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The world, that hath left him to starve, itself wallowing in

plenty, — The world, that denieth him his rights, – he daringly robbeth it of

them. I say not, such a one is innocent; but small is the measure of his

guilt To that of his wealthy neighbor, who would not help him at his

need; To that of the selfish epicure, who turned away with coldness from

his tale ; To that of unsuffering thousands, who look with complacence on

his fall.

OR perchance the continual dropping of the venomed words of spite,
Insult, and injury, and scorn, have galled and pierced his heart;
Yet, with all long-suffering and meekness, he forgiveth unto seventy

times seven; Till, in some weaker moment, tempted beyond endurance, He striketh, more in anger than in hate; and, alas ! for his heavy

chance, He hath smitten unto instant death his spiteful life-long enemy! And none was by to see it; and all men knew of their contentions; Fierce voices shout for his blood, and rude hands hurry him to

judgment. Then man's verdict cometh, - Murderer, with forethought malice; And his name is a note of execration; his guilt is too black for

devils. But to the righteous Judge seemeth he the suffering victim; For his anger was not unlawful, but became him as a Christian and

a man, And though his guilt was grievous when he struck that heavy, bitter

blow, Yet light is the sin of the smiter, and verily kicketh the beam, To the weight of that man's wickedness, whose slow, relentless

hatred Met him at every turn, with patient continuance in evil. Doubtless, eternal wrath shall be heaped upon that spiteful enemy.

It is in vain, it is in vain, saith the preacher; there be none but the

righteous and the wicked, Base rebels and stanch allies, the true knight and the traitor;

And he beareth strong witness among men, There is no neutral

ground, The broad highway and narrow path map out the whole domain; Sit here among the saints, these holy chosen few, Or grovel there a wretch condemned, to die among the million. And verily for ultimate results, there be but good and bad; Heaven hath no dusky twilight; hell is not gladdened with a

dawn. Yet looking round among his fellows, who can pass righteous judg

ment, Such a one is holy and accepted, and such a one reprobate and

doomed? There is so much of good among the worst, so much of evil in the

best, Such seeming partialities in Providence, so many things to lessen

and expand, Yea, and with all man's boast, so little real freedom of his will, That, to look a little lower than the surface, garb, or dialect, or

fashion, Thou shalt feebly pronounce for a saint, and faintly condemn for a

sinner. Over many a heart good and true fluttereth the Great King's pen

nant: By many an iron hand, the pirate's black banner is unfurled : But there be many more besides, in the yacht, and the trader, and the

fishing-boat, In the feathered war-canoe, and the quick, mysterious gondola: And the army of that Great King hath no stated uniform; Of mingled characters and kinds goeth forth the countless host; There is the turbaned Damascene, with his tatooed Zealand

brother, There the slim bather in the Ganges, with the sturdy Russian boor, The sluggish inmate of a polar cave, with the fire-souled daughter

of Brazil,
The imbruted slave from Cuba, and the Briton of gentle birth.
For all are His inheritance, of all He taketh tithe:
And the Church, his mercy's ark, hath some of every sort.
Who art thou, O man, that art fixing the limits of the fold ?
Wherefore settest thou stakes to spread the tent of heaven ?
Lay not the plummet to the line: religion hath no landmarks:
No human keenness can discern the subtle shades of faith;

In some it is as earliest dawn, the scarce diluted darkness;
In some as dubious twilight, cold, and gray, and gloomy;
In some the ebon east is streaked with flaming gold;
In some the dayspring from on high breaketh in all its praise.
And who hath determined the when, separating light from dark-

Who shall pluck from earliest dawn the promise of the day?
Leave that care to the Husbandman, lest thou garner tares;
Help thou the Shepherd in his seeking, but to separate be his :
For I have often seen the noble erring spirit
Wrecked on the shoals of passion, and numbered of the lost;
Often the generous heart, lit by unhallowed fire,
Counted a brand among the burning, and left uncared-for, in his

sin : Yet I waited a little year, and the mercy thou hadst forgotten Hath purged that noble spirit, washing it in waters of repentance; That glowing, generous heart, having burnt out all its dross, Is as a golden censer, ready for the aloes and cassia : While thou, hard-visaged man, unlovely in thy strictness, Who turned from him thy sympathies with self-complacent pride, How art thou shamed by him! his heart is a spring of love, While the dry well of thine affections is choked with secret mam


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SOMETIMES at a glance thou judgest well; years could add little to

thy knowledge: When charity gloweth on the cheek, or malice is lowering in the

eye, When honesty's open brow, or the weasel-face of cunning is before


Or the loose lip of wantonness, or clear, bright forehead of reflec

tion. But often, by shrewd scrutiny, thou judgest to the good man's

harm : For it may be his hour of trial, or he slumbereth at his post, Or he hath slain his foe, but not yet levelled the stronghold, Or barely recovered of the wounds that fleshed him in his fray

with passion. Also, of the worst, through prejudice, thou loosely shalt think

well: For none is altogether evil, and thou mayst catch him at his

prayers :

There may be one small prize, though all beside be blanks ;
A silver thread of goodness in the black sergecloth of crime.

There is to whom all things are easy: his mind, as a master-key, Can open, with intuitive address, the treasuries of art and science: There is to whom all things are hard; but industry giveth him a

crowbar, To force, with groaning labor, the stubborn lock of learning : And often, when thou lookest on an eye, dim in native dulness, Little shalt thou wot of the wealth diligence hath gathered to its

gaze: Often the brow that should be bright with the dormant fire of ge

nius, Within its ample halls, hath ignorance the tenant. Yet are not the sons of men cast as in moulds by the lot? The like in frame and feature hath much alike in spirit; Such a shape hath such a soul, so that a deep discerner From his make will read the man, and err not far in judgment: Yea, and it holdeth in the converse, that growing similarity of

mind Findeth or maketh for itself an apposite dwelling in the body: Accident may modify, circumstance may bevil, externals seem to

change it, But still the primitive crystal is latent in its many variations : For the map of the face, and the picture of the eye, are traced by

the pen of passion; And the mind fashioneth a tabernacle suitable for itself. A mean spirit boweth down the back, and the bowing fostereth

meanness; A resolute purpose knitteth the knees, and the firm tread nourisheth

decision; Love looketh softly from the eye, and kindleth love by looking ; Hate furroweth the brow, and a man may frown till he hateth: For mind and body, spirit and matter, have reciprocities of power, And each keepeth up the strife; a man's works make or mar him.

THERE be deeper things than these, lying in the twilight of truth; But few can discern them aright, from surrounding dimness of

error. Tor perchance, if thou knewest the whole, and largely, with com

prehensive mind,

Couldst read the history of character, the checkered story of a


And into the great account, which summeth a mortal's destiny, Wert to add the forces from without, dragging him this way and

that, And the secret qualities within, grafted on the soul from the womb, And the might of other men's example, among whom his lot is

cast, And the influence of want, or 'wealth, of kindness, or harsh ill

usage, Of ignorance he cannot help, and knowledge found for him by

others, And first impressions, hard to be effaced, and leadings to right or to

wrong, And inheritance of likeness from a father, and natural human

frailty, And the habit of health or disease, and prejudices poured into his

mind, And the myriad little matters none but Omniscience can know, And accidents that steer the thoughts, where none but Ubiquity

can trace them :If thou couldst compass all these, and the consequents flowing

from them, And the scope to which they tend, and the necessary fitness of all

things, Then shouldst thou see as He seeth, who judgeth all men equal, Equal, touching innocence and guilt; and different alone in this, That one acknowledgeth his evil, and looketh to his God for mercy; Another boasteth of his good, and calleth on his God for justice; So He, that sendeth none away, is largely munificent to prayer, But in the heart of presumption sheatheth the sword of vengeance.

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