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HYMN TO CONTENTMENT.
Lovely, lasting peace of mind! Sweet delight of human kind! Heavenly-born, and bred on high, To crown the favorites of the sky With more of happiness below, Than victors in a triumph know! Whither, O whither art thou fied, To lay thy meek, contented head? What happy region dost thou please To make the seat of calms and ease?
Ambition searches all its sphere Of pomp and state, to meet thee there. Increasing avarice would find Thy presence in its gold enshrined. The bold adventurer ploughs his way Through rocks amidst the foaming sea
To gain thy love; and then perceives
Sees daisies open, rivers run,
Lovely, lasting Peace, appear!
'Twas thus, as under shade I stood, I sun? my wishes to the wood, And, lost in thought, no more perceived
The branches whisper as they waved;
It seemed as all the quiet place Confessed the presence of her grace. When thus she spoke — "Goruletnv will,
Bid thy wild passions all be still, Know God —and bring thy heart to know
The joys which from religion flow: Then every grace shall prove its guest, And I'll be there to crown the rest."
Oh! by yonder mossy seat, In my hours of sweet retreat, Might 1 thus my soul employ With sense of gratitude and joy: liaised as ancient prophets were, In heavenly vision, praise, and prayer;
Pleasing all men, hurting none,
With all the colors of delight;
The sun that walks his airy way, To light the world, and give the day: The moon that shines with borrow ed light;
The stars that gild the gloomy night: The seas that roll unnumbered waves: The wood that spreads its shady leaves;
The field whose ears conceal the grain,
The yellow treasure of the plain;
Go search among your idle dreams.
Thomas William Parsons.
Rivers that roll most musical in song
The wanderer muses, as he moves along
When, to give substance to his boyish dreams,
on must he think, in greeting foreign streams,
If chance he mark the dwindled Arno pour
Or views the Rhone when summer's heat is o'er,
Or when he sees the slimy Tiber fling
on to his thought must partial memory bring
Now let him climb the Catskill, to behold
And say what bard, in any land of old,
Along the Rhine gray battlements and towers
But here Heaven's handiwork snrpasseth outs, And man has hardly more than built his nest.
No storied castle' s these heights;
Nor antique arches check the current's play; Nor mouldering architrave the mind invites
To dream of deities long passed away.
No Gothic buttress, or decaying shaft
Lifts the great landmark to the little craft, —
But cliffs, unaltered from their primal form
And hold their savings to the upper storm,
Farms, rich not more in meadows than in men
Spread o'er the plain, or scatter through the glen, Boeotian plenty on a Spartan soil.
Then, where the reign of cultivation ends,
From steep to steep one solemn wood extends,
And these deep groves forever have remained
Touched by no axe, — by no proud owner nursed;
As now they stand they stood when Pharaoh reigned, Lineal descendants of creation's first.
No tales, we know, are chronicled of thee
Have hung a history on every tree,
But neither here hath any conqueror trod,
No horrors feigned of giant or of god
Here never yet have happy fields laid waste,
The cottage ruined and the shrine defaced,
"Yet, O Antiquity!" the stranger sighs;
"Scenes wanting thee soon pall upon the view; The soul's indifference dulls the sated eyes,
Where all is fair indeed, — but all is new."
False thoughts is age to crumbling walls confined?
To Grecian fragments and Egyptian bones? Bath Time no monuments to raise the mind,
More than old fortresses and sculptured stones?
Call not this new which is the only land
Which, when just dawning from its Maker's hand,
Nor did Euphrates with an earlier birth
Glide past green Eden towards the unknown south, Than Hudson broke upon the infant earth.
And kissed the ocean with his nameless mouth.
Twin-born with Jordan, Ganges, and the Nile!
OhI had thy waters burst from Britain's isle,
THE aliOOMS.VAN TO HIS
Every wedding, says the proverb,
Never yet was any marriage
But the names were also written
Blessings then upon the morning
By the solemn rites' permission,
And the destinies recorded
While the priest fulfilled his office,
And the parents and the kinsmen
But the groomsmen eyed the virgins Who were waiting at her side.
Three there were that stood beside her;
One was dark, and one was fair;
But nor fair nor dark the other,
Neither dark nor fair, I call her,
While her groomsman—shall I own it?
Yes, to thee, and only thee — Gazed upon this dark-eyed maiden
Who was fairest of the three, thus he thought: "How blest the bridal
Where the bride were such as she!"
Then I mused upon the adage,
And I wondered, as the churchman
Which of all who heard his lesson
Whose will be the next occasion
Thine, perchance, my dearest lady;
What if't were — forgive the fancy — What if 't were both mine and thine?
[From The Betrothal.] SWEET MEETING OF DESMES.
I grew assured before I asked.
That she'd be mine without reserve, And in her unclaimed graces basked
At leisure, till the time should serve, —
With just enough of dread to thrill The hope, and make it trebly dear;
Thus loath to speak the word, to kill Either the hope or happy fear.
Till once, through lanes returning late,
Her laughing sisters lagged behind; And ere we reached her father's gate. We paused with one presentient mind;
And, in the dim and perfumed mist, Their coming stayed; who blithe and free,
And very women, loved to assist
Twice rose, twice died, my trembling word;
To faint and frail cathedral chimes Spake time in music, and we heard
The chafers rustling in the limes. Her dress, that touched me where I stood;
The warmth of her confided arni; Her bosom's gentle neighborhood; Her pleasure in herpower to charm;
Her look, her love, her form, her touch!
The least seemed most by blissful turn,—
Blissful but that it pleased too much,
And taught the wayward soul to yearn.
It was as if a harp with wires
And oh, sweet meeting of desires! She, answering, owned that she loved too.
WOULD WISDOM FOR HERSELF BE WOOED.
Would Wisdom for herself be wooed, And wake the foolish from his dream,
She must be glad as well as good,
Beauty and joy are hers by right;
That she's so scorned, when falsely dight
In misery and ugliness. What's that which Heaven to man endears,
And that which eyes no sooner see
Than the heart says, with floods of tears,
"Ah! that's the thing which I would be?" Not childhood, full of fears and frets:
Not youth, impatient to disown Those visions high, which to forget Were worse than never to have known.
Not these; but souls found here and here,
Oases in our waste of sin. When everything is well and fair,
And God remits his discipline; Whose sweet subdual of the world
The worldling scarce can recognize; And ridicule, against it hurled,
Drops with a broken sting and dies. They live by law, not like the fool,
But like the bard who freely sings In strictest bonds of rhyme and rule,
And finds in them not bonds but wings.
James Gates Percival.
[From Prometheus, Part //.l
APOSTROPHE TO THE SUN.
Centre of light and energy! thy way Is through the unknown void; thou
hast thy throne, Morning, and evening, and at noon
Far in the blue, untended and alone: Ere the first-wakened aim of earth
had blown, On thou didst march, triumphant in
thy light; Then thou didst send thy glance,
which still hath flown Wide through the never-ending
worlds of night, And yet thy full orb burns with flash
as keen and bright.
Thy path is high in Heaven; — we
cannot gaze On the intense of light that girds thy cart
There is a crown of glory in thy rays, which bear thy pure divinity afar, To mingle with the equal light of star;
For thou, so vast to us, art in the whole
One of the sparks of night, that fire the air,
And as around thy centre planets roll.
So thou too hast thy path around the Central Soul.
Age o'er thee has no power; — thou
bring'st the same Light to renew the morning, as when
first, [flame, If not eternal, thou, with front of On the dark face of earth in glory
And warmed the seas, and in their
bosom nursed The earliest things of life, the worm and shell;