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The rolling seasons, day and night,
Sun, moon, and stars, the earth and main,
Erewhile his portion, life and light
To him exist in vain.
The clouds and sunbeams, o'er his eye
That once their shades and glory threw,
Have left in yonder silent sky
No vestige where they flew.
The annals of the human race,
Their ruins, since the world began
Of him afford no other trace
Than this, The RE lived A MAN'
-oTHE STRANGER AND HIS FRIEND.
A poon wayfaring man of grief
Has often cross'd me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief,
That I could never answer, “Nay:”
I had not power to ask his name,
Whither he went, or whence he came,
Yet was there something in his eye,
That won my love, I knew not why.
Once, when my scanty meal was spread,
He enter'd ; not a word he spake;—
Just perishing for want of bread;
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
And ate,_but gave me part again;
Mine was an Angel's portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
That crust was manna to my taste.
I spied him, where a fountain burst
Clear from the rock; his strength was gone;
The heedless water mock'd his thirst,
He heard it, saw it hurrying on;
I ran to raise the sufferer up;
Thrice from the stream he drain'd my cup,
Dipt and return'd it running o'er;
I drank, and never thirsted more.
"Twas night; the floods were out; it blew
A winter hurricane aloof;
I heard his voice abroad, and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof;
I warm’d, I clothed, I cheer'd my guest,
Laid him on my own couch to rest;
Then made the hearth my bed, and seem'd
In Eden's garden while I dream'd.
Stript, wounded, beaten, nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side;
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment; he was heal’d ;
I had myself a wound conceal’d;
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.
In prison I saw him next, condemn'd
To meet a traitor's doom at morn; The tide of lying tongues I stemm'd,
And honour'd him midst shame and scorn: My friendship's utmost zeal to try, He ask'd, if I for him would die; The flesh was weak, my blood ran chill, But the free spirit cried, “I will.”