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Heed not flowers that round thee bloom,
Bear it onward to the tomb!
Hafte not! let no thoughtless deed
Mar for aye the spirit's speed!
Ponder well and know the right,
Onward then with all thy might!
Hafte not! years can ne'er atone
For one reckless action done.
Reft not! life is sweeping by,
Go and dare before you die:
Something mighty and sublime
Leave behind to conquer time!
Glorious 't is to live for aye,
When these forms have passed away.
Hafte not! reft not! calmly wait;
Meekly bear the ftorms of fate!
Duty be thy polar guide, —
Do the right, whate'er betide!
Hafte not! reft not! conflicts paft,
God fhall crown thy work at laft.
From the German of Goethe. 1768.
EXHORTATION TO PRAYER.
NOT on a prayerless bed, not on a prayerless bed
Compose thy weary limbs to reft;
For they alone are bleft
With balmy fleep
Whom angels keep;
Nor, though by care opprefled,
Or anxious sorrow,
Or thought in many a coil perplexed
For coming morrow,
Lay not thy head
On prayerless bed.
For who can tell, when fleep thine eye fhall close,
That earthly cares and woes
To thee may e'er return?
Arouse, my soul!
And let thy lamp burn brightly;
So fhall thine eyes discern
Things pure and fightly;
Taught by the spirit; learn
Never on prayerless bed
To lay thine unbleft head.
Haft thou no pining want, or wifh, or care,
That calls for holy prayer?
Has thy day been so bright
That in its flight
There is no trace of sorrow?
And art thou sure to-morrow
Will be like this, and more
Abundant? Doft thou yet lay up thy ftore,
And ft ill make plans for more?
Thou fool! this very night
Thy soul may wing its flight.
Haft thou no being than thyself more dear,
That ploughs the ocean deep,
And when ftorms sweep
The wintry, lowering fky,
For whom thou wak'ft and weepeft?
O when thy pangs are deepeft,
Seek then the covenant ark of prayer!
For He that flumbereth not is there:
His ear is open to thy cry.
O, then, on prayerless bed
Lay not thy thoughtless head!
Arouse thee, weary soul, nor yield to flumber!
Till in communion bleft
With the elect ye reft,
Those souls of countless number;
And with them raise
The note of praise,
Reaching from earth to Heaven:
Chosen, redeemed, forgiven!
So lay thv happy head,
Prayer-crowned, on blessed bed.
"I will, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."— I Tim. ii. 8.
BE not afraid to pray, — to pray is right.
Pray, if thou canft, with hope; but ever pray,
Though hope be weak, or sick with long delay;
Pray in the darkness, if there be no light.
Far is the time, remote from human fight,
When war and discord on the earth fhall cease;
Yet every prayer for universal peace
Avails the blefled time to expedite.
Whate'er is good to wifh, afk that of Heaven,
Though it be what thou canft not hope to see;
Pray to be perfect, though material leaven
Forbid the spirit so on earth to be;
But if for any wifh thou dareft not pray,
Then pray to God to caft that wifh away.
Hartley Coleridge. 1840.
THE prayers I make will then be sweet indeed,
If Thou the spirit give by which I pray;
My unaflifted heart is barren clay,
That of its native self can nothing feed;
Of good and pious works Thou art the seed
That quickens only where Thou sayft it may.
Unless Thou fhow to us Thy own true way,
No man can find it: Father! Thou muft lead;
Do Thou then breathe those thoughts into my mind
By which such virtue may in me be bred
That in Thy holy footfteps I may tread;
The fetters of my tongue do Thou unbind, That I may have the power to fing to Thee, And sound Thy praises everlaftingly!
Michel Angela. Tranjl. by Wordsworth. 1474-1564.