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Console, instruct, encourage, sooth, assist ;
O Health ! thou sun of life, without whose beam The fairest scenes of nature seem involved In darkness, shine upon my dreary path Once more ; or, with thy faintest dawn, give hope, That I may yet enjoy thy vital ray! Though transient be the hope, 'twill be most sweet, Like midnight music, stealing on the ear, Then gliding past, and dying slow away. Music! thou soothing power, thy charm is proved Most vividly when clouds o'ercast the soul ;So light its loveliest effect displays In lowering skies, when through the murky rack A slanting sunbeam shoots, and instant limns The etherial curve of seven harmonious dyes, Eliciting a splendour from the gloom : O Music! still vouchsafe to tranquillize This breast perturbed ; thy voice, though mourn
ful, sooths; And mournful aye are thy most beauteous lays, Like fall of blossoms from the orchard boughs, The autumn of the spring. Enchanting power ! Who, by the airy spell, canst whirl the mind Far from the busy haunts of men, to vales Where TWEED or YARROW flows; or, spurning
time, Recall red FLODDEN field ; or suddenly Transport, with altered strain, the deafened ear To LINDEX's plain!—But what the pastoral lay, The melting dirge, the battle's trumpet-peal, Compared to notes with sacred numbers linked
In union, solemn, grand! O then the spirit,
Blest be the female votaries, whose days No Sabbath of their pious labours prove, Whose lives are consecrated to the toil Of ministering around the uncurtained couch Of pain and poverty! Blest be the hands, The lovely hands, (for beauty, youth, and grace, Are oft concealed by Pity's closest veil), That mix the cup medicinal, that bind The wounds, which ruthless warfare and disease Have to the loathsome lazar-house consigned.
Fierce Superstition of the mitred king! Almost I could forget thy torch and stake, When I this blessed sisterhood survey, Compassion's priestesses, disciples true Of Him, whose touch was health, whose single word Electrified with life the palsied arm,Of him who said, Take up thy bed and walk,Of him who cried to Lazarus, Come forth.
And he who cried to Lazarus, Come forth,
How grateful 'tis to recollect the time
A SPRING SABBATH WALK.
Most earnest was his voice ! most mild his look,
*“ So, when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith unto him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third tiine, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things ; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep."-John xxi. 15–17.
What tho' the clouds oft lower! Their threats but
end In sunny showers, that scarcely fill the folds Of moss-couched violet, or interrupt The merle’s dulcet pipe,-melodious bird ! He, hid behind the milk-white sloe-thorn spray, (Whose early flowers anticipate the leaf,) Welcomes the time of buds, the infant year.
Sweet is the sunny nook, to which my steps Have brought me, hardly conscious where I roamed, Unheeding where,—so lovely all around, The works of God, arrayed in vernal smile.
Oft at this season, musing, I prolong My devious range, till, sunk from view, the sun Emblaze, with upward-slanting ray, the breast And wing unquivering of the wheeling lark, Descending, vocal, from her latest flight; While, disregardful of yon lonely star,The harbinger of chill night's glittering host,Sweet Redbreast, Scotia's Philomela, chants, In desultory strains, his evening hymn.
A SUMMER SABBATH WALK.
DELIGHTFUL is this loneliness! it calms