Page images

Tears, that from true repentance drop,
Instead of myrrh, present will we:
For incense we will offer up

Our prayers and praises unto thee;
And bring for gold each pious deed,
Which doth from saving grace proceed.

And as those wise men never went
To visit Herod any more;

So, finding thee, we will repent
Our courses follow'd heretofore:
And that we homeward may retire,
The way by thee we will inquire.

George Wither.



HIS is the fhip of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unfhadowed main

The venturous barque that flings

On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings
In gulfs enchanted, where the syren fings,
And coral reefs lie bare,

Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their ftreaming hair.

Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;

Wrecked is the ship of pearl!

And every chambered cell,

Where its dim-dreaming life was wont to dwell,
As the frail tenant fhaped his growing fhell,
Before thee lies revealed -

Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed.

Year after year beheld the filent toil
That spread his luftrous coil;

Still, as the spiral grew,

He left the past year's dwelling for the new,
Stole with soft ftep its fhining archway through,
Built up its idle door,

Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old

no more.

Thanks for the heavenly meffage brought by thee, Child of the wandering sea,

Caft from her lap, forlorn!

From thy dead lips a clearer note is born
Than ever Triton blew from wreathéd horn!

While on mine ear it rings,

Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that fings:

Build thee more ftately manfions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!

Leave thy low-vaulted past!

Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,

Leaving thine out-grown fhell by life's unresting sea!

Dr. O. W. Holmes.



TILL hope! still act! Be sure that life, The source and ftrength of every good, Wastes down in feeling's empty ftrife, And dies in dreaming's fickly mood.

To toil, in tasks however mean,

For all we know of right and true, In this alone our worth is seen;

'Tis this we were ordained to do.

So fhalt thou find in work and thought
The peace that sorrow cannot give;
Though grief's worst pangs to thee be taught,
By thee let others noblier live.

Oh wail not in the darksome forest,
Where thou muft needs be left alone!

But, e'en when memory is soreft,

Seek out a path, and journey on.

Thou wilt have angels near above,
By whom invifible aid is given;
They journey still on tasks of love,

And never rest, except in heaven.




ORTAL! on our azure pathway Speed we where our errand lies; Each our urn of treasures bearing, Freshening earth with glad supplies.

By no will of ours we rose here,
By no choice of ours we live;
Powers, far, far above our scanning,
Laws inevitable give.

Our snowy forms, in mid-day air,
Our sunset tints of fire,

Our lightning-flash, our thunder-roar,
Obey a mandate higher.

Our sky-course run, our miffion wrought,
Wasted forms we fink to earth,
Till that same Great Power recall us
To another new air-birth.

Thus far onward we together;

For the forms of good and ill,

The events which cluster round thee,
These exift not through thy will.

Yet within thy human bosom
Dwells a force creative too;
Outward circumftance it fashions,

All invefts with its life-hue.

And thy glory lies in ufing,

Right and true, this wondrous ftrength; Soaring where thy chains permit thee, Not murmuring for more length.

In the pride of human reason

Thou haft spurned a finite power, And sought the Eternal Cause of all To grasp in life's fhort hour.

Not to scan thy Father's counsels,
But perform them, is thy task;
Duty finished then the WHY
Of thy being thou 'lt not ask.

[ocr errors]

Puzzle thee the paths of duty,

As their varied course they run? Oh linger not in wilds of doubt! Strike unto the nearest one.

'T will lead thee to some fairer height, Radiant with celeftial glow,

« PreviousContinue »