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How many, darker, cower out of sight,
And burrow, blind and silent, like the mole.
And like the mole, too, with its busy feet
That dig and dig a never-ending cave,
Our hidden sins gnaw through the soul, and meet And feast upon each other in its grave.
Frances Sargent Osgood
LABORARE EST ORARE.
Pause not to dream of the future
before us; Pause not to weep the wild cares
that come o'er us; Hark, how Creation's deep, musical
Unintermitting, goes up into heaven!
Never the ocean wave falters in flowing;
Never the little seed stops in its growing;
More and more richly the rose heart keeps glowing, Till from its nourishing stem it is riven.
"Labor is worship!"—the robin is singing;
"Labor is worship!" —the wild bee is ringing;
Listen! that eloquent whisper, upspringing. Speaks to thy soul from out Na tare's great heart.
From the dark cloud flows the life giving shower;
From the rough sod blows the softbreathing flower;
From the small insect, the rich coral bower;
Only man shrinks, in the plan, from his part.
Labor is life!—'Tis the still water faileth;
Idleness ever despaireth, bewaileth;
Keep the watch wound, for the dark rust assaileth! Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon.
Labor is glory! — the flying en lightens;
Only the waving wing changes and
brightens; Idle hearts only the dark future
frightens; Play the sweet keys, wouldst thou
keep them in tune!
Labor is rest,— from the sorrows that greet us;
Rest from all petty vexations that meet us,
Rest from sin-promptings that ever entreat us. Rest from world-sirens that lure us to ill.
Work,—and pure slumbers shall wait on thy pillow;
Work, — thou shall ride over Care's coming billow:
Lie not down wearied 'neath Woe's weeping-willow! Work with a stout heart and resolute will!
Labor is health, — lo! the husbandman reaping,
How through his veins goes the lifecurrent leaping!
How his strong arm in his stalwart pride sweeping, True as a sunbeam the swift sickle guides.
Labor is wealth, — in the sea the
pearl growethen rich the queen's robe from the frail
cocoon floweth; From the fine acorn the strong forest
Temple and statue the marble block hides.
Droop not, though shame, sin, and anguish are round thee!
Bravely fling off the cold chain that hath bound thee!
Look to yon pure heaven smiling beyond thee! Rest not content in thy darkness, — a clod!
Work — for some good, be it ever so slowly;
Cherish some flower, be it ever so lowly:
Labor ! — all labor is noble and holy:
Let thy great deeds be thy prayer to thy God.
BEFORE THE PRIME.
You think you love me, Marguerite,
Ah, were it so! But listen, dear!
When April's violets, here and there,
To show, you said, that spring was come.
But, sweetheart, when the lavish May Rained flowers and fragrance round
your way. You had no thought her bloom to
To prove the presence of the spring!
Believe me, when Love's April-time
DRIVING HOME THE COWS.
Out of the clover and blue-eyed grass He turned them into the river lane;
One after another he let them pass, Then fastened the meadow-bars again.
Under the willows, and over the hill, He patiently followed their sober pace;
The merry whistle for once was still, And something shadowed the sunny face.
Only a boy! and his father had said He never could let his youngest go:
Two already were lying dead, Under the feet of the trampling foe.
But after the evening work was done, And the frogs were loud in the meadow-swamp, Over his shoulder he slung his gun. And stealthily followed the footpath damp.
Across the clover, and through the wheat,
With resolute heart and purpose grim.
Though cold was the dew on his hurrying feet, [him. And the blind bat's flitting startled
Thrice since then had the lanes been white,
And the orchards sweet with applebloom;
And now, when the cows came back at night.
The feeble father drove them home.
For news had come to the lonely farm
That three were lying where two had lain;
And the old man's tremulous, palsied arm
Could never lean on a son's again.
The summer day grew cool and late,
He saw them coming one by one, —
Brindle, Ebony, Speckle, and Bess, Shaking their horns in the evening wind;
Cropping the buttercups out of the grass, — hind?
But who was it following close beLoosely swung in the idle air
The empty sleeve of army blue;
And worn and pale, from the crisping hair.
Looked out a face that the father knew.
For southern prisons will sometimes yawn.
And yield their dead unto life again;
And the day that comes with a cloudy dawn
In golden glory at last may wane.
The great tears sprang to their meet-
SONG OF A FELLOW-WORKER.
I FOUND a fellow-worker when I deemed I toiled alone:
My toil was fashioning thought and sound, and his was hewing stone:
I worked in the palace of my brain, he in the common street;
And it seemed his toil was great and hard, while mine was great and sweet.
I said. "O fellow-worker, yea, for I am a worker too,
"I carve the marble of pure thought until the thought takes form,
"And yet for days it seems my heart shall blossom never more,
And the burden of my loneliness lies on me very sore:
Therefore. O hewer of the stones that pave base human ways.
How canst thou bear the years till death, made of such thankless days?"
Then he replied: "Ere sunrise, when the pale lips of the day
"The sun grew on the world, and on my soul the thought grew too, —
"I went forth hastily, and lo! I met a hundred men,
The worker with the chisel and the worker with the pen, —
The restless spoilers after good, who sow and never reap.
And one who maketh music for their souls that may not sleep.
"Each passed me with a dauntless look, and my undaunted eyes
"They passed me, having faith in me, and in our several ways,
"Perhaps they felt, as with those hands they lifted mightily
"And so we toil together many a day from morn till night,
I in the lower depths of life, they on the lovely height;
For though the common stones are mine, and they have lofty cares,
Their work begins where this leaves off, and mine is part of theirs.
"And't is not wholly mine or theirs, I think of through the day,
"Then noonward, as the task grows light with all the labor done,
"But when the evening comes, indeed, the words have taken wing,
Rebecca S. Palfrey.
Into a city street,
Narrow and noisome, chance had led my feet;
Poisonous to every sense; and the
sun's rays Loved not the unclean place.
It seemed that no pure thing
Yet even into this dark place and
God had sent down his snow.
Here,too, a little child,
( hecking my hurried pace,
I heard him laugh aloud in pure deThat underneath, 't was white.
Then, through a broken pane, A woman's voice summoned him in again,
With softened mother-tones, that half
excused The unclean words she used.
And as I lingered near. His baby accents fell upon my ear: "See, I can make the snow again for you,
All clean and white and new!"
Ah! surely God knows best. Our sight is short: faith trusts to Him the rest.
Sometimes, we know, He gives to human hands To work out His commands.
Perhaps He holds apart.
By baby fingers in that mother's heart,
One fair, clean spot that yet may
spread and grow, Till all be white as snow.
THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.
O THOU, great Friend to all the sons of men,
Who once appeared in humblest guise below, Sin to rebuke, to break the captive's chain,
And call Thy brethren forth from want and woe, — We look to thee! Thy truth is still the Light
which guides the nations, groping on their way, Stumbling and falling in disastrous night,
Yet hoping ever for the perfect day.
Yes; Thou art still the Life, Thou art the way
The holiest known; Light, Life,
the Way of heaven! And they who dearest hope and
deepest pray Toil by the Light, Life, Way,
which Thou hast given.
THE HIGHER GOOD.
Father, I will not ask for wealth or fame,
Though once they would have
joyed my carnal sense; I shudder not to bear a hated name, Wanting all wealth, myself my sole defence.
But give me, Lord, eyes to behold the truth;
A seeing sense that knows the eternal right;
A heart with pity filled, and gentlest ruth;
A manly faith that makes all darkness light. [kind; Give me the power to labor for manMake me the mouth of such as cannot speak:
Eyes let me be to groping men, and blind; [weak A conscience to the base; and to the
Let me be hands and feet; and to the foolish, mind:
And lead still further on such as Thy kingdom seek.