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Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footsteps on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
WHERE the remote Bermudas ride,
In the ocean's bosom unespied;
From a small boat that rowed along,
The list'ning winds received this song.
"What should we do but sing His praise,
That led us through the watery maze
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own?
Where He the huge sea-monsters wracks,
That lift the deep upon their backs.
He lands us on a glassy stage,
Safe from the storms, and prelate's rage.
He gave us this eternal spring,
Which here enamels everything;
And sends the fowls to us in care,
On daily visits through the air.
He hangs in shades the orange bright,
Like golden lamps in a green night;
And does in the pomegranates close
Jewels more rich than Ormus shows.
He makes the figs our mouths to meet ;
And throws the melons at our feet.
But apples plants of such a price,
No tree could ever bear them twice.
With cedars, chosen by His hand
From Lebanon, He stores the land;
And makes the hollow seas, that roar,
Proclaim the Ambergris on shore.
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The gospel's pearl upon our coast;
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple, where to sound His name.
O, let our voice His praise exalt,
Till it arrive at heaven's vault!
Which, thence (perhaps) rebounding, may
Echo beyond the Mexique bay."
Thus sung they, in the English boat,
An holy and a cheerful note;
And all the way, to guide their chime,
With falling oars the kept the time.
TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. –
"The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy."-PROVERBS XIV. 10.
WHY should we faint and fear to live alone,
Since all alone so Heaven has willed we die,
Nor even the tenderest heart, and next our own,
Knows half the reasons why we smile or sigh?
Each in its hidden sphere of joy or woe,
Our hermit spirits dwell, and range apart;
Our eyes see all around, in gloom or glow,
Hues of their own, fresh borrowed from the heart.
And well it is for us our God should feel
Alone our secret throbbings; so our prayer
May readier spring to heaven, nor spend its zeal
On cloud-born idols of this lower air.
For if one heart in perfect sympathy
Beat with another, answering love for love,
Weak mortals all entranced on earth would lie,
Nor listen for those purer strains above.
Or what if Heaven for once its searching light
Lent to some partial eye, disclosing all
The rude, bad thoughts that in our bosom's night
Wander at large, nor heed Love's gentle thrall?
Who would not shun the dreary, uncouth place?
As if, fond leaning where her infant slept,
A mother's arm a serpent should embrace;
So might we friendless live, and die unwept.
Then keep the softening veil in mercy drawn,
Thou who canst love us, though thou read'st us
As on the bosom of the aerial dawn
Melts in dim haze each coarse, ungentle hue.
SCORN not the Sonnet; critic, you have frowned,
Mindless of its just honors; with this key
Shakspeare unlocked his heart; the melody
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound;
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound;
Camoens soothed with it an exile's grief;
The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle-leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned
His visionary brow; a glow-worm lamp,
It cheered mild Spenser, called from Faery-land
To struggle through dark ways; and, when a damp
Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
The thing became a trumpet, whence he blew
Soul-animating strains, alas, too few!
EXPERIENCE. —Jane Taylor.
How false is found, as on in life we go,
Our early estimate of bliss and woe!
Some sparkling joy attracts us, that we fain
Would sell a precious birthright to obtain.
There all our hopes of happiness are placed;
Life looks without it like a joyless waste;
No good is prized, no comfort sought beside,
Prayers, tears, implore, and will not be denied.
Heaven pitying hears the intemperate, rude appeal,
And suits its answer to our truest weal;
The self-sought idol, if at last bestowed,
Proves what our wilfulness required,
a goad. Ne'er but as needful chastisement is given
The wish thus forced, and torn, and stormed from Heaven.
But if withheld, in pity, from our prayer,
We rave a while of torment and despair,
Refuse each proffered comfort with disdain,
And slight the thousand blessings that remain.
Meantime Heaven bears the grievous wrong, and waits,
In patient pity, till the storm abates;
Applies with gentlest hand the healing balm,
Or speaks the ruffled mind into a calm;
Deigning, perhaps, to show the mourner soon
'T was special mercy that denied the boon.
Our blasted hopes, our aims and wishes crost,
Are worth the tears and agonies they cost,
When the poor mind, by fruitless efforts spent,
With food and raiment learns to be content.
Bounding with youthful hope, the restless mind
Leaves that divine monition far behind;
And, tamed at length by suffering, comprehends
The tranquil happiness to which it tends;
Perceives the high-wrought bliss it aimed to share,
Demands a richer soil, a purer air, -
That 't is not fitted, and would strangely grace
The mean condition of our mortal race;
And all we need in this terrestrial spot
Is celin contentment with "the common lot."