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SELECTIONS PROM AMERICAN POETRY. LABOUR.
AUSE not to dream of the future before us;
Pause not to weep the wild cares that come o'er us;
"Labour is worship !"—the robin is singing;
Speaks to thy soul from out nature's heart.
Only man, in the plan, ever shrinks from his part.
Labour is life! 'Tis the still water faileth;
Idleness ever despaireth, bewaileth:
Keep the watch wound, for the dark rust assaileth;
Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon. Labour is glory!—the flying cloud lightens; Only the waving wing changes and brightens; Idle hearts only the dark future frightens:
Play the sweet keys, wouldst thou keep them in tune. No. 119. i
Labour is rest—from the sorrows that greet us;
Rest from world-syrens that lure us to ill.
Work with a stout heart and resolute will!
Droop not, though shame, sin, and anguish are round thee;
Rest not content in thy darkness—a clod.
Let thy great deeds be thy prayer to thy God. -Mas Frances Osgood,
WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR?
Thy neighbour? It is he whom thou
Hast power to aid and bless,
Thy soothing hand may press.
Thy neighbour 1 'Tis the fainting poor,
Whom hunger sends from door to door—
Thy neighbour? 'Tis that weary man,
Bent low with sickness, cares, and pain—
Thy neighbour? 'Tis the heart bereft
Of every earthly gem;
Go thou and shelter them.
Thy neighbour? Yonder toiling slave,
Whose hopes are all beyond the grave—
Whene'er thou meet'st a human form
Remember 'tis thy neighbour worm,
Ay; gloriously thou standest there,
That, swelling wide o'er earth and air,
With-that bright vault and sapphire wall,
Dost overhang and circle all.
Far, far below thee, tall gray trees
Arise, and piles built up of old,
In the fierce light and cold.
Thou hast thy frowns: with thee, on high,
Beyond thy soft blue curtain lie
Thence the consuming- lightnings break;
There the strong hurricanes awake.
Yet art thou prodigal of smiles—
Smiles sweeter than thy frowns are stern:
Earth sends, from all her thousand isles,
The glory that comes down from thee
Bathes in deep joy the land and sea.
The sun, the gorgeous sun, is thine,
The pomp that brings and shuts the day,
The clouds that round him change and shine,
Thence look the thoughtful stars, and there
The meek moon walks the silent air.
The sunny Italy may boast
The beauteous tints that flush her skies;
May thy blue pillars rise:
And they are fair: a charm is theirs,
That earth—the proud, green earth—has not,
With all the hues, and forms, and airs
We gaze upon thy calm, pure sphere,
And read of Heaven's eternal year.
Oh when, amid the throng of men,
How willingly we turn us then
And look into thy azure breast
For seats of innocence and rest! —bryant.
HYMN OF THE CITY.
Not in the solitude
Only in savage wood
Or only hear His voice
Even here do I behold
Through the great city rolled,
Choking the ways that wind
Thy golden sunshine comes
And lights their inner homes;
And givest them the stores
Thy spirit is around,
And this eternal sound—
Like the resounding sea,
And when the hours of rest
Hushing its billowy breast,
It breathes of Him who keeps
Earth's children cleave to earth—her frail,
Decaying children dread decay:
And lessens in the morning ray—
look, how by mountain rivulet
It lingers as it upward creeps,
Along the green and dewy steeps;
Clings to the flowery kalmia, clings
To precipices fringed with grass,
And bowers of fragrant sassafras.
Yet, all in vain—it passes still
From hold to hold—it cannot stay;
And in the very beams that fill
Till, parting from the mountain's brow,
It vanishes from human eye,
A portion of the glorious sky.
These are the gardens of the desert, these
The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful,
For which the speech of England has no name—
The Prairies. I behold them for the first,
And my heart swells while the dilated sight
Takes in the encircling vastness. Lo! they stretch,
In airy undulations, far away,
As if the ocean, in his gentlest swell,
Stood still, with all his rounded billows fixed,
And motionless for ever. Motionless ?—
No—they are all unchained again. The clouds
Sweep over with their shadows, and, beneath,
The surface rolls and fluctuates to the eye;
Dark hollows seem to glide along and chase
The sunny ridges. Breezes of the South!
Who toss the golden and the flame-like flowers,
And pass the prairie hawk, that, poised on high,
Flaps his broad wings, yet moves not—ye have played
Among the palms of Mexico and vines