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She foremost glides of all the minstrel band :
Moveless he stands; then grasps his hilt still red
With hostile gore, but, shuddering, quits the hold ;
And clasps in agony his hands, and cries,
“Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me low.".
The timbrel at her rooted feet resounds.
DEEP was the furrow in the royal brow,
When David's hand, lightly as vernal gales
Rippling the brook of Kedron, skimmed the lyre :
He sung of JACOB's youngest born,—the child
Of his old age,-sold to the Ishmaelite ;
His exaltation to the second power
In PHARAOH's realm: his brethren thither sent ;
Suppliant they stood before his face, well known,
Unknowing,—till Joseph fell upon the neck
Of BENJAMIN, his mother's son, and wept.
Unconsciously the warlike shepherd paused ;
But when he saw, down the yet quivering string,
The tear-drop trembling glide, abashed, he checked,
Indignant at himself, the bursting flood,
And, with a sweep impetuous, struck the chords :
From side to side his hands transversely glance,
Like lightning 'thwart a stormy sea ; his voice
Arises 'mid the clang, and straightway calms
The harmonious tempest, to a solemn swell
Majestical, triumphant; for he sings
Of Arad's mighty host by Israel's arm
Subdued ; of Israel through the desert led,
He sings; of him who was their leader, called
By God himself, from keeping JETHRO's flock,
To be a ruler o'er the chosen race.
Kindles the eye of SAUL; his arm is poized ;-
Harmless the javelin quivers in the wall.
SORE was the famine throughout all the bounds
Of Israel, when ELIJAH, by command
Of God, journeyed to Cherith's failing brook.
No rain-drops fall, no dew-fraught cloud, at morn,
Or closing eve, creeps slowly up the vale ;
The withering herbage dies ; among the palms
The shrivelled leaves send to the summer gale
An autumn rustle ; no sweet songster's lay
Is warbled from the branches ; scarce is heard
The rill's faint brawl. The prophet looks around,
And trusts in God, and lays his silvered head
Upon the flowerless bank; serene he sleeps,
Nor wakes till dawning: then with hands enclasped,
And heavenward face, and eyelids closed, he prays
To Him who manna on the desert showered,
To Him who from the rock made fountains gush :
Entranced the man of God remains, till, roused
By sound of wheeling wings, with grateful heart,
He sees the ravens fearless by his side
Alight, and leave the heaven-provided food.
THE BIRTH OF JESUS ANNOUNCED.
DEEP was the midnight silence in the fields
Of Bethlehem ; hushed the folds ; save that at
times Was heard the lamb's faint bleat; the shepherds,
stretched On the green sward, surveyed the starry vault. The heavens declare the glory of the Lord, The firmament shews forth thy handy work : Thus they, their hearts attuned to the Most High;When suddenly a splendid cloud appeared, As if a portion of the milky-way Descended slowly in the spiral course. Near and more near it draws; then, hovering, floats High as the soar of eagle, shedding bright, Upon the folded flocks, a heavenly radiance, From whence was uttered loud, yet sweet, a voice, Fear not, I bring good tidings of great joy ; For unto you is born this day a Saviour ! And this shall be a sign to you,—the babe, Laid lowly in a manger, ye shall find.The angel spake ; when, lo ! upon the cloud, A multitude of Seraphim, enthroned, Sang praises, saying, -Glory to the Lord On high ; on earth be peace, good-will to men. With sweet response harmoniously they choired, And while, with heavenly harmony, the song Arose to God, more bright the buoyant throne Illumed the land : the prowling lion stops, Awe-struck, with mane upreared, and flattened
head; And, without turning, backward on his steps
Recoils, aghast, into the desert gloom.
A trembling joy the astonished shepherds prove,
As heavenward re-ascends the vocal blaze
Triumphantly ; while by degrees the strain
Dies on the ear,
that self-deluded listens,— As if a sound so sweet could never die.
BEHOLD MY MOTHER AND MY
WHO is my mother, or my brethren ?
He spake, and looked on them who sat around,
With a meek smile, of pity blent with love,
More melting than e'er gleamed from human face,-
As when a sunbeam, through a summer shower,
Shines mildly on a little hill-side flock;
And with what look of love he said, Behold
My mother and my brethren ; for I say,
That whosoe'er shall do the will of God,
He is my brother, sister, mother, all.
BARTIMEUS RESTORED TO SIGHT. BLIND, poor, and helpless BARTIMEUS sat, Listening the foot of the wayfaring man, Still hoping that the next, and still the next, Would put an alms into his trembling hand. He thinks he hears the coming breeze faint rustle Among the sycamores ; it is the tread Of thousand steps ; it is the hum of tongues
Innumerable: but when the sightless man
Heard that the Nazarene was passing by,
He cried, and said, “ Jesus, thou son of David,
Have mercy upon me !" and, when rebuked,
He cried the more, “ Have mercy upon me!"
Thy faith hath made thee whole ; so JESUS spake,
And straight the blind BEHELD THE FACE OF
LITTLE CHILDREN BROUGHT TO
JESUS. SUFFER that little children come to me, Forbid them not. Emboldened by his words, The mothers onward press ; but, finding vain The attempt to reach the Lord, they trust their
babes To strangers' hands : the innocents alarmed Amid the throng of faces all unknown, Shrink, trembling till their wandering eyes dis
The countenance of Jesus, beaming love
And pity; eager then they stretch their arms,
And, cowering, lay their heads upon his breast.
THE roaring tumult of the billowed sea
Awakes him not: high on the crested surge,
Now heaved, his locks flow streaming in the blast :