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And if some friend we love is lying low,
Where human kisses cannot reach his face.
Oh, do not blame the loving Father so. But wear your sorrow with obedient grace!
And you shall shortly know that
lengthened breath Is not the sweetest gift God sends
His friend, and that, sometimes, the sable pall
Conceals the fairest boon His love can send. [life. If we could push ajar the gates of And stand within and all God's workings see,
We could interpret all this doubt and strife [key. And for each mystery could find a
But not to-day. Then be content,
poor heart; God's plans like lilies pure and
white unfold; We must not tear the close-shut
leaves apart, (gold. Time will reveal the calyxes of And if. through patient toil, we
reach the land Where tired feet, with sandals
loosed, may rest, When we shall clearly know and
understand, I think that we shall say, "God
knew the best!"
Caroline Bowles Southey.
LAUNCH THY BARK, MARINER.
Launch thy bark, mariner!
Christian, God speed thee; Let loose the rudder bands,
Good angels lead thee! Set thy sails warily.
Tempests will come; Steer thy course steadily.
Christian, steer home!
Look to the weather bow.
Breakers are round thee; Let fall the plummet now.
Shallows may ground thee.
Hold the helm fast!
There swept the blast.
What of the night, watchman?
What of the night? "Cloudy, all quiet,—
No land yet, —all's right."
Danger may be
Securest to thee.
How! gains the leak so fast?
Hoist up thy merchandise,
Heave out thy gold; There, let the ingots go; —
Now the ship lights; Hurrah! the harbor's near, —
Lo! the red lights.
Slacken not sail yet
At inlet or island; Straight for the beacon steer,
Straight for the high land; Crowd all thy canvas on.
Cut through the foam; — Christian! cast anchor now,—
Heaven is thy home!
THE rAUPElTS DEATH-BED.
Tread softly! bow the head — In reverent silence bowl
No passing belldoth toll;
Yet an immortal soul
Stranger, however great.
With lowly reverence bow! There's one in that poor shed — One by that paltry bed — Greater than thou.
Beneath that beggar's roof,
Lo! Death doth keep his state!
That pavement damp and cold
One silent woman stands.
Lifting with meagre hands
No mingling voices sound —
An infant wail alone; A sob suppressed — again That short deep gasp — and then
The parting groan!
O change! — O wondrous change!
Burst are the prison bars! This moment there, so low, So agonized — and now
Beyond the stars!
O change! — stupendous change!
There lies the soulless clod!
Wakes with his God.
/ NEVER CAST A FLOWER AWAY.
I Never cast a flower away,
A little flower — a faded flower—
I never looked a last adieu
Shrank with a feeling almost pain
I never spoke the word " Farewell," But with an utterance faint and broken;
An earth-sick longing for the time When it shall nevermore be spoken,
NATURE'S QUESTION AND FAITH'S ANSWER.
Alas! the setting sun
They wished their lot like hers,—
A wretched widow now;
With only one preserved.
No tear relieved the burden of her heart; Stunned with the heavy woe, she felt like one. Half-wakened from a midnight dream of blood. But sometimes, when the boy
Would wet her hand with tears, And, looking up to her fixed countenance.
Sob out the name of mother! then she groaned. At length collecting, Zeinab turned her eyes
To heaven, and praised the Lord: "He gave, he takes away!" The pious sufferer cried;
"The Lord our God is good!"
"Good, is he?" quoth the boy:
Then Zeinab beat her breast in
He knows not what he says; Thou know'st I did not teach him thoughts like these; O Prophet, pardon him!"
She had not wept till that assuaging prayer; The fountains of her grief were opened then, And tears relieved her heart. She raised her swimming eyes to heaven, — "Allah! thy will be done! Beneath the dispensations of that will
I groan, but murmur not. A day will come when all things that are dark Will be made clear: then shall I know, O Lord! Why, in thy mercy, thou hast stricken me; Then see and understand what now
My heart believes and feels."
"Repine not, O my son!" the old man replied, "That Heaven hath chastened thee, Beboid this vine: I found it a wild tree, whose wanton strength Hail swoln into irregular twigs.
And bold excrescences, And spent itself in leaves and little rings; So, in the flourish of its outwardness. Wasting the sap and strength That should have given forth fruit.
But when I pruned the plant.
Then it grew temperate in its vain expense Of useless leaves, and knotted, as thou seest, Into these full, clear clusters, to repay
The hand that wisely wounded it.
Repine not, O my son! In wisdom and in mercy Heaven inflicts
Its painful remedies."
THE TWOFOLD POWER OF ALL THINGS.
A I.I. things have a double power. Alike for good and evil. The same fire,
That on the comfortable hearth at eve
Warmed the good man, flames o'er the house at night: Should we for this forego The needful element? Because the scorching summer sun
Darts fever, wouldst thou quench the orb of day? Or deemest thou that Heaven in anger formed Iron to till the field, because,
when man had tipt his arrows for the chase, he rushed A murderer to the war?
How beautiful is night !
No mist obscures, nor cloud nor speck nor stain Breaks the serene of heaven; In full-orbed glory yonder moon divine
Rolls through the dark blue
They sin who tell us love can die.
All others are but vanity.
But Love is indestructible,
Too oft on earth a troubled guest.
It here is tried and purified,
The day of woe. the watchful night, For all her sorrows, all her tears, An over-payment of delight!
THE OLD MAN'S COMFORTS, AND HOW HE GAINED THEM.
You are old, Father William, the young man cried, The few locks that are left you are gray:
You are hale. Father William, a hearty old man. Now tell me the reason, I pray.
In the days of my youth, Father William replied, I remembered that youth would flv fast,
And abused not my health and my vigor at first, That I never might need them at last.
You are old, Father William, the young man cried, And" pleasures with youth pass away,
And yet you lament not the days that are gone, Now tell me the reason, I pray.
In the days of my youth, Father William replied, I remembered that youth could not last;
I thought of the future, whatever I did.
That I never might grieve for the past.
You are old, Father William, the
I am cheerful, young man, Father
[From Joan of Arc]
THE MAID OF ORLEANS GIIWINO FOR BATTLE.
Scarce had the earliest ray from
Chi non's towers Made visible the mists that curled
The winding waves of Vienne, when
from her couch Started the martial maid. She
mailed her limbs; The white plumes nodded o'er her
helmed head; She girt the sacred falchion by her
And, like some youth that from his
mother's arms, For his first field impatient, breaks
Poising the lance went forth.
Twelve hundred men, rearing in ordered ranks their wellsharped spears,
Await her coming. Terrible in arms, Before them towered Dunois, his
manly face Dark-shadowed by the helmet's iron
The assembled court gazed on the
marshalled train, And at the gate the aged prelate stood To pour his blessing on the chosen
And now a soft and solemn symphony
Was heard, and chanting high the hallowed hymn,
From the near convent came the vestal maids.
A holy banner, woven by virgin hands,
Snow-white, they bore. A mingled
sentiment Of awe, and eager ardor for the
Thrilled through the troops, as he, the reverend man
Took the white standard, and with heavenward eye
Called on the God of Justice, blessing it.
The maid, her brows in reverence unhelmed,
Her dark hair floating on the morning gale.
Knelt to his prayer, and stretching
forth her hand, Received the mystic ensign. From
A loud and universal shout burst forth.
As rising from the ground, on her
white brow She placed the plumed casque, and
waved on high The bannered lilies.
O Reader! hast thou ever stood to
The holly-tree? The eye that contemplates it well perceives Its glossy leaves
Ordered by an intelligence so wise As might confound the atheist's sophistries.
Below, a circling fence, its leaves are
Wrinkled and keen, No grazing cattle through their prickly round Can reach to wound; But as they grow where nothing is to fear,
Smooth and unarmed the pointless leaves appear.
I love to view these things with cu-
Can emblems see
pleasant rhyme, Such as may profit in the after-time.
So, though abroad perchance I might appear Harsh and austere, To those who on my leisure would intrude Reserved and rude; Gentle at home amid my friends I'd be.
Like the high leaves upon the hollytree.
And should my youth, as youth is apt,
Would wear away,
should be Like the high leaves upon the hollytree.
And as when all the summer trees are seen So bright and green The holly leaves their fadeless hues display Less bright than they. But when the bare and wintry woods we see,
What then so cheerful as the hollytree?