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But to the prey whenas he drew more nigh,
His bloody rage assuaged with remorse,
And, with the sight amazed, forgot his furious force.
Instead thereof he kissed her weary feet.
And licked her lily hands with fawning tongue,
As he her wronged innocence did weet,
Oh, how can beauty master the most strong,
And simple truth subdue avenging wrong!
Whose yielded pride and proud submission,
Still dreading death, when she had marked long.
Her heart 'gan melt in great compassion.
And drizzling tears did shed for pure affection.
[From The Faerie Queene.]
Eftsoones unto an holy hospital,
him bring; In which seven Bead-men, that had
Their life to service of high heaven's king.
Did spend their days in doing godly things:
Their gates to all were open evermore,
That by the weary way were travelling;
And one sat waiting ever them before,
To call in corners by, that needy were and poor.
The first of them, that eldest was and best,
Of all the house had charge and government,
As guardian and steward of the rest:
His office was to give entertainment And lodging unto all that came and went;
Not unto such as could him feast again,
And double quite for that he on them spent;
But such, as want of harbor did constrain:
Those for God's sake his duty was to entertain.
The second was as almoner of the
His office was the hungry for to feed,
And thirsty give to drink; a work of
He feared not once himself to be in need,
Ne cared to hoard for those whom
he did breed: The grace of God he laid up still in
Which as a stock he left unto his
He had enough; what need him care
for more? And had he less, yet some he would
give to the poor.
The third had of their wardrobe custody,
In which were not rich tires, nor
garments gay, The plumes of pride and wings of
But clothes meet to keep keen cold away,
And naked nature seemly to array; With which bare wretched wights he
daily clad, The images of God in earthly clay; And if that no spare clothes to give
His own coat he would cut, and it distribute glad.
The fourth appointed by his office was
Poor prisoners to relieve with gracious aid.
And captives to redeem with price of brass
From Turks and Saracens, which
them had stayed; And though they faulty were, yet
well he weighed, That God to us forgiveth every hour Much more than that, why they in
bands were laid; And he, that harrowed hell with
heavy store, The faulty souls from thence brought
to his heavenly bower.
The fifth had charge sick persons to attend,
And comfort those in point of death
which lay; For them most needeth comfort in
When sin, and hell, and death, do
most dismay The feeble soul departing hence
All is but lost, that living we bestow,
For as the tree does fall, so lies it ever low.
[From The Faerie Queen.]
What man is he that boasts of fleshly might
And vain assurance of mortality? Which, all so soon as it doth come to fight
Against spiritual foes, yields by and
Or from the field most cowardly doth
Xe let the man ascribe it to his skill,
That thorough grace hath gained victory.
If any strength we have, it is to ill; But all the good is God's, both power and eke will.
[ From The Faerie Queene.)
And is there care in heaven? and is there love
In heavenly spirits to these creatures base,
That may compassion of their evils move?
There is:—else much more wretched were the case
Of men than beasts. But oh! th'exdis grace
Of Highest God that loves his creatures so,
And all his works with mercy doth
embrace, That blessed angeh he sends to and
To serve to wicked man, to serve his wicked foe!
How oft do they their silver bowers leave
To come to succor us that succor want!
How oft do they with golden pinions cleave
The flitting skies, like flying pursuivant, [tant!
Against foul fiends to aid us mili
They for us fight, they watch and duly ward.
And their bright squadrons round about us plant;
And all for love and nothing for reward;
Oh, why should Heavenly God to men have such regard!
Harriet Prescott Spofford.
Love, when all these years are silent, vanished quite and laid to rest,
When no morrow is before us, and the long grass tosses o'er us,
Still that love of ours will linger, that great love enrich the earth,
Fragrance fanning off from flowers, melody of summer showers,
That's our love. But you and I, dear, — shall we linger with it yet,
Oh. beloved, — if ascending. — when we have endowed the world
Through what vast and starry spaces, toward what awful holy places, With a white light on our faces, spirit over spirit furled?
Only this our yearning answers. — whereso'er that way defile,
In the fair eternal weather, even as phantoms si ill together.
THE NUN AND HARP.
What memory fired her pallid face,
What passion stirred her blood,
Poured its forgotten flood
And the rose burst its bud?
Had not the western glory then
Stolen through the latticed room. Her funeral raiment would have shed
A more heart-breaking gloom; Had not a dimpled convent-maid Hung in the doorway, half afraid, And left the melancholy place Bright with her blush and bloom!
Beside the gilded harp she stood,
And through the singing strings Wound those wan hands of folded prayer
In murmurous preludings.
Its melody, as climb the sky,
Ah, why, of all the songs that grow
Where lovers 'mid the stir
In her nun's habit, coifed and veiled,