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TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AFTER
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able ev en to subdue all things unto Himself. Philippians iii. 21.
RED o'er the forest peers the setting sun,
The line of yellow light dies fast away That crown'd the eastern copse: and chill and dun
Falls on the moor the brief November day.
Now the tir'd hunter winds a parting note,
And Echo bids good-night from every glade ; Yet wait awhile, and see the calm leaves float
Each to his rest beneath their parent shade.
How like decaying life they seem to glide !
And yet no second spring have they in store, But where they fall forgotten to abide,
Is all their portion, and they ask no more.
Soon o'er their heads blithe April airs shall sing,
A thousand wild-flowers round them shall unfold, The green buds glisten in the dews of Spring,
And all be vernal rapture as of old.
Unconscious they in waste oblivion lie,
In all the world of busy life around
No drop, for them, of kindly influence found.
Man's portion is to die and rise again
Yet he complains, while these unmurmuring part With their sweet lives, as pure from sin and stain,
As his when Eden held his virgin heart.
And haply half unblam'd his murmuring voice
Might sound in heaven, were all his second life Only the first renew'd—the heathen's choice,
A round of listless joy and weary strife.
For dreary were this earth, if earth were all,
Though brighten'd oft by dear affection's kiss ; Who for the spangles wears the funeral pall ?
But catch a gleam beyond it, and 'tis bliss.
Heavy and dull this frame of limbs and heart,
Whether slow creeping on cold earth, or borne On lofty steed, or loftier prow, we dart
O’er wave or field : yet breezes laugh to scorn
Our puny speed, and birds, and clouds in heaven,
And fish, like living shafts that pierce the main, And stars that shoot through freezing air at even
Who but would follow, might he break his chain ?
And thou shalt break it soon ; the groveling worm
Shall find his wings, and soar as fast and free As his transfigur'd Lord with lightning form
And snowy vest—such grace He won for thee,
When from the
at dawn of morn, And led through boundless air thy conquering road, Leaving a glorious track, where saints new-born
Might fearless follow to their blest abode.
But first, by many a stern and fiery blast
The world's rude furnace must thy blood refine, And many a gale of keenest woe be pass'd,
Till every pulse beat true to airs divine,
Till every limb obey the mounting soul,
The mounting soul, the call by Jesus given. He who the stormy heart can so control
The laggard body soon will waft to heaven.
The heart knoweth his own bitterness, and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy. Proverbs xiv. 10.
WHY should we faint and fear to live alone,
Since all alone, so Heaven has will’d, we die a, Nor even the tenderest heart, and next our own,
Knows half the reasons why we smile and sigh?
Each in his hidden sphere of joy or woe
Our hermit spirits dwell, and range apart, Our eyes see all around in gloom or glow
Hues of their own, fresh borrow'd from the heart.
a Je mourrai seul. Pascal.
And well it is for us our God should feel
Alone our secret throbbings : so our prayer May readier spring to Heaven, nor spend its zeal
On cloud-born idols of this lower air.
For if one heart in perfect sympathy
Beat with another, answering love for love, Weak mortals, all entranc'd, on earth would lie, Nor listen for those
Or what if Heaven for once its searching light
Lent to some partial eye, disclosing all The rude bad thoughts, that in our bosom's night
Wander at large, nor heed Love's gentle thrall ?
Who would not shun the dreary uncouth place ?
As if, fond leaning where her infant slept, A mother's arm a serpent should embrace :
So might we friendless live, and die unwept.
Then keep the softening veil in mercy drawn,
Thou who canst love us, tho' Thou read us true; As on the bosom of th' aerial lawn
Melts in dim haze each coarse ungentle hue.