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THE DEATH OF STEPHEN. With awful dread his murderers shook,
As, radiant and serene, The lustre of his dying look
Was like an angel's seen; Or Moses' face of paly light,
When down the mount he trod, All glowing from the glorious sight
And presence of his God.
To us, with all his constancy,
Be his rapt vision given,
To look above by faith, and see
Revealments bright of heaven. And power to speak our triumphs out,
As our last hour draws near, While neither clouds of fear nor doubt
Before our view appear.
THE CHRISTMAS OFFERING.
We come not with a costly store,
O Lord, like them of old,
The masters of the starry lore,
From Ophir's shore of gold :
No weepings of the incense tree
Are with the gifts we bring,
No odorous myrrh of Araby
Blends with our offering.
But still our love would bring its best,
A spirit keenly tried
By fierce affliction's fiery test,
And seven times purified :
The fragrant graces of the mind,
The virtues that delight
To give their perfume out, will find
Acceptance in thy sight.
A MEMBER of the Society of Friends, and one of the most brilliant poets of the age, was born in 1808, at Haverhill, Massachusetts, where he now resides. A complete collection of his works has just been published in one large octavo volume, with illustrative engravings, by B. B. Mussey & Co. of Boston.
Blest land of Judca! thrice hallowed of song,
Where the holiest of memories pilgrim-like throng ;
In the shade of thy palms, by the shores of thy sea,
On the hills of thy beauty, my heart is with thee.
With the eye of a spirit I look on that shore,
Where pilgrim and prophet have lingered before
With the glide of a spirit I traverse the sod
Made bright by the steps of the angels of God.
Blue sea of the hills !—in my spirit I hear
Thy waters, Gennesaret, chime on my ear ;
Where the Lowly and Just with the people sat down,
And thy spray on the dust of His sandals was thrown.
Beyond are Bethulia's mountains of green,
And the desolate hills of the wild Gadarene ;
And I pause on the goat-crags of Tabor to see
The gleam of thy waters, O dark Galilee !
Hark, a sound in the valley! where, swollen and strong,
Thy river, O Kishon, is sweeping along;
Where the Canaanite strove with Jehovah in vain,
And thy torrent grew dark with the blood of the slain.
There, down from his mountains stern Zebulon came,
And Naphtali's stag, with his eyeballs of flame,
And the chariots of Jabin rolled harmlessly on,
For the arm of the Lord was Abingam's son!
There sleep the still rocks and the caverns which rang
To the song which the beautiful prophetess sang,
When the princes of Issachar stood by her side,
And the shout of a host in its triumph replied.
Lo, Bethlehem's hill-site before me is seen,
With the mountains around and the valleys between ;
There rested the shepherds of Judah, and there
The song of the angels rose sweet on the air.
And Bethany's palm-trees in beauty still throw
Their shadows at noon on the ruins below;
But where are the sisters who hastened to greet
The lowly Redeemer, and sit at his feet ?
I tread where the twelve in their wayfaring trod :
I stand where they stood with the chosen of God-
Where His blessings were heard and his lessons were taught,
Where the blind were restored and the healing was wrought.
O, here with His flock the sad Wanderer came-
These hills He toiled over in grief, are the same-
The founts where He drank by the wayside still flow,
And the same airs are blowing which breathed on his brow
And throned on her hills sits Jerusalem yet,
But with dust on her forehead, and chains on her feet;
For the crown of her pride to the mocker hath gone,
And the holy Shechinah is dark where it shone.
But wherefore this dream of the earthly abode
Of humanity clothed in the brightness of God?
Were my spirit but turned from the outward and dim,
It could gaze, even now, on the presence of Him!
Not in clouds and in terrors, but gentle as when,
In love and in meekness, He moved among men ;
And the voice which breathed peace to the waves of the sea,
In the hush of my spirit would whisper to me!
And what if my feet may not tread where He stood,
Nor my ears hear the dashing of Galilee's flood,
Nor my eyes see the cross which he bowed him to bear,
Nor my knees press Gethsemane's garden of prayer:
Yet, Loved of the Father, Thy Spirit is near
To the meek, and the lowly, and penitent here;
And the voice of thy love is the same even now,
As at Bethany's tomb, or on Olivet's brow.
0, the outward hath gone !—but, in glory and power,
The Spirit surviveth the things of an hour ;
Unchanged, undecaying, its Pentecost flame
On the heart's secret altar is burning the same!
MARY G- aged 18, a “Sister of Charity," died in one of our Atlantic cities, during the prevalence of the Indian Cholera, while in voluntary attendance on the sick.
“Bring out your dead!" the midnight street
Heard and gave back the hoarse, low call;
Harsh fell the tread of hasty feet ;
Glanced through the dark the coarse white sheet,
Her coffin and her pall.
“What! only one !" the brutal hackman said,
As, with an oath, he spurned away the dead.
How sunk the inmost hearts of all,
As rolled that dead-cart slowly by,
With creaking wheel and harsh hoof-fall !
The dying turned him to the wall,
To hear it and to die !
Onward it rolled ; while oft the driver stayed,
And hoarsely clamored, “Ho! bring out your dead.”
It paused beside the burial-place :
“Toss in your load !” and it was done.
With quick hand and averted face,
Hastily to the grave's embrace
They cast them, one by one-
Stranger and friend—the evil and the just,
Together trodden in the churchyard dust.
And thou, young martyr! thou wast there :
No white-robed sisters round thee trod,
Nor holy hymn, nor funeral prayer
Rose through the damp and noisome air,
Giving thee to thy God;
Nor flower, nor cross, nor hallowed taper gave
Grace to the dead, and beauty to the grave !
Yet, gentle sufferer, there shall be,
In every heart of kindly feeling,
A rite as holy paid to thee
As if beneath the convent-tree
Thy sisterhood were kneeling,
At vesper hours, like sorrowing angels, keeping
Their tearful watch around thy place of sleeping.
For thou wast one in whom the light
Of Heaven's own love was kindled well,
Enduring, with a martyr's might,
Through weary day and wakeful night,
Far more than words may tell :
Gentle, and meek, and lowly, and unknown,
Thy mercies measured by thy God alone !
Where manly hearts were failing, where
The throngful street grew foul with death, O, high-souled martyr! thou wast there, Inhaling from the loathsome air
Poison with every breath ; Yet shrinking not from offices of dread From the wrung dying and the unconscious dead.
And, where the sickly taper shed
Its light through vapors, damp, confined,
Hushed as a seraph's fell thy tread,
A new Electra by the bed
Of suffering humankind !
Pointing the spirit, in its dark dismay,
To that pure hope which fadeth not away.