Page images
PDF
EPUB

Child of the sea, the mountain stream,

From its dark caverns, hurries on, Ceaseless, by night and morning's beam,

By evening's star and noontide's sun,
Until at last it sinks to rest,

O'crwearied, in the waiting sea,
And moans upon its mother's breast —

So turns my soul to Thee!

0 Thou who bidst the torrent flow,

Who lendest wings unto the wind — Mover of all things! where art Thou?

Oh, whither shall I go to find
The secret of Thy resting place?

Is there no holy wing for me,
That, soaring, I may search the space

Of highest Heaven for Thee?

Oh, would I were as free to rise

As leaves on Autumn's whirlwind borne — The arrowy light of sunset skies,

Or sound, or ray, or star of morn Which melts in heaven at twilight's close,

Or aught which soars unchecked and free Through Earth and Heaven; that I might lose

Myself in finding Thee!

When the Breath Divine is flowing,
Zephyr-like o'er all things going,
And as the touch of viewless fingers,
Softly on my soul it lingers,
Open to a breath the lightest,
Conscious of a touch the slightest —
As some calm still lake, whereon
Sinks the snowy-bosomed swan,
And the glistening water-rings
Circle round her moving wings:

When my upward gaze is turning
Where the stars of heaven are burning
Through the deep and dark abyss —
Flowers of midnight's wilderness,
Blowing with the evening's breath
Sweetly in their Maker's path:

When the breaking day is flushing
All the East, and light is gusliing
Upward through the horizon's haze,
Sheaf-like, wilh its thousand rays
Spreading, until all above
Overflows with joy and love,
And below, on earth's green bosom,
All is changed to light and blossom:

When my waking fancies over
Forms of brightness flit and hover,
Holy as the seraphs are,
Who by Zion's fountains wear
On their foreheads, white and broad,
"Holiness Cnto The Lord!"
When, inspired with rapture high,
It would seem a single sigh
Could a world of love create —
That my life- could know no date,
And my eager thoughts could fill
Heaven and Earth, o'erflowing still ! —

Then, O Father ! — Thou alone,

From the shadow of Thy throne,

To the sighing of my breast

And its rapture answerest.

All my thoughts, which, upward winging,

Bathe where Thy own light is springing —

All my yearnings to be free

Are as echoes answering Thee!

Seldom upon lips of mine

Father! rests that name of Thine —

Deep within my inmost breast,
In the secret place of mind,
Like an awful presence shrined,
Doth the dread idea rest!
Hushed and holy dwells it there —
Prompter of the silent prayer,
Lifting up my spirit's eye
And its faint, but earnest cry,
From its dark and cold abode,
Unto Thee, my Guide and God!

THE FEMALE MARTYR.

[mart G , aged 18, a "sister Of Charitt," died in one of onr

Atlantic cities, during the prevalence of the Indian Cholera, while in voluntary attendance upon the sick.]

"Bring out your dead!" the midnight street
Heard and gave back the hoarse, low call;
Harsh fell the tread of hasty feet —
Glanced through the dark the coarse white sheet —
Her coffin and her pall.

"What — only one!" The brutal hackman said,
As, with an oath, he spurned away the dead.

How sunk the inmost hearts of all,

As rolled that dead-cart slowly by,
With creaking wheel and harsh hoof-fall!
The dying turned him to the wall,

To hear it and to die !—
Onward it rolled; while oft its driver stayed,
And hoarsely clamored, "Ho ! — bring out your dead."

It paused beside the burial-place;

"Toss in your load !" — and it was done. —

With quick hand and averted face,
Hastily to the grave's embrace

They cast them, one by one —
Stranger and friend — the evil and the just,
Together trodden in the church-yard dust!

And thou, young martyr ! — thou wast there —

No white-robed sisters round thee trod —
Nor holy hymn, nor funeral prayer
Rose through the damp and noisome air,

Giving thee to thy God;
Nor flower, nor cross, nor hallowed taper gave
Grace to the dead, and beauty to the grave!

Yet, gentle sufferer ! — there shall be,

In every heart of kindly feeling,
A rite as holy paid to thee
As if beneath the convent-tree

Thy sisterhood were kneeling,
At vesper hours, like sorrowing angels, keeping
Their tearful watch around thy place of sleeping.

For thou wast one in whom the light

Of Heaven's own love was kindled well,
Enduring with a martyr's might,
Through weary day and wakeful night,

Far more than words may tell:
Gentle, and meek, and lowly, and unknown —
Thy mercies measured by thy God alone!

Where manly hearts were failing, — where

The throngfol street grew foul with death,
O high souled martyr !—thou wast there,
'Inhaling from the loathsome air,
Poison with every breath.
Yet shrinking not from offices of dread
For the wrung dying, and the unconscious dead.

And, where the sickly taper shed
Its light through vapors, damp, confined,
Hushed as a seraph's fell thy tread —
A new Electra by the bed

Of suffering human-kind!
Pointing the spirit, in its dark dismay,
To that pure hope which fadeth not away.

Innocent teacher of the high

And holy mysteries of Heaven! How turned to thee each glazing eye, In mute and awful sympathy,

As thy low prayers were given; And the o'er-hovering Spoiler wore, the while, An angel's features — a deliverer's smile!

A blessed task !— and worthy one

"Who, turning from the world, as thou,
Before life's pathway had begun
To leave its spring-time flower and sun,

Had sealed her early vow;
Giving to God her beauty and her youth,
Her pure affections and her guileless truth.

Earth may not claim thee. Nothing here
Could be for thee a meet reward;

Thine is a treasure far more dear—

Eye hath not seen it, nor the ear
Of living mortal heard,—

The joys prepared — the promised bliss above —

The holy presence of Eternal Love!

Sleep on in peace. The earth has not
A nobler name than thine shall be.

The deeds by martial manhood wrought,

The lofty energies of thought,
The fire of poesy—

These have but frail and fading honors ;— thine

Shall Time unto Eternity consign.

Yea, and when thrones shall crumble down,
And human pride and grandeur fall,—

« PreviousContinue »