him ?” – MATTHEW xviije 21.
What liberty so glad and gay,
As where the mountain boy,
Reckless of regions far away,
A prisoner lives in joy.
The dreary sounds of crowded earth,
The cries of camp or town, Never untuned his lonely mirth,
Nor drew his visions down.
The snow-clad peaks of rosy light
That meet his morning view,
The thwarting cliffs that bound his sight,
They bound his fancy too.
Two ways alone his roving eye
For age may onward go, Or in the azure deep on high,
Or darksome mere below,
O blessed restraint! more blessed range!
Too soon the happy child,
His nook of homely thought will change
For life's seducing wild:
Too soon his altered day-dreams show
This earth a boundless space,
With sun-bright pleasures to and fro,
Sporting in joyous race:
While of his narrowing heart each year
Heaven less and less will fill,
Less keenly, through his grosser ear,
The tones of mercy thrill.
It must be so; else wherefore falls
The Saviour's voice unheard,
While from his pardoning cross he calls,
“O, spare as I have spared."
By our own niggard rule we try
The hope to suppliants given ; We mete out love, as if our eye
Saw to the end of heaven.
Yes, ransomed sinner! wouldst thou know
How often to forgive,
How dearly to embrace thy foe,
Look where thou hop'st to live:
When thou hast told those isles of light,
And fancied all beyond, Whatever owns, in depth or height,
Creation's wondrous bond ;
Then in their solemn pageant learn
Sweet mercy's praise to see ;
Their Lord resigned them all, to earn
The bliss of pardoning thee.
THE BEGGAR. - J. R. Lowell.
A BEGGAR through the world am I,
From place to place I wander by ;
Fill up my pilgrim's scrip for me,
For Christ's sweet sake and charity !
A little of thy steadfastness,
Rounded with leafy gracefulness,
Old oak, give me, -
That the world's blasts may round me blow,
And I yield gently to and fro,
While my stout-hearted trunk below,
And firm-set roots, unmoved be.
Some of thy stern, unyielding might, Enduring still through day and night Rude tempest-shock and withering blight, – That I may keep at bay The changeful April sky of chance And the strong tide of circumstance,Give me, old granite gray.
Some of thy mournfulness serene,
Some of thy never-dying green,
Put in this scrip of mine, -
That grief may fall like snow-flakes light,
And deck me in a robe of white,
Ready to be an angel bright, -
O sweetly mournful pine..
A little of thy merriment,
Of thy sparkling, light content,
Give me, my cheerful brook,
That I may still be full of glee
And gladsomeness, where'er I be,
Though fickle fate hath prisoned me
In some neglected nook.
Ye have been very kind and good
To me, since I have been in the wood ;
Ye have gone nigh to fill my heart ;
But good by, kind friends, every one,
I've far to go ere set of sun;
Of all good things I would have part,
The day was high ere I could start,
And so my journey 's scarce begun.
Heaven help me! how could I forget
To beg of thee, dear violet !
Some of thy modesty,
That flowers here as well, unseen,
As if before the world thou 'dst been,
O, give, to strengthen me.