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God keeps his holy mysteries
Just on the outside of man's dream.
Like swans adown a stream.
Do stroke us with a subtle grace.
Upon a blind man's face.
Our common thoughts to Heaven's unknown;
That light is not its own!
To be so near such mystic Things,
Stand hidden in their wings.
And sometimes, through life's heavy swound
We grope for them !-with strangled breath We stretch our hands abroad and try To reach them in our agony,— And widen, so, the broad life-wound Which soon is large enough for death.
AMONG THE HYACINTHS.
We have left the world behind
We have lost the beaten track,
We have only to guide us back.
Oh! this is indeed to live,
To be free to dream and to dare When all that the busy world can give,
Is a murmur on the air.
In the wood where the hyacinths grow;
And the earth is as blue as the sky, We wander to-day till the sun sinks low,
And the rosy shadows die;
Till the day, with its soul of flame,
Till the beautiful day shall die;
With one cloud in the changing sky.
So but once we may live these hours,
So reckless and radiant and gay; But once may gather these wild-wood flowers,
That wither ere close of day.
For the bright spring moments die,
As the blossoms perish and fade;
Are past with the light and shade.
And through life, ah! never again
Will the same brief hour return, With alternate throb of joy and pain,
In the hearts that beat and burn.
But who leaves the world behind,
To go from the beaten track,
That sweetly call him back :
That breathe from the wild-wood flowers
That cry in the murmuring stream, “This mortal and earnest life of ours,
Was given us not to dream;
“To question its depth and truth,
Or to fear its darkening close ;
And to scorn the slave's repose :
“To scorn the slave, who lies,
And basks in the summer sun,
On the wide world's face, not one.
“Then up from amongst the flowers,
The path is wide and free,
To conquer her misery.”
Miss Braddon. “Orat qui laborat.”
Pause not to dream of the future before us :
Unintermitting goes up into heaven!
Till from its nourishing stem it is riven.
“ Labour is worship!” the robin is singing :
Speaks to thy soul from out nature’s great heart. From the dark cloud flows the life-giving shower ; From the rough sod blows the soft-breathing flower ; From the small insect the rich coral bower;
Only man, in the plan, shrinks from his part.
Labour is life !—'tis the still water faileth ;
Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon.
Play the sweet keys would'st thou keep them in tune!
Labour is rest from the sorrows that greet us,
Rest from world-syrens that lure us to ill.
Work with a stout heart and resolute will.
Labour is health-lo! the husbandman reaping,
True as a sunbeam the swift sickle guides;
Temple and statue the marble block hides.
Droop not though shame, sin and anguish are round thee; Bravely fling off the cold chain that hath bound thee; Look to yon blue heaven smiling beyond thee;
Rest not content in thy darkness—a clod, Work—for some good, be it ever so slowly; Cherish some flower, be it ever so lowly; Labour—all labour is noble and holy,
Let thy great deeds be thy prayer to thy God.
F. S. Osgood.