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PRAYERS FOR ALL MEN.
Y daughter, go and pray! See, night is come:
One golden planet pierces through the gloom;
Trembles the misty outline of the hill.
Listen! the distant wheels in darkness glide-
All else is hushed; the tree by the roadside
Shakes in the wind its dust-strewn branches still.
Day is for evil, weariness, and pain.
Let us to prayer! calm night is come again:
The wind among the ruined towers so bare
Sighs mournfully: the herds, the flocks, the streams,
All suffer, all complain; worn nature seems
Longing for peace, for slumber, and for prayer.
It is the hour when babes with angels speak.
While we are rushing to our pleasures weak
And sinful, all young children, with bent knees,
Eyes raised to Heaven, and small hands folded fair,
Say at the self-same hour the self-same prayer
On our behalf, to Him who all things sees.
And then they sleep. Oh peaceful cradle-sleep!
Oh childhood's hallowed prayer! religion deep
Of love, not fear, in happiness expressed!
So the young bird, when done its twilight lay
Of praise, folds peacefully at shut of day
Its head beneath its wing, and sinks to rest.
A REASSURING PROSPECT.
ALL is light and all is joy.
The spider's foot doth busily
Unto the silken tulips tie
His circling silver broidery.
The dragon-fly on fluttering wings,
Mirrors the orbs of her large eyes
In the bright pond where creeping things
Make a dark world of mysteries.
The full-blown rose, grown young again,
Kisses the sweet bud's tender blush;
The bird pours forth his tuneful strain
Within the sun-illumined bush.
He blesses God, who ne'er is hid
From the pure soul to virtue given;
Who makes the dawn a fiery lid
For the azure eye of heaven.
In woods that soften every sound,
The timid fawn doth dreaming play
And in the green moss shining round,
Beetles their living gold display.
The moon, all pale in sunlit skies,
A cheerful convalescent seems;
And opens soft her opal eyes,
Whence heaven's sweetness downward streams.
The wallflower with the gamesome bee
Plays by the crumbling ruins old;
The furrow waketh joyfully,
Moved by the seeds that burst their fold.
All lives and sits around with grace-
The sunbeam on the threshold wide,
The gliding shade on the water's face,
The blue sky on the green hill's side.
On joyful plains bright sun-rays fall,
Woods murmur, fields with flowers are clad.
Fear nothing, man; for nature all
Knows the great secret, and is glad!
THERE is an unknown language spoken
By the loud winds that sweep the sky;
By the dark storm-clouds, thunder-broken,
And waves on rocks that dash and die;
By the lone star, whose beams wax pale,
The moonlight sleeping on the vale,
The mariner's sweet distant hymn,
The horizon that before us flies,
The crystal firmament that lies
In the smooth sea reflected dim.
"Tis breathed by the cool streams at morning,
The sunset on the mountain's shades,
The snow that daybreak is adorning,
And eve that on the turret fades;
The city's sounds that rise and sink,
The fair swan on the river's brink,
The quivering cypress' murmured sighs,
The ancient temple on the hill,
The solemn silence, deep and still,
Within the forest's mysteries.
Of Thee, oh God! this voice is telling,
Thou who art truth, life, hope, and love;
On whom night calls from her dark dwelling,
To whom bright morning looks above;
Of Thee-proclaimed by every sound,
Whom nature's all-mysterious round
Declares, yet not defines Thy light;
Of Thee, the abyss and source, whence all
Our souls proceed, in which they fall,
Who hast but one name-INFINITE.
All men on earth may hear and treasure
This voice, resounding from all time;
Each one, according to his measure
Interpreting its sense sublime.
But ah! the more our spirits weak
Within its holy depths would seek,
The more this vain world's pleasures cloy;
A weight too great for earthly mind,
O'erwhelms its powers, until we find
In solitude our only joy.
So when the feeble eyeball fixes
Its sight upon the glorious sun,
Whose gold-emblazoned chariot mixes
With rosy clouds that towards it run;
The dazzled gaze all powerless sinks,
Blind with the radiance which it drinks,
And sees but gloomy specks float by;
And darkness indistinct o'ershade
Wood, meadow, hill, and pleasant glade,
And the clear bosom of the sky.
THE TROUBADOUR AND HIS SWALLOW.
THE warm breath of summer
Has burst the frost's chain;
The earth is all blossom;
But the bird of my bosom,
My beautiful swallow, returns not again.
I hear its gay fellows-
More faithful, alas !—
The bright dawn saluting;
With rapid wing shooting,
I see them across the blue lake's surface pass.
Long known-long beloved!
When wilt thou return
To cheer me, heart-weary?
In absence so dreary
From thee, oh, my swallow! I linger and mourn.
None other can give thee
A life half so fair;
Like thine was my nature,
Thou bright joyous creature;
The same food and shelter with me thou didst share.
For thee does my window
Half-open remain :
What hinders thee, dearest?
Can it be that thou fearest
In me a harsh tyrant with prison and chain?
The flower in the wild-wood
Gives place to the fruit:
The summer on stealeth;
And each day revealeth
My hope of thy coming grown fainter and mute.
My strain, once so gleesome,
Is now a sad song:
Art thou faithful no longer?
Has death proved the stronger?
No matter; thy minstrel will pine for thee long.
THE ANGEL AND THE CHILD.
AN angel form, with brow of light,
Watched o'er a sleeping infant's dream,
And gazed as though his visage bright
He there beheld as in a stream.