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But on a day of wintry skies
And as I caught its faint perfume The soul of summer straight forsook
The little tenement it loved,
And filled the world with song and bloom,
Missed, in their season, by my sense,
So found my heart its recompense.
Sir Robert Ayton.
FAIR AND UNWORTHY.
I DO confess thou'rt smooth and fair, And I might have gone near to love thee,
Had I not found the lightest prayer
I do confess thou'rt sweet; yet find
Thy favors are but like the wind,
And since thou canst with more than one,
Thou'rt worthy to be kissed by none.
The morning rose that untouched stands
Armed with her briers, how sweetly smells!
But plucked and strained through ruder hands, No more her sweetness with her dwells,
But scent and beauty both are gone, And leaves fall from her one by one.
Such fate, erelong, will thee betide, When thou hast handled been awhile, — Like serve flowers to be thrown aside; And I will sigh, while some will smile,
To see thy love for more than one Hath brought thee to be loved by none.
Anna Letitia Barbauld.
THE SABBATH OF THE SOUL.
Sleep, sleep to-day, tormenting
Of earth and folly born;
To-morrow will be time enough
Ye shall not violate, this day,
Sleep, sleep forever, guilty thoughts,
And, purged from sin, may I behold A God of purity.
Mary A. Barr.
O Mystic, mighty flower whose frail white leaves Silky and crumpled like a banner furled.
Shadow the black mysterious seed
that gives The drop that soothes and lulls a
restless world; Nepenthes for our woe, yet swift to
Holding the knowledge of both good and ill.
The rose for beauty may outshine thee far,
The lily hold herself like some sweet saint Apart from earthly griefs, as is a star
Apart from any fear of earthly taint;
The snowy poppy like an angel stands.
With consolation in her open hands.
Ere History was born, the poet sung
How godlike Thone knew thy compelling power, And ancient Ceres, by strange sortrows wrung. Sought sweet oblivion from thy healing flower. Giver of sleep! Lord of the Land of Dreams!
O simple weed, thou art not what man deems.
The clear-eyed Greeks saw oft their god of sleep wandering about through the black midnight hours, Soothing the restless couch with slumbers deep, And scattering thy medicated flowers,
Till hands were folded for their final rest.
Clasping white poppies o'er a pulseless breast.
We have a clearer vision; every hour
Kind hearts and hands the poppy juices mete, And panting sufferers bless its kindly power,
And weary ones invoke its peaceful sleep.
Health has its rose, and grape and
joyful palm, The poppy to the sick is wine and
I sing the poppy! The frail snowy
The flower of mercy! that within its heart
Doth keep "a drop serene" for human need, A drowsy balm for every bitter smart.
For happy hours the rose will idly
The poppy hath a charm for pain and woe.
Press on! there's no such word as fail!
Press nobly on! the goal is near, — Ascend the mountain! breast the gale!
Look upward, onward, — never fear!
Why shouldst thou faint? haven
smiles above, Though storm and vapor intervene; That sun shines on, whose name is
Serenely o'er Life's shadow'd scene.
Press on! surmount the rocky steeps, Climb boldly o'er the tr arch;
He fails alone who feebly creeps;
Be thou a hero! let thy might
And through the ebon walls of night
Press on! if Fortune play thee false To-ilay, to-morrow she'll be true; Whom now she sinks she now exalts.
Taking old gifts and granting new. The wisdom of the present hour Makes up for follies past and gone, —
To weakness strength succeeds, and power
From frailty springs, — press on! press on!
Press on! what though upon the ground
Thy love has been poured out like rain?
That happiness is always found The sweetest, which is born of pain.
Oft 'mid the forest's deepest glooms, A bird sings from some blighted tree,
And, in the dreariest desert, blooms A never-dying rose for thee.
Therefore, press on! and reach the goal,
And gain the prize and wear the crown;
Faint not! for to the steadfast soul Come wealth and honor and renown.
To thine own self be true, and keep Thy mind from sloth, thy heart from soil;
Press l and thou shalt surely reap A heavenly harvest for thy toil!
Annie Berry Bensel.
THE LADY OF THE CASTLE,
See you yonder castle stately?
On the rocks it stands alone, Gleaming in the silver moonlight
Like a sentinel of stone.
Years ago in that old castle
Fairer than the fairest lady
It was on her bridal morning —
Lady Hilda walked the garden,
Soon she reached the massive gateway,
And her dark eyes sparkled bright, As she saw a gay procession
Wending towards the castle height.
For she knew it was her lover,
Foremost in the glittering pageant
Just between them and the castle
They must ride still further onward
But Count Rupert saw the lady
Dauntlessiy he turned his charger.
"It is but a narrow chasm, Go you by the bridge," cried he,
"I will leap to yonder hillock, There my lady waits for me."
All in vain his comrades' warning,
Forward leaps the noble charger,
One long cry of bitter anguish!
She who heard it, swooning, fell; Knowing by that single outcry
All the tale there was to tell.
Turn your eyes beyond the castle,
There the lady lived they tell me,
There within the lofty chapel
Lady Hilda — well beloved —
sleeps beneath the ghostly gloom.
No one dwells in that old castle.
Desolate it stands alone, Gleaming in the silver moonlight
Like a sentinel of stone.
John Stuart Blackie.
THE HOPE OF THE HETE11ODOX.
In Thee, O blessed God, I hope,
In Thee, in Thee, in Thee! Though banned by presbyter and pope,
My trust is still in Thee. Thou wilt not cast Thy servant out
Because he chanced to see With his own eyes, and dared to doubt
What praters preach of Thee.
Thou wilt not cast away
I look around on earth and sky,
And Thee and ever Thee, With open heart and open eyes
How can I fail to see? My ear drinks in from field and fell
Life's rival floods of glee: Where finds the priest his private hell When all is full of Thee? Oh no! not, no! though flocks of geese Give Heaven's high ear no peace: I still enjoy a lease Of happy thoughts from Thee.
My faith is strong; out of itself
It grows erect and free;
Gives amulets to me.
O pious quack! thy pills are good;
But mine as good may be,
Live without yon or me.
Thought is a busy bee,
Like a tree in the open air,
WISHES OF YOUTH.
Gaylt and greenly let my seasons run:
And should the war-winds of the world uproot
The sanctity of life, and its sweet fruit
Cast forth as fuel for the fiery sun, —
The dews be turned to ice,—fair
days begun In peace, wear out in pain, and
sounds that suit Despair and discord, keep Hope's
harp-string mute, Still let me live as Love and Life were
Still let me turn on earth a childlike gaze,
And trust the whispered charities
that bring Tidings of human truth; with inward
Watch the weak motion of each common thing.
And find it glorious — still let me raise
On wintry wrecks, an altar to the Spring.
Pleasures lie thickest where no
pleasures seem: There's not a leaf that falls upon the
But holds some joy, of silence or of sound.
Some sprite begotten of a summer dream.
The very meanest things are made supreme
With innate ecstasy. No grain of sand
But moves a bright and million
For Love, though blind himself, a
curious eye hath lent me, to behold the hearts of
And touched mine ear with power.
Thus far or nigh, Minute or mighty, fixed, or free with
Delight from many a nameless covert sly
Peeps sparkling, and in tones familiar sings.
THE ELOQUENT PASTOR DEAD.
He taught the cheerfulness that still is ours
The sweetness that still lurks in
human powers; If heaven be full of stars, the earth
His was the searching thought, the glowing mind;
The gentle will, to others soon resigned;
But, more than all, the feeling just and kind.
His pleasures were as mekdbs from reeds —
Sweet books, deep music and unselfish deeds,
Finding immortal flowers in human weeds.
True to his kind, nor of himself afraid,
He deemed that love of God was best arrayed
In love of all the things that God has made.
He deemed man's life no feverish
dream of care, But a high pathway into freer air, Lift up with golden hopes and duties
He showed how wisdom turns its
hours to years, Feeding the heart on joys instead of
And worships God in smiles, and not in tears.
His thoughts were as a pyramid uppiled,
On whose far top an angel stood and smiled —
Yet in his heart was he a simple child.
TO ONE WHO WOULD MAKE A CONFESSION.
Oh! leave the past to bury its own dead;
The past is naught to us, the present all.
What need of last year's leaves to strew love's bed?
What need of ghosts to grace a festival?
I would not, if I could, those days recall,
Those days not ours. For us the
feast is spread, The lamps are lit, and music plays
Then let us love and leave the rest unsaid.
This island is our home. Around it roar
Great gulfs and oceans, channels,
straits, and seas. What matter in what wreck we
reached the shore, So we both reached it? We can
mock at these. Oh! leave the past, if past indeed
I would not know it. I would know but thee.
THE TWO HIGHWAYMEN.
I Long have had a quarrel set with Time,
Because he robbed me. Every day of life
Was wrested from me after bitter strife,
I never yet could see the sun go down
But I was angry in my heart, nor hear
The leaves fall in the wind without a tear
Over the dying summer. I have known
No truce with Time nor Time's accomplice, Death.