Page images

Our hearths are altars all ;
The prayers of hungry souls and poor,
Like armed angels at the door,

Our unseen foes appal.

Alms all around and hymns within-
What evil eye can entrance win

Where guards like these abound?
If chance some heedless heart should roam,
Sure, thought of these will lure it home

Ere lost in Folly's round.

O joys, that sweetest in decay,
Fall not, like wither'd leaves, away,

But with the silent breath
Of violets drooping one by one,
Soon as their fragrant task is done,

Are wafted high in death!


He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High; which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open : I shall see him, but not now : I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall arise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. Numbers xxiv. 16, 17.

O FOR a sculptor's hand,

That thou might'st take thy stand,
Thy wild hair floating on the eastern breeze,

Thy tranc'd yet open gaze

Fix'd on the desert haze, As one who deep in heaven some airy pageant sees.

In outline dim and vast

Their fearful shadows cast
The giant forms of empires on their way

To ruin: one by one

They tower and they are gone, Yet in the Prophet's soul the dreams of avarice stay.

No sun or star so bright

In all the world of light That they should draw to heaven his downward eye:

He hears th’ Almighty's word,

He sees the angel's sword,
Yet low upon the earth his heart and treasure lie.

Lo from yon argent field,

To him and us reveald,
One gentle star glides down, on earth to dwell.

Chain'd as they are below

Our eyes may see it glow, And as it mounts again, may track its brightness well.

To him it glar'd afar,

A token of wild war,
The banner of his Lord's victorious wrath :

But close to us it gleams,

Its soothing lustre streams Around our home's green walls, and on our churchLike goodly cedars by the waters spread,

way path.

We in the tents abide Which he at distance eyed

While seven red altar-fires

Rose up in wavy spires, Where on the mount he watch'd his sorceries dark and


He watch'd till morning's ray

On lake and meadow lay,
And willow-shaded streams, that silent sweep

Around the banner'd lines,

Where by their several signs The desert-wearied tribes in sight of Canaan sleep.

He watch'd till knowledge came

Upon his soul like flame,
Not of those magic fires at random caught:

But true prophetic light

Flash'd o'er him, high and bright, Flash'd once, and died away, and left his darken’d


And can he choose but fear,

Who feels his God so near, That when he fain would curse, his powerless tongue In blessing only moves ?

Alas! the world he loves Too close around his heart her tangling veil hath flung.

Sceptre and Star divine,

Who in thine inmost shrine
Hast made us worshippers, 0 claim thine own;

More than thy seers we know

O teach our love to grow Up to thy heavenly light, and reap what Thou hast

so wn.


A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but when she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. St. John xvi. 21.




and feel
Why Autumn should be sad ;
But vernal airs should sorrow heal,

Spring should be gay and glad:

« PreviousContinue »