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the voice fall or elevating it; it should be marked only by such a slight suspension of sound as may distinguish the passing from one line to another without injury to the measure. As to the inflections of the voice, it should be observed that, in the reading of verse, they are not to be marked so strongly as in prose. Smoothness and an easy flowing style are to be cultivated; and therefore, the inflections should be, as it were, rounded and polished, so that the voice shall not leap, but gently undulate from tone to tone, and float along in one unbroken stream of sound.

It has, indeed, been asserted by some, that the pronunciation of verse is entirely destitute of song, and that it is no more than a just pronunciation of prose;

but such an opinion is, in the highest degree, erroneous. Poetry without song is a body without a soul; the tune of this song is, it is true, difficult to hit, but when once achieved, it is sure to produce the most refined and exquisite pleasure.

I.-INTRODUCTORY POEM ON SACRED READING.

THE sacred services in which the soul
Adores with awe the Power whence she sprung,
May well the culture of the tongue demand.
Alas! our solemn pulpits often show,
In the recital of the Book of Life,
How coldly even cordial subjects fall
From crude outpourings of untutored lips.
The lifeless page contains the word of God;
But power to call the holy influence forth
Within the human voice alone resides.
In sounds confused, and heartless utterance,
The Scriptures lose their character divine;
The heavenly rays reach not the darkened soul,
So thick the density of clouded speech;
Deaf is the cheated and offended ear,
And closed is every entrance to the soul:
The promises, the pains, the hopes, the fears,
Are lost in chaos of discordant noise.

O you who at God's holy altar tend,
Who are removed from the grovelling herd
Of wrangling, trafficking, and sordid men,
To preach good tidings to the meek in soul-
To heal the contrite and the broken heart-
To set at liberty the slaves of sin-
To ope the prison doors-to wipe the tears
From sorrow's face, and comfort all that mourn;-
Know you, ye men of God, your sacred charge ?
Your feeble ministrations answer this.

The public execution of this trust
Can reach the heart—if there it find the way
But through the porches of the outward ear:
This
organ

is the minister of sound,
And trieth words as doth the mouth its food.
The vulgar speech performeth not aright
The soul's commands. To give her dictates breath,
To set them in the happy form of words,
Requires the laggard vocal parts well trained, -
Each pliant organ working in accord;
That she to rich expression may attune
The wonderful, complex machine, and make
The voice delightful to the charmed sense.

Are, then, Religion's cause, the hopes, the fears, The destiny of man, the call of heaven, Not worthy of man's highest, noblest powers ? Are vulgar accents, uttered with grimace, Or mumbling, stuttering, and ill-formed sounds, Deemed good enough to do God's holy work ? Or are mankind so hungry for the truth, So very thirsty after righteousness, That, with the eagerness of appetite, Though coarsely may be spread the sacred food, Their famished souls will instantly devour? Alas! their hunger craves forbidden fruitTheir thirst indulges in unhallowed streams.

The man of God must knock at stony hearts, And bend the stubborn will, and make the soul Awe-struck with deep conviction of its guilt; For this the thunder of his eloquence

Will roll its threatenings in the sinner's ear,
Till the reverberating peals arouse
The trembling fear which bends the feeble knees,
And melts the conscious rebel into prayer :-
“O Thou who rul'st the tempest, hear and save!"
Then will the tones of sweetest melody
Allay the terrors of the startled mind;
And, mild as angels to the shepherds sung,
The messenger of God will whisper, peace!

Alexander Bell.

II.-THE POWER OF GOD. Thou art, O God, the life and light

Of all this wondrous world we see; Its glow by day, its smile by night,

Are but reflections caught from Thee! Where'er we turn, Thy glories shine, And all things fair and bright are Thine. When day with farewell beam delays

Among the opening clouds of even, And we can almost think we gaze

Through golden vistas into heaven,
Those hues that mark the sun's decline,
So soft, so radiant, Lord, are Thine.
When night, with wings of stormy gloom,

O'ershadows all the earth and skies,
Like some dark beauteous bird whose plume

Is sparkling with a thousand eyes,
That sacred gloom, those fires divine,
So grand, so countless, Lord, are Thine.
When youthful Spring around us breathes,

Thy spirit warms her fragrant sigh,
And every flower the summer wreaths

Is born beneath that kindling eye; Where'er we turn, Thy glories shine, And all things bright and fair are Thine.

Moore,

III.-NATURAL DEVOTION.
THE turf shall be my fragrant shrine;
My temple, Lord, that arch of Thine;
My censer's breath the mountain airs,
And silent thoughts my only prayers.
My choir shall be the moonlight waves,
When murmuring homeward to their caves,
Or, when the stillness of the sea,
Even more than music, breathes of Thee!

*

There's nothing bright, above, below,
From flowers that bloom to stars that glow,
But in its light my soul can see
Some feature of Thy Deity!
There's nothing dark, below, above,
But in its gloom I trace Thy love,
And meekly wait that moment, when
Thy touch shall turn all bright again!

Thomas Moore.

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IV.-ADAM'S MORNING HYMN.
THESE are Thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty! Thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair; thyself how wondrous then!
Unspeakable! who sitt'st above these heavens
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these Thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.

Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels! for ye behold Him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night,
Circle His throne rejoicing; ye in heaven.-
On earth join all ye creatures to extol
Him first, Him last, Him midst, and without end !

Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, (If better thou belong not to the dawn,

Sure pledge of day), that crown'st the smiling morn
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 fly’st
With the fixed stars, fixed in their orb that flies;
And ye five other wandering fires, that move
In mystic dance not without

song,

resound
His praise, who out of darkness called up light.

Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Of nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix,
And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.

Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise
From hill or streaming lake, dusky or grey,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honor to the world's great Author rise,-
Whether to deck with clouds the uncoloured sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling still advance his praise.

His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines, –
With every plant, in sign of worship wave.

Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune His praise.-

Join voices, all ye living souls !--ye birds,
That singing up to heaven-gate ascend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes His praise.-

Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep,
Witness if I be silent, morn or eve,
To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught His praise.
Hail! universal Lord! be bounteous still
To give us only good; and, if the night
Have gathered aught of evil, or concealed,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark !

Milton.

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