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with a faith, and hope, and trust no longer traditional, but of his own,-a trust which neither earth nor hell shall shake thenceforth forever.
POETICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF OROTUND QUALITY.
THE CRY OF THE CHILDREN.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers,
Ere the sorrow comes with years?
And that cannot stop their tears.
The young birds are chirping in the nest;
The young flowers are blowing toward the west-
They are weeping bitterly! —
In the country of the free.
Do you question the young children in the sorrow,
Why their tears are falling so? —
Which is lost in Long Ago —
The old year is ending in the frost -
The old hope is hardest to be lost:
Do you ask them why they stand
In our happy Fatherland ?
And their looks are sad to see,
Down the cheeks of infancy –
“Our young feet,” they say, “are very weak!
Our grave rest is very far to seek !
Ask the old why they weep, and not the children,
For the outside earth is cold, And we young ones stand without, in our bewildering,
And the graves are for the old !”
" True,” say the young children, “it may happen
That we die before our time!
Like a snowball, in the rime.
Was no room for any work, in the close clay:
Crying, .Get up, little Alice! it is day.'
With your ear down, little Alice never cries ! -
For the smile has time for growing in her eyes, -
The shroud, by the kirk-chime !
“That we die before our time!”
Alas, the wretched children! they are seeking
Death in life, as best to have!
With a cerement from the grave.
Sing out, children, as the little thrushes do-
Laugh aloud, to feel your fingers let them through. But they answer, “ Are your cowslips of the meadows
Like our weeds anear the mine?
From your pleasures fair and fine!
“For oh,” say the children, “we are weary,
And we cannot run or leap-
To drop down in them and sleep.
We fall upon our faces, trying to go;
The reddest flower would look as pale as snow.
For, all day, we drag our burden tiring,
Through the coal-dark, undergroundOr, all day, we drive the wheels of iron
In the factories, round and round.
“For, all day, the wheels are droning, turning,
Their wind comes in our faces, – Till our hearts turn,- our heads, with pulses burning,
And the walls turn in their placesTurns the sky in the high window blank and reeling —
Turns the long light that droppeth down the wall — Turn the black flies that crawl along the ceiling
All are turning, all the day, and we with all! -
And sometimes we could pray,
•Stop! be silent for to-day!'"
Ay! be silent! Let them hear each other breathing
For a moment, mouth to mouth-
Of their tender human youth!
Is not all the life God fashions or reveals-
That they live in you, or under you, O wheels ! —
As if Fate in each were stark; And the children's souls, which God is calling sunward,
Spin on blindly in the dark.
Now tell the poor young children, O my brothers,
That they look to Him and pray-
Will bless them another day.
While the rushing of the iron wheels is stirred ?
Pass by, hearing not, or answer not a word! And we hear not (for the wheels in their resounding)
'Strangers speaking at the door: Is it likely God, with angels singing round Him,
Heurs our weeping any more?
“ Two words, indeed, of praying we remember;
And at midnight's hour of harm,-
We say softly for a charm.
And we think that, in some pause of angels' song, God may pluck them with the silence sweet to gather,
And hold both within His right hand which is strong "Our Father!' If He heard us, He would surely
(For they call him good and mild) Answer, smiling down the steep world very purely,
Come and rest with me, my child.'
“ But, no !” say the children, weeping faster,
“He is speechless as a stone;
Who commands us to work on.
Dark, wheel-like, turning clouds are all we find !
We look up for God, but tears have made us blind.” Do you hear the children weeping and disproving,
O my brothers, what you teach ?
And the children doubt of each.
And well may the children weep before you ;
They are weary ere they rnn;
Which is brighter than the sun:
Are bitter with despairing, but not calm —
Are martyrs, by the pang without the palm,-
No dear remembrance keep,
Let them weep! let them weep!
They look up, with their pale and sunken faces,
And their look is dread to see,
With eyes meant for Deity; —
“How long," they say, “how long, O cruel nation,
Will you stand, to move the world, on a child's heart, Stifle down with a mailed heel its palpitation,
And tread onward to your throne amid the mart?
And your purple shows your path;
Than the strong man in his wrath!”
THE SONG OF THE SHIRT. Thomas Hood.
With eyelids heavy and red,
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
And work — work - work,
Along with the barbarous Turk,
If this is Christian work !
“Work — work — work
Work — work — work
Band, and gusset, and seam,
And sew them on in a dream!
u Oh, men, with sisters dear!
Oh, men, with mothers and wives !
Stitch - stitch - stitch,