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How short his day!-the glorious prize,
To our slow hearts and failing eyes,
Appear'd too quickly won:
-The warrior rush'd into the field,
With arm invincible to wield
The Spirit's sword, the Spirit's shield,
When, lo! the fight was done.
The loveliest star of evening's train
Sets early in the western main,
And leaves the world in night;
The brightest star of morning's host,
Scarce risen, in brighter beams is lost;
Thus sunk his form on ocean's coast;
Thus sprang his soul to light.
Who shall forbid the eye to weep,
That saw him, from the ravening deep,
Pluck'd like the lion's prey?
For ever bow'd his honor'd head,
The spirit in a moment fled,
The heart of friendship cold and dead,
The limbs, a wreath of clay!
Revolving his mysterious lot,
I mourn him, but I praise him not;
Glory to God be given,
Who sent him, like the radiant bow,
His covenant of peace to show,
Athwart the breaking storm to glow,
Then vanish into heaven.
O Church! to whom that youth was dear,
The angel of thy mercies here,
Behold the path he trod,
"A milky way" through midnight skies!
—Behold the grave in which he lies;
Even from the dust thy prophet cries,
"Prepare to meet thy God."
SHALL man, to sordid views confined,
His powers unfold,
And waste his energy of mind
In search of gold?
Rise, rise, my soul, and spurn such low desires,
Nor quench in grovelling dust heaven's noblest fires.
For what are all thy anxious cares,
Thy ceaseless toil?
For what, when roars the wind, thy fears
When bursting clouds and furious waves contend, Thy bark rich freighted all engulf'd descend?
Fraught with disease to-morrow comes,
And bows thy head;
From treasured heaps and splendid domes
Thy thoughts recede:
The dream is o'er: then kiss the chastening rod,
That points the road to virtue and to God.
Seek thou, my soul, a nobler wealth,
And more secure :
Content and peace, the mind's best health,
And thoughts all pure;
And deeds benevolent, and prayer, and praise,
And deep submission to Heaven's righteous ways.
SONNET ON THE SABBATH MORN.
WITH silent awe I hail the sacred morn,
That scarcely wakes when all the fields are still;
A soothing calm on every breeze is borne,
A graver murmur gurgles from the rill,
And echo answers softer from the hill;
And softer sings the linnet on the thorn;
The sky-lark warbles in a tone less shrill-
Hail, light serene! hail, sacred Sabbath morn!
The rooks sail silent by in airy droves;
The sky a placid yellow lustre throws;
The gales, that lately sigh'd along the groves,
Have hush'd their downy wings in soft repose;
The hovering rack of clouds forgets to move-
So soft the morning when the Savior rose!
THE LILY, AN EMBLEM OF CHRISTIAN HOPE.
How wither'd, faded, seems the form
Of yon obscure, unsightly root!
Yet from the blight of winter's storm
It hides secure the precious root.
The careless eye can find no grace,
No beauty in the scaly folds;
Nor see, within the dark embrace,
What latent loveliness it holds.
Yet in that bulb, those sapless scales,
The lily wraps her silver vest,
Till vernal suns and vernal gales
Shall kiss once more her fragrant breast.
Yes! hide beneath the mouldering heap
The undelighting, slighted thing;
There, in the cold earth, buried deep,
In silence let it wait the spring.
O! many a stormy night shall close
In gloom upon the barren earth;
While still, in undisturb'd repose,
Uninjured lies the future birth.
And Ignorance, with sceptic eye,
Hope's patient smile shall wondering view, Or mark her fond credulity,
As her soft tears the spot bedew.
Sweet smile of Hope! delicious tear!
The sun, the shower, indeed shall come;
The promis'd verdant shoot appear,
And nature bid her blossom bloom,
And thou, O virgin queen of spring,
Shalt, from thy dark and lowly bed,
Bursting thy green sheath's silken string,
Unveil thy charms, thy perfume shed:
Unfold thy robes of purest white,
Unsullied, from their darksome grave;
And thy soft petals, silvery light,
In the mild breeze unfetter'd wave.
So faith shall seek the lowly dust
Where humble sorrow loves to lie;
And bids her thus her hopes intrust,
And watch with patient, cheerful eye;
And bear the long, cold, wintry night,
And bear her own degraded doom;
And wait till heaven's reviving light,
Eternal spring! shall burst the gloom.
THE FLYING FISH,
AN EMBLEM OF CHRISTIAN VIRTUE.
WHEN I have seen thy snowy wing
O'er the blue wave at evening spring,
And give those scales, of silver white,
So gaily to the eye of light,
As if thy frame were form'd to rise
And live amid the glorious skies;
O! it has made me proudly feel
How like thy wing's impatient zeal
Is the pure soul, that scorns to rest
Upon the world's ignoble breast,
But takes the plume that God has given,
And rises into light and heaven!