Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

It has been said, and I believe,

Though tears of natural sorrow start, 'Tis mixed with pleasure when we grieve

For those the dearest to the heart,

From whom long-lived at length we part; As by a Christian's feelings led We lay them in their peaceful bed.

Yet speak I not of those who go

The allotted pilgrimage on earth, With earth-born passions grovelling low,

Enslaved to honor, avarice, mirth,

Unconscious of a nobler birth :
But such as tread with loftier scope
The Christian's path with Christian hope.

We grieve to think, that they again

Shall ne'er in this world's pleasure share: But sweet the thought, that this world's pain

No more is theirs; that this world's care

It is no more their lot to bear.
And surely in this scene below
The joy is balanced by the wo!

We grieve to see the lifeless form,

The livid cheek, the sunken eye: But sweet to think, corruption's worm

The living spirit can defy,

And claim its kindred with the sky.
Lo! where the earthen vessel lies !
Aloft the unbodied tenant flies.

We grieve to think, our eyes no more

That form, those features loved, shall trace: But sweet it is from memory's store . To call each fondly-cherished grace,

And fold them in the heart's embrace.
No bliss 'mid worldly crowds is bred,
Like musing on the sainted dead !

We grieve to see expired the race

They ran, intent on works of love :
But sweet to think, no mixture base,

Which with their better nature strove,

Shall mar their virtuous deeds above.
Sin o'er their soul has lost his hold,
And left them with their earthly mould !
We grieve to know, that we must roam

Apart from them each wonted spot :
But sweet to think, that they a home

Have gained, a fair and goodly lot,

Enduring, and that changeth not.
And who that home of freedom there
Will with this prison-house compare ?
'Tis grief to feel, that we behind,

Severed from those we love, remain :
”Tis joy to hope, that we shall find,

Exempt from sorrow, fear, and pain,

With them our dwelling-place again.
*Tis but like them to sink to rest,
With them to waken and be blessed.
O Thou, who form'st thy creature's mind

With thoughts that chasten and that cheer,
Grant me to fill my space assigned

For sojourning a stranger here

With holy hope and filial fear :
Fear to be banished far from Thee,
And hope thy face unveiled to see!
There, before Thee, the Great, the Good,

By angel myriads compassed round,
“ Made perfect” by the Saviour's blood,

With virtue clothed, with honor crowned,

“ The spirits of the just” are found : There tears no more of sorrow start,

Pain flies the unmolested heart, And life in bliss unites whom death no more shall part. TRUE KNOWLEDGE. What is true knowledge ?-Is it with keen eye

Of lucre's sons to thread the mazy way?

Is it of civic rights, and royal sway,
And wealth political, the depths to try ?

Is it to delve the earth, or soar the sky;
To marshal nature's tribes in just array ;

To mix, and analyze, and mete, and weigh
Her elements, and all her powers descry?
These things, who will may know them, if to know

Breed not vain-glory: but o'er all to scan
God, in his works and word shown forth below;

Creation's wonders; and Redemption's plan; Whence came we; what to do; and whither go:

This is true knowledge, and “the whole of man.”

THE LORD'S DAY.
Hail to the day, which He, who made the heaven,

Earth, and their armies, sanctified and blessed,

Perpetual memory of the Maker's rest! Hail to the day, when He, by whom was given New life to man, the tomb asunder riven,

Arose! That day his Church hath still confessed,

At once Creation's and Redemption's feast, Sign of a world called forth, a world forgiven. Welcome that day, the day of holy peace,

The Lord's own day! to man's Creator owed, And man's Redeemer; for the soul's increase

In sanctity, and sweet repose bestowed ; Type of the rest when sin and care shall cease,

The rest remaining for the loved of God !

THE HOUSE OF GOD.
It is the Sabbath bell, which calls to prayer,

Even to the House of God, the hallowed dome,

Where He who claims it bids his people come To bow before his throne, and serve Him there

With prayers, and thanks, and praises. Some there are

Who hold it meet to linger now at home,

And some o'er fields and the wide hills to roam, And worship in the temple of the air ! For me, not heedless of the lone address,

Nor slack to greet my Maker on the height, By wood, or living stream ; yet not the less

Seek I his presence in each social rite Of his own temple : that He deigns to bless,

There still He dwells, and there is his delight.

THE VILLAGE CHURCH.

Dear is the ancient village church, which rears

By the lone yew, on lime or elm-girt mound,

Its modest fabric : dear, 'mid pleasant sound Of bells, the gray embattled tower, that wears, Of changeful hue, the marks of bygone years ;

Buttress, and porch, and arch with mazy round

Of curious fret or shapes fantastic crowned ;
Tall pinnacles, and mingled window-tiers,
Norman, or misnamed Gothic. Fairer spot
Thou givest not, England, to the tasteful eye,
Nor to the heart more soothing. Blest their lot,

Knew they their bliss, who own, their dwelling nigh, Such resting-place; there, by the world forgot,

In life to worship, and, when dead, to lie!

THE CHURCH BELLS.

What varying sounds from yon gray pinnacles

Sweep o'er the ear, and claim the heart's reply!

Now the blithe peal of home festivity,
Natal or nuptial, in full concert swells :
Now the brisk chime, or voice of altered bells,

Speaks the due hour of social worship nigh:

And now the last stage of mortality
The deep dull toll with lingering warning tells.

How much of human life those sounds comprise ;

Birth, wedded love, God's service, and the tomb! Heard not in vain, if thence kind feelings rise,

Such as befit our being, free from gloom Monastic,-prayer that communes with the skies,

And musings mindful of the final doom.

SOCIAL WORSHIP.

There is a joy, which angels well may prize :

To see, and hear, and aid God's worship, when

Unnumbered tongues, a host of Christian men, Youths, matrons, maidens, join. Their sounds arise, “Like many waters ;” now glad symphonies

Of thanks and glory to our God; and then,

Seal of the social prayer, the loud Amen, Faith's common pledge, contrition's mingled cries. Thus, when the Church of Christ was hale and young,

She called on God, one spirit and one voice ; Thus from corruption cleansed, with health new strung,

Her sons she nurtured. Oh! be theirs, by choice, What duty bids, to worship, heart and tongue ;

At once to pray, at once in God rejoice!

PRAYER.

Ere the morning's busy ray
Call you to your work away;
Ere the silent evening close
Your wearied eyes in sweet repose,
To lift your heart and voice in prayer
Be your first and latest care.

He, to whom the prayer is due,
From heaven his throne shall smile on you ;
Angels sent by Him shall tend,
Your daily labor to befriend,
And their nightly vigils keep
To guard you in the hour of sleep.

« НазадПродовжити »