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PROVERBIAL PHILOSOPHY.

First Series.

PREFATORY.

THOUGHTS, that have tarried in my mind, and peopled its inner

chambers, The sober children of reason, or desultory train of fancy; Clear running wine of conviction, with the scum and the lees of

speculation; Corn from the sheaves of science, with stubble from mine own

garner; Searchings after truth, that have tracked her secret lodes, And come up again to the surface-world, with a knowledge ground

ed deeper ; Arguments of high scope, that have soared to the keystone of

heaven, And thence have swooped to their certain mark, as the falcon to its

quarry; The fruits I have gathered of prudence, the ripened harvest of my Sweet is the virgin honey, though the wild bee have stored it in a

musings, These commend I unto thee, O docile scholar of Wisdom; These I give to thy gentle heart, thou lover of the right.

What though a guilty man renew that hallowed theme,
And strike with feebler hand the harp of Sirach's son?
What though a youthful tongue take up that ancient parable,
And utter faintly forth dark sayings as of old ?

reed; And bright the jewelled band that circleth an Ethiop's arm; Pure are the grains of gold in the turbid stream of Ganges, And fair the living flowers that spring from the dull, cold sod. Wherefore, thou gentle student, bend thine ear to my speech, For I also am as thou art; our hearts can commune together : To meanest matters will I stoop, for mean is the lot of mortal; I will rise to noblest themes, for the soul hath a heritage of glory: The passions of puny man; the majestic characters of God; The feverish shadows of time, and the mighty substance of eternity.

COMMEND thy mind unto candor, and grudge not as though thou

hadst a teacher, Nor scorn angelic Truth for the sake of her evil herald; Heed not him, but hear his words, and care not whence they come; The viewless winds might whisper them, the billows roar them

forth, The mean, unconscious sedge sigh them in the ear of evening, Or the mind of pride conceive, and the mouth of folly speak them. Lo, now, I stand not forth laying hold on spear and buckler; I come a man of peace, to comfort, not to combat; With soft, persuasive speech to charm thy patient ear, Giving the hand of fellowship, acknowledging the heart of sympathy: Let us walk together as friends in the shaded paths of meditation, Nor Judgment set his seal until he hath poised his balance ; That the chastenings of mild reproof may meet unwitting error, And Charity not be a stranger at the board that is spread for

brothers.

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