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11. November days are dusk and dull, The boy who came with sun-bleached And yet they teach the heart to ponder; head, Of sober depth the skies are full, And dress by many a patch repaired, While fades from earth its garb of Still felt in all that Henry said wonder.
E'en more than strongest words de2.
clared. We breathe at whiles so charmed an
Those truths, as more than lessons By sound each leaf's light fall we learn; taught, No breeze disturbs the spider's snare Were learnt as more than lessons too; That hangs with dew the stately fern. The teacher's precept, will, and 3.
thought, Soon heaves within the boundless frame E'en from his look fresh import drew. A strong and sullen gust of life,
13. And rolling waves and woods proclaim And well he knew how wilful sway The darkened world's increasing strife. Disloyal service breeds at best, 4.
And often fills the schoolboy's day 'Mid boom, and clang, and stormy With hate by fear alone repressed. swell,
14. And shadows dashed by blast and rain, Yet could he temper love and meekness Leaves heaped, whirled, routed, sweep With all the sacred might of law, the dell,
Dissevering gentleness from weakness, And glimpses course the leaden main. And hallowing tenderness by awe. 5.
15. And yet, though inward drawn and still, Nor e'er beneath his steadfast eye There beats a hidden heart of joy ; Could ill escape its grave reproval ; Beneath the old year's mantle chill Nor durst he set his conscience by, Sleeps, mute and numb, the unconscious That peace might reign by its reboy.
16. And they who muse and hope may His love was no unblest device guess
To lengthen falsehood's coward mood, With faith assured the future spring; Nor purchased liking at the price But him who loves all hours will bless, Of calling evil-good. All months to him of May-time sing.
He woke the sense, he warned the • At least I've known," young Henry breast, said,
Affirming truths supreme,
Each feeling thus that moved the child, With lifted brow, and buoyant heart, As each in turn awoke, He now fulfilled his daily toil, To its fixed law was reconciled, And e'en ʼmid weary tasks would start And owned the strengthening yoke. Bright springs from desert soil.
So still the God revealed below He stood with zeal the untaught to As one great Will of Good to all, teach,
He taught for Sire and Judge to know, 'Mid fifty faces young and rude, On whom for aid all needs may call. And turned a cheerful front to each,
20. That brightened them and yet sub- Amid his poor, unknowing throng dued.
Of little learners pleased he stood ; 10.
To him their murmur hummed a song, He strove that clear they might discern And every face had germs of good. What aims to man true value give,
21. And said_“You do not live to learn, And when the exhausted aching frame But learn that you may better live." Would fain have sunk away to rest,
He thought how high the teacher's
At parting Henry said“ Farewell ; What seeds his sleep would leave sup. On Sunday morn we meet again; pressed.
When first rings out the old church 22.
bell, So bave I seen upon a hill
With merry chant, expect me then." A fair green tree of milk-white flowers,
33. Where bees sucked out their honeyed At last, though slow, that Sunday fill
came, Through all the long day's basking And Jane put on her best array, hours.
And still her colour fled and came 23.
As if it were her wedding-day. To its green cells and vases white,
34. That yield an odorous air,
Her father went to ring the bell, The swarm with musical delight And she to watch the doorway sprang, For their sweet gold repair.
And on the latch her finger fell, 24.
And paused, and paused—the churchBut dark decay may mine the tree, Or lightning-bolt may blast,
35. And not a flower for wind or bee No step was there : it seemed a knell Delight the saddening waste.
Whose notes her father's hand was 25.
ringing ; The winter pressed with gloom and chill She oped the door for breath, the bell Round Henry's wavering thread of life, So heavily went swinging. And though the eye shone boldly still,
36. The cheek grew thin amid the strife. She knew that Henry was not there, 26.
And yet she looked below the tree ; And while at solitary night
There stood nor shape of misty air, His candle showed some ancient page, Nor sunbright face in sunshine free. And like a deft familiar sprite
37. Evoked for him the buried sage; She looked the winding road along, 27.
Now hid no more with leafy green, While from the distant snow-clad But 'mid its loitering speckled throng world
For her no living shape was seen. The clown, belated, marked the beam,
38. Nor guessed of what the glimmering She turned, and passed the dim churchtold,
door, What human task, or goblin dream, Beneath an ancient arch's frown, 28.
And in the aisle upon the floor The lonely student oft would shrink, She knelt not, but her knees fell down. And startling, clasp his painful breast,
39. With long-drawn sigh of Jane would Upon the seat she stooped her face, think,
But still she heard that doleful bell, And seek at last reluctant rest. And though she prayed for Heaven's
29. Yet once again did Jane and he 'Twas still the same pursuing knell. By Simon's hearth at evening meet,
40. And once beneath his bare ash-tree And when the people stood to sing, They filled at dawn their
seat. Though now the weary bell was 30.
o'er, 'Twas then a cold and misty morn, She heard it through her bosom ring, The churchyard seemed a cave of As if 'twould ring for ever more. death;
41. They saw the Yew, by cold unshorn, She could not rise upon her feet, Stand hearse-like black in winter's She could not stand when others stood, breath,
And all the words she could repeat 31.
Were still_“ To me, O God! be And e'en while now the lovers spoke
good!" They felt the fog between them rise ;
42. Round each it spread a dull gray
At last the service all was done, cloak,
And she might go from church away, And masked them each in vague dis. But still she could not be alone, guise,
She must beside her father stay.
He dozed beside the fire, and Jane His mid-day meal she must prepare At last was free from busy light. Before the second service-bell;
45. And she must sit beside him there, She left his frugal supper laid, And by constraint be well.
She heard him breathe with slumber44.
ous tone; Once more they reached their home And then, released, the trembling maid again ;
Dared slip away alone. The winter day had changed to night;
10. Upon the maiden's weary soul
'Tis now the second day that he The silent darkness dawned like day, Has been too weak to rise from bed, While free amid the boundless Whole, And truly, as it seems to me, Alone with God, she took her way. He never more will lift his head. 2.
11. And yet a thrill of shame and fear " I've loved him ever since a child, In her with love and anguish met ;
And tended him from day to day ; She longed that earth would cease to I sometimes think'twould drive me wild hear,
If I should see him pass away." And heaven one hour its gaze forget.
Then Jane exclaimed,—“ What noise But Henry more than all was dear; is there? On her he seemed to call for aid, I hear a tapping faint and low." And she through wave and gale would The other hastened up the stair, steer,
And Jane with her would go. To track the wandering mourning
And she was there when Henry 4.
saidAlong the churchyard path she went, " I heard a voice that spoke below ; And saw above the Yew
Or was my heart by dreams betrayed ? The low discoloured firmament, It seemed the voice that best I know." While cold winds round her blew.
His words were weak, and drawn with But swift along the road she sped. pain, With still increasing pace,
His face looked flushed with burning And walked where blackest darkness red ; led,
She would no more her love restrain, The more to hide her face,
But swiftly knelt beside the bed, 6.
15. And now to Henry's home she came, Her arms around his neck she threw, Where never she had been before ; She gave his lips a quivering kiss, She could not now remember shame, And heart to heart tumultuous flew, But knocked upon the door.
For nought was left them now but this. 7.
16 An aged woman, dull and slow, Few moments passed in hurried grief, Came creeping at the sound,
And then her face away she drew, Nor asked the comer's name to know, · And gazing, sought to find relief But straight the key turned round. In looks where misery met her view. 8.
17. Jane hurried in, and at the first,
He strove to smile with happier eyes, These words unpausing said
But could not long the toil sustain ; “ ( ! tell me, tell me all the worst ! From his deep glance the meaning Tell me, is Henry dead ?"
The lids drop down-he longs in vain. She marked the woman's wrinkled
heart his withered hand
And bid it pass to him from her.
30. He slept. The maiden whispered low, - To them, to thee, my sinking voice, “ I pray you try to find me, dame, Beloved! would fain once more proA friend who to the church would go, claim, And say why here to-night I came.' In Christ alone may those rejoice 20.
Deceived by every other name. The woman went, and Jane remained
31. With all she e'er had loved the best, In all but Him our sins have been, His hand upon her bosom strained, And wrestlings fierce of fevered mind; Her face by his, but not in rest. In Him alone on earth is seen 21.
God's perfect Will for all mankind. In herlarge eyes the unthought-of tears
32. Gathered fully, gathered slowly,
• The shadows round me close and And o'erflowed their azure spheres,
press, Drops of pain, but pure and holy. But still that radiant Star I see, 22.
And more I seem its light to bless The lingering minutes, measured out Than aught near worlds could give to By that sad rain, drew on and on, Till Henry feebly turned about,
33. And raised his eyes, and heaved a • Through chill and fire, and smoke groan.
and pain, 23.
It calmly shines with widening orb, • Dear Jane," he said, “my only And while to those great beams I love!
strain, I feel I have not long to stay ;
All dark, all brightness they absorb." 'Tis good, almost my hopes above,
34. That you are not away.
His upward look drew light and peace 24.
From some unclouded source above; “ 'Tis not that I have much to tell The tears of Jane had learnt to cease, Before my lips their breath resign; And she was hushed in fearless love. But, oh! 'tis peace, 'tis more than well,
35. While thus my hand is clasped in But, sighing slow, he turned from thine.
To gaze at her, his lamp on earth, “ For here upon my bed of death With thoughts that need not be for. Is with me all that earth can give;
given, Thus God supports the fearless faith For they, too, claimed a sinless birth. Which cannot cease to live.
“ My more than dear, my wife”-he “ My mother, and that humble friend, said The boys that were my flock, and thou, “ I leave a toilsome lot to thee; To none beside my thoughts extend, To bear, a widow, though unwed, Save Him whose heaven is near me The lonely memory of me.
“ So young, so beautiful as thou, “ My boys again I fain would see, To feel thou art on earth alone, And speak once more my frequent tale, That none can be, as I am now, That only Reason makes men free, Thy first whole hope, and all thy That Right and Truth can never fail. own; 28.
38, " That Reverence is the bond for " With few or none beside the heart
To cheer, uphold, and comprehend; With all of highest men may know; With thoughts at which the crowd That Love must work by Wisdom's would start, plan,
And grief which they would vainly Or be a false and boastful show:
39, “ That Conscience holds supernal “ Still hope! still act! be sure that power
life, To rend or heal the human breast; The source and strength of every good, And that in guilt's most dismal hour Wastes down in feeling's empty strife, God still may turn its war to rest. And dies in dreaming's sickly mood,
43. - To toil in tasks, however mean,
6. Thou wilt have angels near above, For all we know of right and true- By whom invisible aid is given; In this alone our worth is seen ; They journey still on tasks of love, 'Tis this we were ordained to do. And never rest except in heaven. 41.
44, « So shalt thou find in work and “ The God who gave in me a friend, thought
Is more than any friend to all; The peace that sorrow cannot give; Upon my grave before him bend, Though grief's worst pangs to thee be And He will hear thy lonely call. taught,
45. By thee let others nobler live. “One kiss, my Jane_I now must 42.
rest." • Oh! wail not in the darksome forest, His eyes grew faint, his eyelids closed, Where thou must needs be left alone, And when her lips to his were pressed, But, e'en when memory is sorest, His lips in death reposed. Seek out a path, and journey on.
8. - Oh! father, father, list to me; « Oh! taller far than spire or trees, The tale that I shall tell,
That form above me bowed ;
Concealed him all in cloud.
9. “ Last night upon my bed I lay, " I knew 'twas not an earthly thing And prayed that I might sleep, That there before me rose; But still my wakeful thoughts would Some nameless ghost-land's ghostly stay,
king, And stiil I could not weep.
Whose look my life-blood froze. 3. « The moonshine filled my room with " And when he fixed his gaze on me light,
I turned my eyes away, A stream of silver air,
And there before his foot could see And all the window-panes were bright, A grave that open lay. And showed the stars so fair.
“I could not choose but enter there ; • I lay and looked, when, lo! a hand, And passing down the new-made A giant hand outspread;
cell, Methought the moonlit skies it I left the clear and moonlit air, spanned,
Where dark his shadow fell.
6. With easy slope the passage dived, - This hand of giant size, I say, And on I travelled far and slow, It beckoned me to rise,
Till through the vault my steps arI saw its shadow where I lay,
rived I felt it on my eyes.
Where light from heaven appeared to 6.
flow. "I rose and went, I passed the
“ I saw a valley broad and green, And, father! I beheld,
Where trees and rocks were scattered Where stood the old Yew-tree be- round, fore,
And hills of ancient wood were seen A form that heavenward swelled. Encircling all the quiet ground. 7.
14. “ It seemed a dark gigantic man, « Old trees and vast, with caves of Who sat upon a mound ;
shade, His face not well my eye could scan, Bright waters foaming down the For darkness wrapped it round.