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Of old the fire-tongued miracle,
Repeating where His works were wrought The lesson that her Master taught, Of whom an elder Sibyl gave, The prophecies of Cumæ's cave ! “I ask no organ's soulless breath To drone the themes of life and death, No altar candle-lit by day, No ornate wordsman's rhetoric-play, No cool philosophy to teach Its bland audacities of speech To doubled-tasked idolaters, Themselves their gods and worshippers, No pulpit hammered by the fist Of loud-asserting dogmatist, Who borrows for the hand of love The smoking thunderbolts of Jove. I know how well the fathers taught, What work the later schoolmen wrought; I reverence old-time faith and men, But God is near us now as then ; His force of love is still unspent, His hate of sin as imminent; And still the measure of our needs Outgrows the cramping bounds of creeds ; The manna gathered yesterday Already savors of decay ; Doubts to the world's child-heart unknown Question us now from star and stone ; Too little or too much we know, And sight is swift and faith is slow; The power is lost to self-deceive With shallow forms of make-believe. We walk at high noon, and the bells Call to a thousand oracles, But the sound deafens, and the light Is stronger than our dazzled sight; The letters of the sacred Book Glimmer and swim beneath our look ; Still struggles in the Age's breast With deepening agony of quest The old entreaty : ‘Art thou He, Or look we for the Christ to be ?' “God should be most where man is least; So, where is neither church nor priest, And never rag of form or creed To clothe the nakedness of need, Where farmer-folk in silence meet, I turn my bell-unsummoned feet; I lay the critic's glass asiile, I tread upon my lettered pride, And, lowest-seated, testify To the oneness of humanity; Confess the universal want, And share whatever Heaven may grant. He findeth not who seeks his own, The soul is lost that's saved alone. Not on one favored forehead fell
“So, to the calmly gathered thought
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER
A PRAYER FOR LIFE.
Writ on the silent heavens in starry script,
Commissioned Angels of the new-born Faith, Earth's beauty asks a heart and tongue
To teach the immortality of Good, To give true love and praises to her worth ;
The soul's God-likeness, Sin's coeval death,
And Man's indissoluble Brotherhood.
Yet never an age, when God has need of him, For though her summer hills and vales might
Shall want its Man, predestined by that
need, The fair creation of a poet's dream,
his life in fiery word or deed, Ay, of the Highest Poet,
The strong Archangel of the Elohim ! Whose wordless rhythms are chanted by the
Earth's hollow want is prophet of his comgyres Of constellate star-choirs,
In the low murmur of her famished cry, That with deep melody flow and overslow it,
And heavy sobs breathed up despairingly, The sweet Earth, — very sweet, despite
Ye hear the near invisible humming The rank grave-smell forever drifting in
Of his wide wings that fan the lurid sky Among the odors from her censers white
Into cool ripples of new life and hope,
While far in its dissolving ether ope
Deeps beyond dceps, of sapphire calm, to cheer
With Sabbath gleams the troubled Now and
Father ! thy will be done,
Holy and righteous One !
Though the reluctant years Down all the ages, nathless the strong beating
May never crown my throbbing brows with Of Angel-wings, and the defiant roar
white, Of Earth's Titanic thunders.
Nor round my shoulders turn the golden light
Fair and sad, Of ny thick locks to wisdom's royal crmine : In sin and beauty, our beloved Earth
Yet by the solitary tears, Has need of all her sons to make her glad ;
Deeper than joy or sorrow, - by the thrill, Has need of martyrs to refire the hearth Higherthan hope or terror, whose quick germen, Of her quenched altars, – of heroic men
In those hot tears to sudden vigor sprung, With Freelon's sworil, or Truth's supernal pen,
Sheds, even now, the fruits of graver age, To shape the worn-out mould of nobleness again. By the long wrestle in which inward ill And she has need of Poets who can string Fell like a trampled viper to the ground, Their harps with steel to catch the lightning's By all that lifts me o'er my outward peers fire,
To that supernal stage And pourherthunders from the clanging wire, Where soul dissolves the bonds by Nature To cheer the hero, mingling with his cheer,
bound, Arouse the laggarı in the battle's rear,
Fall when I may, by pale disease unstrung, Daunt the stern wicked, and from discord wring Or by the hand of fratricidal rage, Prevailing harmony, while the humblest soul
I cannot now die young!
In golden choirs above,
love, Shall fill with low, sweet undertones the GEORGE III. AND A DYING WOMAN IN WINDSOR FOREST. chasms
OUTSTRETCHED beneath the leafy shade of silence, 'twixt the booming thunder- of Windsor forest's deepest glade, spasms.
A dying woman lay; And Earth has need of Prophets fiery-lipped Three little children round her stood, And deep-souled, to announce the glorious And there went up from the greenwooil dooms
A woful wail that day.
The seraph Abdiel, faithful found Among the faithless, faithful only he ; Among inuumerable false, unmoved, Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified, His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal ; Nor number, nor example with him wrought Toswerve from truth, or change his constant mind, Though single. From amidst them forth he passed, Long way through hostile scorn, which he sus
tained Superior, nor of violence feared aught ; And with retorted scorn his back he turned On those proud towers to swift destruction doomed.
Behind them lay the gleaming rows,
Doubling the splendor of the plain,
Far flew the music's circling sound;
Did any great door ope or close,
Then once again the groups were drawn Through corridors, or down the lawn, Which bloomed in beauty like a dawn. Where countless fountains leapt alway, Veiling their silver heights in spray, The choral people held their way.
He was of that stubborn crew Of errant saints, whom all men grant To be the true church militant ; Such as do build their faith upon The holy text of pike and gun ; Decide all controversies by Infallible artillery, And prove their doctrine orthodox By apostolic blows and knocks ; Call fire, and sword, and desolation A godly, thorough Reformation, Which always must be carried on And still be doing, never done ; As if religion were intended For nothing else but to be mended. A sect whose chief devotion lies In odd perverse antipathies ; In falling out with that or this, And finding somewhat still amiss ; More peevish, cross, and splenetic, Than dog distract, or monkey sick ; That with more care keep holiday The wrong, than others the right way; Compound for sins they are inclined to, By damning those they have no mind to; Still so perverse and opposite, As if they worshipped God for spite; The self-same thing they will abhor One way, and long another for.
There, midst the brightest, brightly shone
No further might the scene unfold ;
reap the never failing lands.
THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.
INSCRIBED TO R. AIKEN, ESQ. "Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys and destiny obscure ; Nor grandeur heat, with a disdainful smile, The short but simple annals of the poor." --GRAY.
“O master of these broad estates,
My loved, my honored, much-respected friend,
No mercenary bard his homage pays :