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He murmurs, as if Nature broke
Some promise plighted at his birth,
In bending him beneath the yoke
Borne by the common sons of earth.
They starve beside his plenteous board,
They halt behind his easy wheels,
But sympathy in vain affords
The sense of ills he never feels.
He knows he is the same as they,
A feeble, piteous, mortal thing,
And still expects thạt
every day Increase and change of bliss should bring.
Therefore, when he is called to know
The deep realities of pain,
He shrinks as from a viewless blow,
He writhes as in a magic chain:
Untaught that trial, toil, and care
Are the great charter of his kind,
It seems disgrace for him to share
Weakness of flesh and human mind.
Not so the People's honest child,
The field-flower of the open sky,
Ready to live while winds are wild,
Nor, when they soften, loth to die :
To him there never came the thought
That this, his life, was meant to be
A pleasure-house, where peace, unbought,
Should minister to pride or glee.
You oft may hear him murmur loud
Against the uneven lots of Fate,
You oft may see him inly bowed
Beneath affiction's weight on weight;
THE PATIENCE OF THE POOR.
But rarely turns he on his grief
A face of petulant surprise,
Or scorns whate'er benign relief
The hand of God or man supplies.
Behold him on his rustic bed,
The unluxurious couch of need,
Striving to raise his aching head
And sinking powerless as a reed :
So sick in both, he hardly knows
Which is his heart's or body's sore;
For, the more keen his anguish grows,
His wife and children pine the more.
No search for him of dainty food,
But coarsest sustenance of life, –
No rest by artful quiet wooed,
But household cries and wants and strife ;
Affection can at best employ
Her utmost of unhandy care,
Her prayers and tears are weak to buy
The costly drug, the purer air.
Pity herself, at such a sight,
Might lose her gentleness of mien,
And clothe her form in angry might,
And as a wild despair be seen,
Did she not hail the lesson taught
By this unconscious suffering boor
To the high sons of lore and thought,
The sacred Patience of the Poor.
This great endurance of each ill,
As a plain fact, whose right or wrong
They question not, confiding still
That it shall last not overlong;
Willing, from first to last, to take
The mysteries of our life, as given,
Leaving the time-worn soul to slake
Its thirst in an undoubted heaven.
DELIGHT IN GOD ONLY.– Francis Quarles.
I Love (and have some cause to love) the Earth :
She is my Maker's creature ; therefore good :
She is my mother, for she gave me birth :
She is my tender nurse ; she gives me food :
But what 's a creature, Lord, compared with Thee?
Or what 's my mother or my nurse to me?
I love the Air : her dainty sweets refresh
My drooping soul, and to new sweets invite me;
Her shrill-mouthed choir sustain me with their flesh,
And with their polyphonian notes delight me :
But what 's the air or all the sweets that she
Can bless my soul withal, compared to Thee?
I love the Sea : she is
My careful purveyor; she provides me store :
She walls me round; she makes my diet greater ;
She wafts my treasure from a foreign shore :
But, Lord of oceans, when compared with Thee,
What is the ocean or her wealth to me?
To heaven's high city I direct my journey,
Whose spangled suburbs entertain mine eye ;
Mine eye, by contemplation's great attorney,
Transcends the crystal pavement of the sky :
But what is heaven, great God, compared to Thee?
Without Thy presence, heaven 's no heaven to me.
The highest honors that the world can boast
Are subjects far too low for my desire ;
The highest beams of glory are, at most,
But dying sparkles of Thy living fire :
The loudest flames that earth can kindle be
But nightly glowworms, if compared to Thee.
Without Thy presence, wealth is bags of cares;
Wisdom, but folly; joy, disquiet, - sadness;
Friendship is treason, and delights are snares ;
Pleasures but pain, and mirth but pleasing madness :
Without Thee, Lord, things be not what they be,
Nor have they being when compared with Thee.
In having all things, and not Thee, what have I?
Not having Thee, what have my labors got ?
Let me enjoy but Thee, what farther crave I?
And having Thee alone, what have I not ?
I wish nor sea nor land ; nor would I be
Possessed of heaven, heaven unpossessed of Thee.
HYMN OF APOLLO.- Shelley.
The sleepless Hours who watch me as I lie,
Curtained with star-inwoven tapestries, From the broad moonlight of the sky,
Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes, Waken me, when their Mother, the
Dawn, Tells them that dreams, and that the moon is gone.
Then I arise, and, climbing heaven's blue dome,
I walk over the mountains and the waves, Leaving my robe upon the ocean foam ;
My footsteps pave the clouds with fire; the caves
Are filled with my bright presence; and the air Leaves the green earth to my embraces bare.
The sunbeams are my shafts, with which I kill
Deceit, that loves the night and fears the day; All men who do or even imagine ill
Fly me, and from the glory of my ray Good minds and open actions take new might, Until diminished by the reign of night.
I feed the clouds, the rainbows, and the flowers
With their ethereal colors ; the moon's globe, And the pure stars in their eternal bowers,
Are cinctured with my power as with a robe ; Whatever lamps on earth or heaven may shine Are portions of one power, which is mine.
I stand at noon upon the peak of heaven,
Then with unwilling steps I wander down Into the clouds of the Atlantic even;
For grief that I depart, they weep and frown: What look is more delightful than the smile With which I soothe them from the western isle ?
I am the eye with which the Universe
Beholds itself, and knows itself divine;
All harmony of instrument or verse,
All prophecy, all medicine, are mine,
All light of art or nature ; - to my song
Victory and praise in their own right belong.