« ZurückWeiter »
THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER.
Father of all! in every age,
In every clime adored,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!
Thou great First Cause, least understood,
Who all my sense confined To know but this, that Thou art good, And that myself am blind;
Yet gave me, in this dark estate,
To see the good from ill;
Left free the human will.
What conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do, This, teach me more than hell to shun,
That, more than heaven pursue.
What blessings Thy free bounty
Let me not cast away;
Yet not to earth's contracted span
Or think Thee Lord alone of man,
THE OLD STORY.
By the pleasant paths we know
Though we two were gone;
And the world move on.
Spring would carol through the wood, Life be counted sweet and good, Winter storms would prove their
While the seasons sped; [might, Winter frosts make bold to bite,
Clouds lift overhead.
Let not this weak, unknowing hand Presume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land On each I judge Thy foe.
If I am right, Thy grace impart
Still in the right to stay; If I am wrong, oh, teach my heart
To find that better way!
Save me alike from foolish pride,
Or impious discontent,
Or aught Thy goodness lent.
Teach me to feel another's woe,
To hide the fault I see: That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me.
Mean though I am, not wholly so,
Oh, lead me wheresoe'er I go,
This day, be bread and peace my lot:
All else beneath the sun. Thou know'st if best bestowed or not,
And let Thy will be done.
To Thee, whose temple is all space,
One chorus let all Being raise!
Still the sunset lights would glow,
In its place be hung;
No song less be sung.
Other lovers through the dew
When the day was done;
Hearts that beat as one.
To-day the sunshine freely showers
Its benediction where we stand; There's not a passing cloud that lowers
Above this pleasant summer land; Then let's not waste the sweet today, — To-morrow, who can say?
Perhaps, to-morrow we may be,— Alas! alas! the thought is pain,—
As far apart as sky and sea, Sundered to meet no more again;
Then let us clasp thee, sweet today, — To-morrow, who can say?
The daylight fades; a purple dream Of twilight hovers overhead,
While all the trembling stars but seem
Oh, sweet to-day, so soon away!
Sound asleep! no sigh can reach Him who dreams the heavenly dream;
No to-morrow's silver speech
Margaret Junkin Preston.
Just when we think we've fixed the golden mean, — The diamond point, on which to
balance fair Life and life's lofty issues, weighing there, With fractional precision, close and keen,
Thought, motive, word and deed,— there comes between Some wayward circumstance, some
jostling care, Some temper's fret, some mood's unwise despair, To mar the equilibrium, unforeseen, And spoil our nice adjustment! — Happy he, Whose soul's calm equipoise can know no jar, Because the unwavering hand that holds the scales, Is the same hand that weighed each steadfast star, — la the same hand that on the sacred tree [nails! Bore, for his sake, the anguish of the
Most perfect attribute of love, that knows
No separate self, — no conscious
mine nor thine; But mystic union, closer, more divine [close. Than wedded soul and body can disNo flush of pleasure on thy forehead glows,
No mist of feeling in thine eyes can shine,
No faintest pain surprise thee, but there goes The lightning-spark along love's viewless line, Bearing with instant message to my heart, Responsive recognition. Suns or showers
May come between us; silences may part; The rushing world know not, nor
care to know; — Yet back and forth the flashing secrets go, Whose sacred, only sesame is, ours 1 NATURE'S LESSON.
Pain is no longer pain when it is past;
And what is all the mirth of yesterday,
More than the yester flush that paled away, Leaving no trace across the landscape cast
Whereby to prove its presence there? The blast That bowed the knotted oak beneath its sway.
And rent the lissome ash, the forest may
Take heed of longer, since strewn leaves outlast Strewn sunbeams even. Be thou like Nature then,
Calmly receptive of all sweet delights,
The while they soothe and strengthen thee: and when The wrench of trial comes with swirl and strain, Think of the still progressive days and nights, That blot with equal sweep, both joy and pain.
Of all the attributes whose starry rays
Converge and centre in one focal light
Of luminous glory such as in sight
Can only look on with a blenched amaze,
None crowns the brow of God with purer blaze,
Nor lifts His grandeur to more infinite height,
Than His exhaustless patience. Let us praise
With wondering hearts, this strangest tenderest grace, Remembering, awe-struck, that the avenging rod
Of justice must have fallen, and mercy's plan
Been frustrate, had not Patience
stood between, Divinely meek: And let us learn
that man. Toiling, enduring, pleading, — calm,
For those who scorn and slight, is likest God.
It comes betwixt me and the amethyst
•Of yon far mountain's billowy range; — the sky, Mild with sun-setting calmness, to my eye
Is curtained ever by its haunting mist;
And oftentimes when some dear
brow I've kissed, My lips grow tremulous as it sweeps
With stress of overmastering agony that faith and reason all in vain resist.
It blurs my fairest books; it dims the page
Of the divinest lore; and on my tongue
The broken prayer that inward strength would crave,
Dissolves in sobs no soothing can assuage;
And this penumbral gloom, — this heart-cloud flung Around me is, the memory of a grave.
STONEWALL JACKSON'S GRAVE.
A Simple, sodded mound of earth,
Without a line above it; With only daily votive flowers
To prove that any love it: The token flag that silently
Each breeze's visit numbers, Alone keeps martial ward above
The hero's dreamless slumbers.
No name ?— no record? Ask the world;
The world has read his story: —
If all its annals can unfold
A prouder tale of glory; If ever merely human life
Hath taught diviner moral, — If ever round a worthier brow
was twined a purer laurel!
A twelvemonth only, since his sword
Went flashing through the battle, — A twelvemonth only, since his ear
Heard war's last deadly rattle, — And yet, have countless pilgrim feet
The pilgrim's guerdon paid him, And weeping women come to see
The place where they have laid
Contending armies bring in turn,
Their meed of praise or honor, And Pallas here has paused to bind
The cypress-wreath upon her: It seems a holy sepulchre,
Whose sanctities can waken Alike the love of friend or foe —
Of Christian or of pagan.
But who shall weigh the wordless grief
That leaves in tears its traces, As round their leader crowd again
The bronzed and veteran faces? The "Old Brigade" he loved so well —
The mountain men, who bound him
With bays of their own winning, ere A tardier fame had crowned him;
The legions who had seen his glance
Across the carnage flashing And thrilled to catch his ringing "charge"
Above the volley crashing; — Who oft had watched the lifted hand,
The inward trust betraying, And felt their courage grow sublime,
While they beheld him praying!
Bare fame! rare name! — If chanted praise,
With all the world to listen, — If pride that swells a nation's soul, — If foemen's tears that glisten, —
If pilgrim's shrining love, — if grief Which naught may soothe or sever, —
If these can consecrate, —this spot Is sacred ground forever!
THERE'LL COME A DAY.
There'll come a day when the supremest splendor Of earth, or sky, or sea, Whate'er their miracles, sublime or tender, Will wake no joy in me.
There'll come a day when all the aspiration. Now with such fervor fraught,
As lifts to heights of breathless exaltation,
Will seem a thing of naught.
There'll come a day when riches,
honor, glory, Music and song and art, Will look like puppets in a worn-out
Where each has played his part.
There'll come a day when human love, the sweetest Gift that includes the whole Of God's grand giving — sovereignest, completest — Shall fail to fill my soul.
There'll come a day — I will not care how passes The cloud across my sight, If only, lark-like, from earth's nested grasses, I spring to meet its light.
THE TYRANNY OF MOOD.
It Is enough: I feel, this golden morn,
As if a royal appanage were mine, Through Nature's queenly warrant of divine [born, Investiture. What princess, palaceHath right of rapture more, when skies adorn Themselves so grandly; when the
mountains shine Transfigured; when the air exalts like wine; When pearly purples steep the yellowing corn? So satisfied with all the goodliness Of God's good world, — my being to its brim Surcharged with utter thankfulness no less [glad Than bliss of beauty, passionately Through rush of tears that leaves the landscape dim,— "Who dares," I say, "in such a world be sad?"
I Press my cheek against the window-pane, And gaze abroad into the blank, black space
AFAR IN THE DESERT.
Afar in the desert I love to ride, With the silent bush-boy alone by my side.
When the sorrows of life the soul
And, sick of the present, I cling to the past;
When the eye is suffused with regretful tears,
From the fond recollections of former years;
And shadows of things that have long since fled
Flit over the brain, like the ghosts of the dead;
Bright visions of glory that vanished too soon;
Day-dreams that departed ere manhood's noon; [reft;
Attachments by fate or falsehood
Companions of early days lost or left—
Where earth and sky no more have any place, Wiped from existence by the expunging rain;
And as I hear the worried winds
complain, A darkness, darker than the mirk
whose trace Invades the curtained room, is on my
Beneath which, life and life's best ends seem vain. My swelling aspirations viewless sink
As yon cloud-blotted hills: hopes that shone bright As planets yester-eve, like them tonight
Are gulfed, the impenetrable mists before:
"O weary world!" I cry, "how dare I think Thou hast for me one gleam of gladness more?"
And my native land — whose magical name
Thrills to the heart like electric flame; The home of my childhood: the
haunts of my prime: All the passions and scenes of that
rapturous time When the feelings were young, and
the world was new, Like the fresh bowers of Eden unfolding to view; Ah — all now forsaken — forgotten —
foregone! l none —
And I — a lone exile remembered of My high aims abandoned — my good
acts undone — Aweary of all that is under the sun,— With that sadness of heart which no
stranger may scan, I fly to the desert afar from man.
Afar in the desert I love to ride, With the silent bush-boy alone by my side,