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Life is a sea-how fair its face,
How smooth its dimpling waters pace,
Its canopy how pure!
But rocks below, and tempests sleep,
Insidious, o'er the glassy deep,
Nor leave an hour secure.
Life is a wilderness-beset
With tangling thorns, and treach'rous net,
And prowl'd by beasts of prey.
One path alone conducts aright,
One narrow path, with little light;
A thousand lead astray.
Life is a warfare—and alike,
Prepar'd to parley, or to strike,
The practis’d foe draws nigh.
O hold no truce ! less dangerous far
To stand, and all his phalanx dare,
Than trust his specious lie.
Whate'er its form, whate'er its flow,
While life is lent to man below,
One duty stands confest-
To watch incessant, firm of mind,
To watch, where'er the post assign’d,
And leave to God the rest.
"Twas while they watch'd, the shepherd d swains Heard angels strike to angel-strains
The song of heavenly love:
Blest harmony, that far excels
All music else on earth that dwells,
Or e'er was tun'd above.
The star that every star effaced
With new and nobler shine: They follow'd, and it led the way, To where the infant Saviour lay,
And gave them light divine.
'Twas while they watch’d, with lamp in hand,
And oil well stor’d, the Virgin band
The bridal pomp descried;
They join'd it—and the heavenly gate,
That op'd to them its glorious state,
Was clos'd on all beside.
Watch! - Watch and pray!'-in suffering hour
Thus He exclaim'd wbo felt its power,
And triumph'd in the strife.
Victor of death! thy voice I hear:
Fain would I watch with holy fear,
Would watch and pray through life's career,
And only cease with life.
SOLDIER, go but not to claim
Mouldering spoils of earth-born treasure, Not to build a vaunting name;
Not to dwell in tents of pleasure. Dream not that the way is smooth,
Hope not that the thorns are roses; Turn no wishful eye of youth, Where the sunny beam reposes;
Thou hast sterner work to do,
Hosts to cut thy passage through ; Close behind thee gulfs are burningForward !--there is no returning. Soldier, rest-but not for thee
Spreads the world her downy pillow; On the rock thy couch must be,
While around thee chafes the billow : Tbine must be a watchful sleep,
Wearier than another's waking ; Such a charge as thou dost keep Brooks no moment of forsaking.
Sleep, as on the battle.field,
Girded-grasping sword and shield :
Those thou canst not name nor number,
Steal upon thy broken slumber.
Soldier, rise—the war is done :
Lo, the hosts of hell are flying; 'Twas thy Lord the battle won;
Jesus vanquished them by dying. Pass the stream-before thee lies-
All the conquered land of glory ;
Hark! what songs of rapture rise,
These proclaim the Victor's story.
Soldier, lay thy weapons down,
Quit the sword, and take the crown ;
Triumph! all thy foes are banished,
Death is slain, and earth has vanished.
So Satan fell; and strait a fiery globe
Of angels on full sail of wing flew nigh,
Who on their plumy vans receiv'd him soft
From his uneasy station, and upbore
As on a floating couch through the blithe air,
. Then in a flow'ry valley set him down
On a green bank, and set before him spread
A table of celestial food, divine,
Ambrosial fruits fetch'd from the tree of life,
And from the fount of life ambrosial drink,
That soon refresh'd him wearied, and repair'd
What hunger, if ought hunger had impaira,
Or thirst; and as he fed, angelic quires
Sung heav'nly anthems of his victory
Over temptation, and the Tempter proud.
True image of the Father, whether thron'd
In the bosom of bliss, and light of light
Conceiving, or remote from Heav'n, inshrin'd
In fleshly tabernacle, and human form,
Wand'ring the wilderness, whatever place,
Habit, or state, or motion still expressing
The Son of God, with God-like force endued,
Against th' attempter of thy Father's throne,
Thou didst debel, and down from Heav'n cast
With all his army, now thou hast aveng'd
Supplanted Adam, and by vanquishing
Temptation, hast regain'd lost Paradise,
And frustrated the conquest fraudulent:
He never more henceforth will dare set foot
In Paradise to tempt! his snares are broke :
For though that seat of earthly bliss be fail'd,
A fairer Paradise is founded now
For Adam and his chosen sons, whom thou
A Saviour hast come down to re-instal
Where they shall dwell secure, when time shall be,
Of Tempter and temptation without fear.
But thon, infernal serpent, shalt not long
Rule in the clouds; like an autumnal star
Or light'ning thou shalt fall from Heav'n, trod down
Under his feet, for proof, ere this thou feel'st
Thy wound, yet not thy last and deadliest wound,
By this repulse receiv'd, and hold'st in Hell
No triumph; in all her gates Abaddon rues
Thy bold attempt; hereafter learn with awe
To dread the Son of God, he all unarm'd .
Shall chase thee with the terror of his voice
From thy demoniac holds, possession foul,
Thee and thy legions; yelling they shall fly,
And beg to hide them in a herd of swine,
Lest he command them down into the deep
Bound, and to torment sent before their time.
Hail, Son of the Most High, Heir of both worlds,
Queller of Satan, on thy glorious work
Now enter, and begin to save mankind.