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“O, come, my love, embark with me
O, where art thou, my bride ?
And not a voice replied.
I saw on the top of a mountain high
A gem that shone like fire by night; It seemed a star that had left the sky,
And dropped to sleep on the mountain's height.
I climbed the peak, and I found it soon
A lump of ice in the clear, cold moon; Canst thou its hidden sense impart ?
A cheerful look and a broken heart.
FRIEND after friend departs ;
Who hath not lost a friend ?
That finds not here an end :
Beyond the flight of time,
Beyond this vale of death,
Where life is not a breath ;
There is a world above,
Where parting is unknown,
Formed for the good alone ;
Thus star by star declines,
Till all are passed away,
To pure and perfect day:
I would not ask a thornless life,
From every sorrow free,
Permit it so to be.
For as the verdure of the earth
Would wither and decay, Beneath the dazzling gloriousness
Of a perpetual day,
So the green places of the heart,
In life's progressive years,
If watered not by tears.
I ask a firm and steadfast mind,
My duties to fulfil ;
To do my Master's will ;
An humble and enduring faith,
soul above, And in each chastening grief to see
A Father's tender love ;
A heaven-born strength, to follow on
The path the Savior trod,
And endless joy with God.
THE DISSATISFIED SPIRIT.
THE DISSATISFIED SPIRIT.
GOD "bowed the heavens, and came down," and breathed upon the earth, and a living soul was born. It was not an angel to watch over the destinies of man, and interpose its white wing between him and evil, but it was a thing as lovely, and it looked about to find itself a dwelling-place. While it paused in doubt, there came fluttering by a gay, beautiful creature, its bright wings woven in the loom from which the iris sprung, all glittering in gold and crimson, now bathing in the dew, and now in the sunlight, brilliant and blithesome, and light as the air on which it balanced. The spirit grew glad at the pretty sight; and as the tiny wonder again swept by, it thought within itself, “ What a delightful thing to be a butterfly!” Instantly a pair of gorgeous wings sprouted from the wish, and the embodied spirit flew exultingly up and down the earth, careering in the light, and glorying in its new-found beauties. Sometimes it paused to peep into the hearts of the young flowers, and sipped daintily the sweets which dwelt on their fresh lips, and fanned them when they drooped, and bathed in
their perfume ; and at night it folded up its wings, and made its couch where the moonbeams lay most lovingly. But it could not sleep. That was a breath from heaven stirring those gorgeous wings, the living soul within struggling, conscious that it was not performing its mission. There could not be a brighter nor gayer life, and surely the innocent little butterfly was not guilty of doing harm; but there was a chiding voice that came up from within, and the dissatisfied spirit could not sleep.
Finally it grew sorrowful, even in the midst of its light companions, all intoxicated by the mere bliss of living. And every day it grew more and more sorrowful, and its wings heavier, till at last it cried out in sharp anguish. Beautiful and innocent was the life of the gay insect ; but the God-born spirit was not created to waste itself on a sunbeam or a flower, and those magnificent wings were leaden fetters to it. A bird was caroling on the tree above, and as the saddened spirit looked up, it thought of the happy hearts the little songster made, and how it praised God in its light joyousness, and then exclaimed, pantingly, “What a sweet thing to be a bird !”:
A little child found a dead butterfly at the foot of the red maple-tree that morning, and as she stooped to pick it up, there came such a gush of melody from the green above, that she started back in pleased astonishment; and then, clapping her soft hands together, she raised her infantile voice in