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EVENING IN PARADISE.
From “Paradise Lost," Book IV. TOW came still evening on, and twilight To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the gray
east, Had in her sober livery all things clad; With first approach of light, we must be Silence accompanied; for beast and bird, They to their grassy couch, these to their And at our pleasant labor, to reform nests,
Yon flowery arbors; yonder alleys green, Were slunk; all but the wakeful nightingale; Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown, She all night long her amorous descant sung; That mock our scant manuring, and require Silence was pleased; now glowed the firma- More bands than ours to lop their wanton ment
growth; With living sapphires; Hesperus, that led These blossoms also, and those dropping The starry host, rode brightest; till the moon, gums, Rising in clouded majesty, at length
That lie bestrown, unsightly and unsmooth, Apparent queen, unveiled her peerless light, Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease. And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw. Meanwhile, as nature wills, night bids us
rest." When Adam thus to Eve: “Fair consort, the
JOHN MILTON. hour Of night, and all things now retired to rest, Mind us of like repose; since God hath set
EXAMPLE. Labor and rest, as day and night, to men E scatter seeds with careless hand, Successive; and the timely dew of sleep,
And dream we ne'er shall see them Now falling with soft slumberous weight, in
But for a thousand years,
Their fruit appears,
Into still air they seem to fleet,
We count them ever past;
(From “ The Tent on the Beach.'') HE harp at Nature's advent strung The winds with hymns of praise are loud, Has never ceased to play ;
Or low with sobs of pain, The song the stars of morning sung
The thunder-organ of the cloud, Has never died away.
The dropping tears of rain. And prayer is made, and praise is given,
With drooping head and branches crossed, By all things near and far;
The twilight forest grieves, The ocean looketh up to heaven,
Or speaks with tongues of Pentecost And mirrors every star.
From all its sunlit leaves.
The blue sky is the temple's arch, Its waves are kneeling on the strand,
Its transept, earth and air, As kneels the human knee,
The music of its starry march Their white locks bowing to the sand,
The choirs of a prayer. The priesthood of the sea.
So Nature keeps the reverent frame They pour their glittering treasures forth, With which her years began, Their gifts of pearl they bring,
And all her signs and voices shame And all the listening hills of earth
The prayerless heart of man. Take up the song they sing.
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.
Wherever thermagh the The attorns of self-sucnifice, where love its armes has opened wide Idee the same white wings nitopreal Br man for man has calmly clied That hissed oértta heasteis heads lip prime mikateat time they conces The martyrorels of heettendin, audio his crou del fratti fring Their fellowship fouffering
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling, still advance his praise. (From “ Paradise Lost," Book V.)
His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters WHESE are thy glorious works, Parent of blow, Good,
Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, fe Almighty! thine this universal frame,
pines, Thus wondrous fair; thyself how wondrous With every plant, in sign of worship wave. then!
Fountains, and ye that warble as ye flow, Unspeakable, who sit'st above these heavens Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise. To us invisible, or dimly seen
Join voices all, ye living souls; ye birds, In these thy lowest works; yet these declare That singing up to Heaven's gate ascend, Thy goodness beyond thought, and power di- Bear on your wings and in your notes his vine.
praise. Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, 'Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs T'he earth, and stately tread or lowly creep, And choral symphonies, day without night, Witness if I be silent morn or even, Circle his throne rejoicing ; ye in heaven; To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade, On earth join all ye creatures, to extol
Made vocal by my song, and taught His praise. Him first, Him last, Him midst, and without Hail, universal Lord I be bounteous still end.
To give us only good; and, if the night Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, Have gathered aught of evil, or concealed, If better thou belong not to the dawn, Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark. Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling
Comes to me o'er and o'er:
Than I ever have been before;
Nearer my Father's house,
Where the many mansions be;
Nearer the crystal sea ;
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy
sphere, While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. Thou sun, of this great world both eye and
soul, Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his
praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climb
'st, And when high noon hast gained, and when
thou fall'st. Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now
Nearer the bound of life,
Where we lay our burden down;
Nearer gaining the crown:
But lying darkly between,
Winding down through the night, Is the silent, unknown stream,
That leads at last to the light.
Closer and closer my steps
Come to the dark abysm;
Presses the awful chrism.
Oh, if my mortal feet
Have almost gained the brink;
If it be I am nearer home
Even to-day than I think!
Father, perfect my trust;
Let my spirit feel in death,
But could not make the riddle plain;
It lay beyond his thought.
To-morrow it stood still;
He wrought his Master's will.
It was a happy day:
Because it was but clay! "Where is my statue ?” asked the King.
“Here, Lord,” the sculptor said. “But I commanded marble.” “True, But lacking that, what could I do
But mould in clay instead ?”
“ Thou shalt not unrewarded go,
Since thou hast done thy best; Thy statue shall acceptance win, It shall be as it should have been,
For I will do the rest."
He touched the statue and it changed;
The clay falls off, and lo!
RICHARD HENRY STODDARD.
UP-HILL. OES the road wind up-hill all the way?
THE STATUE IN CLAY. AKE me a statue," said the King,
“Of marble white as snow; It must be pure enough to stand Before my throne, at my right-hand,
The niche is waiting, go!"
The sculptor heard the King's command,
And went upon his way;
To mould his thoughts in clay.
Day after day he wrought the clay,
But knew not what he wrought: He sought the help of heart and brain,
Yes, to the very end. Will the day's journey take the whole long
From morn to nigh
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin. May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before. Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at the door.
Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak ?
Of labor you shall find the sum. Will there be beds for me and all who seek? Yea, beds for all who come.
CHRISTINA GEORGINA ROSSETTI.