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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 :
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.
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.
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.
We grieve to see expired the race
They ran, intent on works of love :
Which with their better nature strove,
Shall mar their virtuous deeds above.
Apart from them each wonted spot :
Have gained, a fair and goodly lot,
Enduring, and that changeth not.
Severed from those we love, remain :
Exempt from sorrow, fear, and pain,
With them our dwelling-place again.
With thoughts that chasten and that cheer,
For sojourning a stranger here
With holy hope and filial fear :
By angel myriads compassed round,
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,
Is it to delve the earth, or soar the sky;
To mix, and analyze, and mete, and weigh
Breed not vain-glory: but o'er all to scan
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.
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.
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 ;
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,
Speaks the due hour of social worship nigh:
And now the last stage of mortality
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.
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!
Ere the morning's busy ray
He, to whom the prayer is due,