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But the sound deafens, and the light
“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 aside, 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 Of old the fire-tongued miracle, But flamed o'er all the thronging host The baptism of the Holy Ghost ; Heart answers heart : in one desire The blending lines of prayer aspire ;
Where, in my name, meet two or three,' Our Lord hath said, “I there will be !'
That to be saved is only this, – Salvation from our selfishness, From more than elemental fire, The soul's unsanctified desire, From sin itself, and not the pain That warns us of its chafing chain ; That worship's deeper meaning lies In mercy, and not sacrifice, Not proud humilities of sense And posturing of penitence, But love's unforced obedience ; That Book and Church and Day are given For man, not God, – for earth, not heaven, The blessed means to holiest ends, Not masters, but benignaut friends ; That the dear Christ dwells not afar, The king of some remoter star, Listening, at times, with Mattereil ear, To homage wrung from selfish fear, But here, amidst the poor and blind, The bound and suffering of our kind, In works we do, in prayers we pray, Life of our life, He lives to-day.”
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.
“So sometimes comes to soul and sense The feeling which is evidence That very near about us lies The realm of spiritual mysteries. The sphere of the supernal powers Impinges on this world of ours. The low and dark horizon lifts, To light the scenic terror shifts ; The breath of a diviner air Blows down the answer of a prayer : That all our sorrow, pain, and doubt A great compassion clasps about, And law and goodness, love and force, Are wedded fast beyond divorce. Then duty leaves to love its task, The beggar Self forgets to ask ; With smile of trust and folded hands, The passive soul in waiting stands To feel, as flowers the sun and dew, The One True Life its own renew, “So, to the calmly gathered thought The innermost of truth is taught, The mystery dimly understood, That love of God is love of good, And, chiefly, its divinest trace In Him of Nazareth's holy face ;
A PRAYER FOR LIFE.
Earth's beauty asks a heart and tongue To give true love and praises to her worth ;
Her sins and judgment-sufferings call For fearless martyrs to redeem thy Earth
From her disastrous fall.
Ay, of the Highest Foet,
Of constellate star-choirs, That with deep melody flow and overflow it,
The sweet Earth, - very sweet, despite The rank grave-smell forever arifting in
Among the odors from her censers white Of wave-swung lilies and of wind-swung
Her and her starry kin,
Thrills with a deadly shiver
Which has not ceased to quiver Down all the ages, nathless the strong beating
Of Angel-wings, and the defiant roar Of Earth's Titanic thunders.
GEORGE S. BURLEIGH.
Fair and sad, 1 In those hot tears to sudden vigor sprung, In sin and beauty, our beloved Earth Sheds, even now, the fruits of graver age, – Has need of all her sons to make her glad ; By the long wrestle in which inward ill
Has need of martyrs to refire the hearth | Fell like a trampled viper to the ground, Of her quenched altars, – of heroic men
By all that lifts me o'er my outward peers With Freedom's sword, or Truth's supernal pen,
To that supernal stage To shape the worn-out mould of nobleness again. Where soul dissolves the bonds by Nature And she has need of Poets who can string
Or by the hand of fratricidal rage,
I cannot now die young !
Arouse the laggard in the battle's rear,
If I were told that I must die to-morrow,
That the next sun
Which sinks should bear me past all fear and And only wears, for crown and aureole,
sorrow The glow-worm light of lowliest human love,
For any one, Shall fill with low, sweet undertones the
All the fight fought, all the short journey chasms
through, Of silence, 'twixt the booming thunder-spasms.
What should I do? And Earth has need of Prophets fiery-lipped And deep-souled, to announce the glorious I do not think that I should shrink or falter, dooms
But just go on, Writ on the silent heavens in starry script, Doing my work, nor change nor seek to alter And flashing fitfully from her shuddering
Aught that is gone ; tombs, —
But rise and move and love and smile and pray Commissioned Angels of the new-born Faith,
For one more day. To teach the immortality of Good, The soul's God-likeness, Sin's coeval death, | And, lying down at night for a last sleeping, And man's indissoluble Brotherhood.
Say in that ear
Which hearkens ever: “Lord, within thy keeping Yet never an age, when God has need of hini,
How should I fear?
Do thou thy will."
prophet of his coming: I might not sleep for awe ; but peaceful, tender, In the low murmur of her famished cry,
My soul would lie And heavy sobs breathed up despairingly,
| All the night long ; and when the morning Ye hear the near invisible humming
Flushed o'er the sky,
I think that I could smile -- could calmly say,
“It is his day.” While far in its dissolving ether ope Deeps beyond deeps, of sapphire calm, to cheer | But if a wondrous hand from the blue yonaer With Sabbath gleams the troubled Now and Here.
Held out a scroll,
On which my life was writ, and I with wonder
To a long century's end its mystic clue,
What should I do?
What could I do, o blessed Guide and Master, Sor round my shoulders turn the golden light
Other than this;
Nor fear to miss
While led by thee ?
Step after step, feeling thee close beside me, From a tyrant's pursuit, from an enemy's wrath, Although unseen,
Spent with toil and o'ercome with fatigue. Through thorns, through flowers, whether the tempest hide thee,
And the gypsy came forth from her dwelling, and Or heavens serene,
prayed Assured thy faithfulness cannot betray,
That the pilgrims would rest them awhile ; Thy love decay.
And she offered her couch to that delicate maid,
Who had come many, many a mile. I may not know ; my God, no hand revealeth
And she fondled the babe with affection's caress, Thy counsels wise ;
And she begged the old man would repose ; Along the path a deepening shadow stealeth,
“Here the stranger,” she said, “ever finds free No voice replies
access, To all my questioning thought, the time to tell ;
And the wanderer balm for his woes."
Then her guests from the glare of the noonday
she led Through a long century's ripening fruition
To a seat in her grotto so cool;
Where she spread them a banquet of fruits, and Thou canst not come too soon ; and I can wait
a shed, If thou come late.
With a manger, was found for the mule ;
| With the wine of the palm-tree, with dates newly SARAH WOOLSEY (Susan Coolidge).
And with song in a language mysterious she lulled
On her bosom the wayfaring child.
When the gypsy anon in her Ethiop hand
Took the infant's diminutive palm, dwelt
O, 'twas fearful to see how the features she scanned In the lands where the pyramids be ;
Of the babe in his slumbers so calm ! And her robe was embroidered with stars, and
Well she noted each mark and each furrow that her belt With devices right wondrous to see ;
crossed And she lived in the days when our Lord was a
O'er the tracings of destiny's line : child
“WHENCE CAME YE?" she cried, in astonish. On his mother's immaculate breast;
ment lost, When he fled from his foes, — when to Egypt
“For This CHILD IS OF LINEAGE DIVINE!" exiled, He went down with St. Joseph the blest.
“ From the village of Nazareth,” Joseph replied,
“ Where we dwelt in the land of the Jew, This Egyptian held converse with magic, methinks, We have fled from a tyrant whose garment is And the future was given to her gaze ;
dyed For an obelisk marked her abode, and a sphinx .
In the gore of the children he slew : On her threshold kept vigil always.
We were told to remain till an angel's command She was pensive and ever alone, nor was seen
I Should appoint us the hour to return; . In the haunts of the dissolute crowd ;
But till then we inhabit the foreigners' land, But communed with the ghosts of the Pharaohs, ! And in Egypt we make our sojourn."
“Then ye tarry with me," cried the gypsy in joy,
“And ye make of my dwelling your home ; nd there came an old man from the desert one Many years have I prayed that the Israelite boy day,
(Blessèd hope of the Gentiles !) would come.' With a maid on a mule by that road;
And she kissed both the feet of the infant and And a child on her bosom reclined, and the way I knelt, Led them straight to the gypsy's abode;
And adored him at once ; then a smile And they seemed to have travelled a wearisome Lit the face of his mother, who cheerfully dwelt path,
With her host on the banks of the Nile. From thence many, many a league, —
FRANCIS MAHONY (Father Proud)
And, peering through the deep wood maze With a long, sharp, unearthly gaze,
“Will she not come ?” she said.
But when the dying woman's face Turned toward him with a wishful gaze,
He stepped to where she lay; And, kneeling down, bent over her, Saying, “I am a minister,
My sister ! let us pray."
Just then, the parting boughs between, A little maid's light form was seen,
All breathless with her speed ; And, following close, a man came on (A portly man to look upon),
Who led a panting steed. “Mother!" the little maiden cried, Or e'er she reached the woman's side,
And kissed her clay-cold cheek, -“I have not idled in the town, But long went wandering up and down,
The minister to seek.
And well, withouten book or stole, (God's words were printed on his soul !)
Into the dying ear He breathed, as 't were an angel's strain, The things that unto life pertain,
And death's dark shadows clear.
“They told me here, they told me there, — I think they mocked me everywhere ;
And when I found his home,
Mother! he would not come.
He spoke of sinners' lost estate,
Of God's most blest decree, That not a single soul should die Who turns repentant, with the cry
“ Be merciful to me."
“I told him how you dying lay, And could not go in peace away
Without the minister ; I begged him, for dear Christ his sake, But O, my heart was fit to break,
Mother! he would not stir.
He spoke of trouble, pain, and toil, Endured but for a little while
In patience, faith, and love, Sure, in God's own good time, to be Exchanged for an eternity
of happiness above.
“So, though my tears were blinding me, I ran back, fast as fast could be,
To come again to you ; And here -- close by — this squire I met, Who asked (so mild) what made me fret;
And when I told him true,
Then, as the spirit ebbed away,
That peaceful it might pass ;
• Close round on the green grass.
“ I will go with you, child,' he said, "God sends me to this dying bed,'
Mother, he's here, hard by." While thus the little maiden spoke, The man, his back against an oak,
Looked on with glistening eye.
Such was the sight their wandering eyes Beheld, in heart-struck, mute surprise,
Who reined their coursers back, Just as they found the long astray, Who, in the heat of chase that day,
Had wandered from their track.
The bridle on his neck hung free,
Pressed close his bonny bay ;
Than those stood there that day.
But each man reined his pawing steed, And lighted down, as if agreed,
In silence at his side; And there, uncovered all, they stood, It was a wholesome sight and good
That day for mortal pride.
So, while the little maiden spoke, The man, his back against an oak,
Looked on with glistening eye And folded arms, and in his look Something that, like a sermon-book,
Preached, - "All is vanity."
For of the noblest of the land
And, central in the ring,
Knelt their anointed king.
ROBERT and CAROLINE SOUTHEY