Page images

HUM1LIBUS DAT GRATIAN. — Peacham about 1600.

The mountains huge, that seem to check the sky,
And all the world with greatness over-peer,

With heath or moss for most part barren lie;
When valleys low doth kindly Phoebus cheer,

And with his heat in hedge and grove begets *

The virgin primrose or sweet violets.

So God oft times denies unto the great
The gifts of nature, or his heavenly grace,

And those that high in honor's chair are set Do feel their wants; when men of meaner place,

Although they lack the others' golden spring,

Perhaps are blest above the richest king.


I 'm not where I was yesterday,
Though my home be still the same,
For I have lost the veriest friend
Whom ever a friend could name;
I 'm not what I was yesterday,
Though change there be little to see,
For a part of myself has lapsed away
From Time to Eternity.

I have lost a thought, that many a year
Was most familiar food
To my inmost mind, by night or day,
In merry or plaintive mood;


I have lost a hope, that many a year
Looked far on a gleaming way,
When the walls of life were closing round,
And the sky was sombre gray.

For long, too long, in distant climes

My lot was cast, and then

A frail and casual intercourse

Was all I had with men;

But lonelily in distant climes

I was well content to roam,

And felt no void, for my heart was full

Of the friend it had left at home.

And now I was close to my native shores,

And I felt him at my side,

His spirit was in that homeward wind,

His voice in that homeward tide;

For what were to me my native shores,

But that they held the scene

Where my youth's most genial flowers had blown,

And affection's root had been?

I thought, how should I see him first,
How should our hands first meet;
Within his room, — upon the stair, —
At the corner of the street?
I thought, where should I hear him first,
How catch his greeting tone ?—
And thus I went up to his door,
And they told me he was gone!

O, what is life but a sum of love,
And death but to lose it all?
Weeds be for those that are left behind,
And not for those that fall!

And now how mighty a sum of love
Is lost forever for me!
No, I'm not what I was yesterday,
Though change there be little to see.


Lady, that in the prime of earliest youth

Wisely hast shunned the broad way and the green,

And with those few are eminently seen

That labor up the hill of heavenly truth,

The better part with Mary and with Ruth

Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,

And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen,

No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.

Thy care is fixed, and zealously attends

To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light,

And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure

Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful friends

Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,

Hast gained thy entrance, virgin wise and pure.


"Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him f"— Matthew xviii. 21.

What liberty so glad and gay,
As where the mountain boy,

Reckless of regions far away,
A prisoner lives in joy.


The dreary sounds of crowded earth,
The cries of camp or town, Never untuned his lonely mirth,
Nor drew his visions down.

The snow-clad peaks of rosy light
That meet his morning view,

The thwarting cliffs that bound his sight,
They bound his fancy too.

Two ways alone his roving eye
For age may onward go, — Or in the azure deep on high,
Or darksome mere below.

O blessed restraint! more blessed range!

Too soon the happy child
His nook of homely thought will change

For life's seducing wild:

Too soon his altered day-dreams show
This earth a boundless space,

With sun-bright pleasures to and fro
Sporting in joyous race:

While of his narrowing heart each yer •
Heaven less and less will fill,

Less keenly through his grosser ear
The tones of mercy thrill.

It must be so; else wherefore falls
The Saviour's voice unheard,

While from his pardoning cross he calls,
"O, spare, as I have spared?"

By our own niggard rule we try The hope to suppliants given;We mete out love, as if our eye Saw to the end of heaven.

Yes, ransomed sinner! wouldst thou know

How often to forgive,
How dearly to embrace thy foe,

Look where thou hop'st to live:

When thou hast told those isles of light,

And fancied all beyond, Whatever owns, in depth or height,

Creation's wondrous bond;

Then in their solemn pageant learn

Sweet mercy's praise to see;
Their Lord resigned them all, to earn

The bliss of pardoning thee.

THE BEGGAR. — J. R. Lowell.

A beggar through the world am I,
From place to place I wander by;
Fill up my pilgrim's scrip for me,
For Christ's sweet sake and charity!

A little of thy steadfastness,
Rounded with leafy gracefulness,
Old oak, give me, —

That the world's blasts may round me blow,
And I yield gently to and fro,
While my stout-hearted trunk below,
And firm-set roots, unmoved be.

« PreviousContinue »