Page images
PDF
EPUB

As friend with friend, and man with man,
O let our hearts be thus,
As David's love to Jonathan,
Be Jonathan's to us!

IV.-THE DEATH OF THE FIRST-BORN.

(ALARIC A. WATTS.) Alaric A. Watts was born in London in 1799. He has been long connected with

the newspaper press, and for some time edited the “United Service Gazette."

My sweet one, my sweet one, the tears were in my eyes, When first I clasped thee to my heart, and heard thy feeble

cries; For I thought of all that I had borne, as I bent me down to

kiss Thy cherry lips and sunny brow, my first-born bud of bliss ! I turned to many a withered hope, to years of grief and

pain, And the cruel wrongs of a bitter world flashed o'er my boding

brain; I thought of friends, grown worse than cold—of persecuting

foes, And I asked of Heaven if ills like these must mar thy youth's

repose ! I gazed upon thy quiet face, half-blinded by my tears, Till gleams of bliss, unfelt before, came brightening on my

fears;

Sweet rays of hope, that fairer shone 'mid the clouds of

gloom that bound them, As stars dart down their loveliest light when midnight skies

are round them. My sweet one, my sweet one, thy life's brief hour is o'er, And a father's anxious fears for thee can fever me no more! And for the hopes, the sun-bright hopes, that blossomed at

thy birth, They too have fled, to prove how frail are cherished things 'Tis true that thou wert young, my child; but though brief

of earth!

thy span below, To me it was a little age of agony and woe; For, from thy first faint dawn of life, thy cheek began to

fade, And my lips had scarce thy welcome breathed, ere my hopes

were wrapped in shade.

Oh, the child in its hours of health and bloom that is dear

as thou wert then, Grows far more prized, more fondly loved, in sickness and

in pain; And thus 'twas thine to prove, dear babe, when every hope

was lost, Ten times more precious to my soul, for all that thou hadst

cost!

Cradled in thy fair mother's arms, we watched thee, day by

day, Pale like the second bow of heaven, as gently waste away; And, sick with dark foreboding fears, we dared not breathe

aloud, Sat, hand in hand, in speechless grief, to wait death's

coming cloud !

It came at length: o'er thy bright blue eye the film was

gathering fast, And an awful shade passed o'er thy brow—the deepest and

the last; In thicker gushes strove thy breath-we raised thy drooping

head : A moment more, the final pang—and thou wert of the dead !

Thy gentle mother turned away to hide her face from me, And murmured low of Heaven's behests, and bliss attained

by thee; She would have chid me that I mourned a doom so blest as

thine, Had not her own deep grief burst forth in tears as wild as We laid thee down in thy sinless rest, and from thine infant

mine!

brow Culled one soft lock of radiant hair,-our only solace now; Then placed around thy beauteous corse flowers not more

fair and sweetTwin rose-buds in thy little hands, and jasmine at thy feet.

Though other offspring still be ours, as fair perchance as thou, With all the beauty of thy cheek, the sunshine of thy brow, They never can replace the bud our early fondness nurst : They may be lovely and beloved, but not, like thee, the

FIRST!

The FIRST! How many a memory bright that one sweet

word can bring, Of hopes that blossomed, drooped, and died, in life's

delightful springOf fervid feelings passed away—those early seeds of bliss That germinate in hearts unseared by such a world as this !

a

My sweet one, my sweet one, my fairest and my First ! When I think of what thou mightst have been, my heart is

like to burst; But gleams of gladness through my gloom their soothing

radiance dart, And my sighs are hushed, my tears are dried, when I turn

to what thou art!

Pure as the snow-flake ere it falls and takes the stain of

earth, With not a taint of mortal life except thy mortal birth, God bade thee early taste the spring for which so many

thirst, And bliss, eternal bliss, is thine, my fairest and my First !

SECTION III.-SACRED AND MORAL.

1.—THE EXISTENCE OF A GOD.

(YOUNG.) Dr. Edward Young, author of the “Night Thoughts," was born in Hampshire in

1681, and died in 1765, at his rectory of Welwyn, in Hertfordshire.

RETIRE ;—the world shut out;-thy thoughts call home ;-
Imagination's airy wing repress ;
Lock up thy senses :-let no passion stir ;-
Wake all to Reason ;-let her reign alone:-
Then, in thy soul's deep silence, and the depth
Of Nature's silence, midnight, thus inquire,
As I have done ; and shall inquire no more.
In Nature's channel, thus the questions run.

What am I \ and from whence ? I nothing know,
But that I am ; and, since I am, conclude
Something eternal. Had there e'er been nought,
Nought still had been : eternal there must be.
But what eternal ?—Why not human race;
And Adam's ancestors without an end ?—
That's hard to be conceived, since every link
Of that long-chained succession is so frail :
Can every part depend, and not the whole ?
Yet, grant it true, new difficulties rise :
I'm still quite out at sea, nor see the shore.
Whence earth, and these bright orbs -eternal too ?
Grant matter was eternal; still these orbs
Would want some other father. Much design
Is seen in all their motions, all their makes.
Design implies intelligence and art :
That can't be from themselves—or man ; that art
Man scarce can comprehend, could man bestow ?

And nothing greater, yet allowed, than man.-
Who, motion, foreign to the smallest grain,
Shot through vast masses of enormous weight?
Who bade brute matter’s restive lump assume
Such various forms, and gave it wings to fly?
Has matter innate motion ? then, each atom,
Asserting its indisputable right
To dance, would form a universe of dust.
Has matter none ? then, whence these glorious forms,
And boundless flights, from shapeless and reposed ?
Has matter more than motion ? Has it thought,
Judgment, and genius? Is it deeply learned
In mathematics ? Has it framed such laws,
Which, but to guess, a Newton made immortal ?-
If so, how each sage atom laughs at me,
Who think a clod inferior to a man!
If art, to form; and counsel, to conduct-
And that with greater far than human skill,
Resides not in each block :-a GODHEAD reigns-
And, if a God there is, that God how great!

a

II.--ODE OF THANKSGIVING.

(ADDISON.) Dangers escaped during a storm in the Mediterranean called forth this

beautiful hymn.

How are thy servants blest, O Lord !

How sure is their defence !
Eternal Wisdom is their guide ;

Their help, Omnipotence.

In foreign realms and lands remote,

Supported by thy care,
Through burning climes I passed unhurt,

And breathed in tainted air.

Thy mercy sweetened every soil,
Made every region please;

« PreviousContinue »