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But see him on the edge of life,
With cares and sorrows worn ; Then age and want - O ill-matched pair ! —
Show man was made to mourn.
"A few seem favorites of fate,
In pleasure's lap carest;
Yet, think not all the rich and great
Are likewise truly blest.
But, O, what crowds in every land,
All wretched and forlorn !
Through weary life this lesson learn,
That man was made to mourn.
Many and sharp the numerous ills
Inwoven with our frame !
More pointed still, we make ourselves
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And man, whose heaven-erected face
The smiles of love adorn,
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn !
“ See yonder poor o'erlabored wight,
So abject, mean, and vile, Who begs a brother of the earth
To give him leave to toil ; And see his lordly fellow-worm
The poor petition spurn, Unmindful though a weeping wife
And helpless offspring mourn.
"If I'm designed yon lordling's slave,
By Nature's law designed, Why was an independent wish
E’er planted in my mind ?
If not, why am I subject to
His cruelty or scorn ?
Or why has man the will and power
To make his fellow mourn ?
Yet, let not this too much, my son,
Disturb thy youthful breast;
This partial view of human kind
Is surely not the best !
The poor, oppressèd, honest man
Had never, sure, been born,
Had there not been some recompense
To comfort those that mourn !
“O Death! the poor man's dearest friend,
The kindest and the best !
Welcome the hour my aged limbs
Are laid with thee at rest!
The great, the wealthy, fear thy blow,
From pomp and pleasure torn!
But, O, a blest relief to those
That weary-laden mourn!"
When with a serious musing I behold
The grateful and obsequious marigold,
How duly, every morning, she displays
Her open breast, when Titan spreads his rays;
How she observes him in his daily walk,
Still bending towards him her small, slender stalk ;
How, when he down declines, she droops and mourns,
Bedewed as 't were with tears, till he returns ;
And how she veils her flowers when he is gone,
As if she scorned to be looked on
By an inferior eye, or did contemn
To wait upon a meaner light than him :
When I thus meditate, methinks the flowers
Have spirits far more generous than ours,
And give us fair examples, to despise
The servile fawnings and idolatries
Wherewith we court these earthly things below,
Which merit not the service we bestow.
But, O my God! though grovelling I appear
Upon the ground, and have a rooting here,
Which hauls me downward, yet in
To that which is above me I aspire,
And all my best affections I profess
To Him that is the Sun of Righteousness.
O, keep the morning of his incarnation,
The burning noontide of his bitter passion,
The night of his descending, and the height
Of his ascension, ever in my sight;
That, imitating him in what I may,
I never follow an inferior way!
SONNET. - W. E. Channing.
Hearts of eternity, - hearts of the deep!
Proclaim from land to sea your mighty fate;
How that for you no living comes too late ;
How ye cannot in Theban labyrinth creep ;
How ye great harvests from small surface reap;
Shout, excellent band, in grand, primeval strain,
Like midnight winds that foam along the main,
And do all things rather than pause and weep.
A human heart knows naught of littleness,
Suspects no man, compares with no one's ways,
Hath in one hour most glorious length of days,
A recompense, a joy, a loveliness;
Like eaglet keen, shoots into azure far,
And, always dwelling nigh, is the remotest star.
LIKE to the falling of a star,
Or as the flights of eagles are,
Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue,
Or silver drops of morning dew,
Or like a wind that chafes the flood,
Or bubbles which on water stood,
Even such is man, whose borrowed light
Is straight called in, and paid to-night.
The wind blows out; the bubble dies ;
The spring entombed in autumn lies ;
The dew dries up; the star is shot ;
The flight is past ; and man forgot.
LORD, with what care hast thou begirt us round !
Parents first season us ; then schoolmasters Deliver us to laws; they send us bound
To rules of reason, holy messengers, Pulpits and Sundays; sorrow dogging sin ;
Afflictions sorted; anguish of all sizes ; Fine nets and stratagems to catch us in ;
Bibles laid open ; millions of surprises ;
Blessings beforehand ; ties of gratefulness;
The sound of glory ringing in our ears; Without, our shame; within, our consciences ;
Angels and grace; eternal hopes and fears;
Yet all these fences, and their whole array,
One cunning bosom-sin blows quite away.
Out, palsied soul, that dost but tremble ever
In sight of the bright sunshine ; mine be joy,
And the full heart, and the eye that faileth never
In the glad morning !- I am yet a boy;
I have not wandered from the crystal river
That flowed by me in childhood : my employ
Hath been to take the gift, and praise the Giver;
To love the flowers thy heedless steps destroy.
I wonder if the bliss that flows to me
In youth shall be exhaled and scorched up dry
By the noonday glare of life: I must not lie
For ever in the shade of childhood's tree :
But I must venture forth, and make advance
Along the toilèd path of human circumstance.
Heart of the people working men!
Marrow and nerve of human powers;
Who on your sturdy backs sustain,
Through streaming time, this world of ours;