Page images
PDF
EPUB

RESIGNATION.
O GOD, whose thunder shakes the sky,

Whose eye this atom globe surveys;
To Thee, my only Rock, I fly,

Thy mercy in Thy justice praise !

The mystic mazes of Thy will,

The shadows of celestial light, Are past the power of human skill —

But what the Eternal acts is right.

Oh, teach me in the trying hour,

When anguish swells the dewy tear, To still my sorrows, own Thy power,

Thy goodness love, Thy justice fear !

If in this bosom aught but Thee

Encroaching sought a boundless sway, Omniscience could the danger see,

And Mercy look the cause away.

Then why, my soul, dost thou complain ?

Why drooping seek the dark recess ? Shake off the melancholy chain,

For God created all to bless.

But ah! my breast is human still —

The rising sigh, the falling tear, My languid vitals' feeble rill,

The sickness of my soul declare.

But yet, with fortitude resign'd,

I'll thank the inflicter of the blow; Forbid the sigh, compose my mind,

Nor let the gush of misery flow.
The gloomy mantle of the night,

Which on my sinking spirit steals,
Will vanish at the morning light,
Which God, my East, my Sun, reveals.

Chatterton.

CIRCUMSTANCE.
Two children in two neighbor villages
Playing mad pranks along the healthy leas;
Two strangers meeting at a festival;
Two lovers whispering by an orchard wall;
Two lives bound fast in one with golden ease;
Two graves grass-green beside a gray church tower,
Wash'd with still rains, and daisy-blossom’d;
Two children in one hamlet born and bred :
So runs the round of life from hour to hour.

Tennyson.

TO SLEEP.
A FLOCK of sheep that leisurely pass by,
One after one; the sound of rain, and bees
Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas;
Smooth field, white sheets of water, and pure sky;
I have thought of all by turns, and yet do lie
Sleepless! and soon the small bird's melodies
Must hear, first utter'd from my orchard trees;
And the first cuckoo's melancholy cry.
Even thus last night, and two nights more I lay,
And could not win thee, Sleep, by any stealth !
So do not let me wear to-night away;
Without thee what is all the morning's wealth ?
Come, blessed barrier between day and day,
Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health !

Wordsworth.

THE GIRL AND THE DROWNING LAMB.

SEEK who will delight in fable,

I shall tell you truth. A lamb
Leapt from this steep bank, to follow

'Cross the brook its thoughtless dam.

Far and wide, on hill and valley,

Rain had fallen-unceasing rain ;
And the bleating mother's young one

Struggled through the flood in vain.

But as chanced a cottage maiden

Ten years scarcely had she told-
Seeing, plunged into the torrent,

Clasp'd the lamb and kept her hold.

Whirld adown the rocky channel,

Sinking, rising, on they go;
Peace and rest, as seems before them,

Only in the lake below.

Oh! it was a frightful current,

Whose fierce wrath the girl had braved;
Clap your hands with joy, my hearers,

Shout with triumph, both are saved !

Saved by courage that with danger

Grew, by strength the gift of love;
And belike a guardian Angel,
Came with succor from above.

Wordsworth. THE FALLING OUT OF FAITHFUL FRIENDS. In going to my naked bed, as one that would have slept, I heard a wife sing to her child, that long before had wept; She sighed sore, and sang full sweet, to bring the babe to rest, That would not cease, but cried still, in sucking at her breast. She was full weary of her watch, and grieved with her child, She rocked it and rated it, until on her it smiled ; Then did she say, “Now have I found the proverb true to prove, The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love." Then took I paper, pen, and ink, this proverb for to write, In register for to remain of such a worthy wight. As she proceeded thus in song unto her little brat, Much matter utter'd she of weight in place whereas she sat, And proved plain there was no beast, nor creature bearing life, Could well be known to live in love without discord and strife; Then kissed she her little babe, and vowed by God above, “The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love."

Richard Edwards.

THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL.

VITAL spark of heavenly flame,
Quit, oh quit this mortal frame :
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying-
Oh, the pain-the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life!
Hark! they whisper !-angels say,
Sister spirit, come away!
What is this absorbs me quite ?
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath ?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?
The world recedes, it disappears !
Heaven opens on my eyes ! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring:
Lend, lend your wings ! I mount! I fly!
O grave! where is thy victory ?
o death! where is thy sting ?

Pope.

TODDLING MAY.
FIVE pearly teeth and two soft blue eyes,

Two sinless eyes of blue,
That are dim or are bright they scarce know why,

That, baby dear, is you.
And parted hair of a pale, pale gold,

That is priceless, every curl,
And a boldness shy, and a fear half bold,

Ay, that's my baby girl.

A small, small frock, as the snowdrop white,

That is worn with a tiny pride,
With a sash of blue, by a little sight

With a baby wonder eyed;
And a pattering pair of restless shoes,

Whose feet have a tiny fall,
That not for the world's coin'd wealth we'd lose,

That, Baby May, we call.
A rocker of dolls with staring eyes

That a thought of sleep disdain,
That with shouts of tiny lullabies

Are by’d and by’d in vain;
A drawer of carts with baby noise,

With strainings and pursed-up brow,
Whose hopes are cakes and whose dreams are toys,

Ay, that's my baby now.

A sinking of heart, a shuddering dread,

Too deep for a word or tear,
Or a joy whose measure may not be said

As the future is hope or fear;
A sumless venture, whose voyage's fate

We would and yet would not know,
Is she whom we dower with love as great

As is perilled by hearts below.

Bennet.

« PreviousContinue »