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Unshaded smites the summer sun,
Unchecked the winter blast;
With glances backward cast.
For thus our fathers testified—
The emptiness of human pride,
They dared not plant the grave with flowers,
Nor dress the funeral sod,
They left their dead with God.
The hard and thorny path they kept
From beauty turned aside;
The grace to life denied.
Yet still the wilding flowers would blow.
The golden leaves would fall, The seasons come, the seasons go,
And God be good to all.
Above the graves the blackberry hung
And harebells swung as if they rung
The beauty Nature loves to share,
The gifts she hath for all,
O'ercrept the graveyard's wall.
It knew the glow of eventide.
The sunrise and the noon, And glorified and sanctified
It slept beneath the moon.
THE OLD BURYING-GROUND. 363
With flowers or snow-flakes for its sod,
Around the seasons ran. And evermore the love of God
Rebuked the fear of man.
We dwell with fears on either hand,
Within a daily strife,
Before the gates of life.
The doubts we vainly seek to solve,
The truths we know, are one;
Around the Central Sun.
And if we reap as we have sown,
And take the dole we deal, The law of pain is love alone,
The wounding is to heal.
Unharmed from change to change we glide,
We fall as in our dreams; The far-off terror at our side
A smiling angel seems.
Secure on God's all-tender heart
Alike rest great and small; Why fear to lt>se our little part,
When he is pledged for all?
O fearful heart and troubled brain!
Take hope and strength from this,— That Nature never hints in vain,
Nor prophesies amiss.
Her wild birds sing the same sweet stave,
Her lights and airs are given Alike to playground and the grave;
And over both is Heaven.
THE PIPES AT LUCKNOW.
Pipes of the misty moorlands,
Voice of the glens and hills;
The treble of the rills 1
Nor the mountains dark with rain,
Have heard your sweetest strain 1
Dear to the Lowland reaper,
And plaided mountaineer,-— To the cottage and the castle
The Scottish pipes are dear;— Sweet sounds the ancient pibroch
O'er mountain, loch, and glade; But the sweetest of all music
The Pipes at Lucknow played.
Day by day the Indian tiger
Louder yelled, and nearer crept; Round and round the jungle-serpent
Near and nearer circles swept. "Pray for rescue, wives and mothers,—
Pray to-day !" the soldier said; "To-inorrow, death's between us
And the wrong and shame we dread."
Oh! they listened, looked, and waited,
Till their hope became despair; And the sobs of low bewailing
Filled the pauses of their prayer. Then up spake a Scottish maiden.
AVith her ear unto the ground: "Dinna ye hear it ?—dinna ye hear it?
The pipes o' Havelock sound 1"
THE PIPES AT LUCKNOW. 865
Hushed the wounded man his groaning;
Hushed the wife her little ones;
And the roar of Sepoy guns.
The Highland ear was true ;—
The mountain pipes she knew.
Like the march of soundless music
Through the vision of the seer, More of feeling than of hearing,
Of the heart than of the ear, She knew the droning pibroch,
She knew the Campbell's call: "Hark ! hear ye no' MacGregor's,—
The grandest o' them all!"
Oh ! they listened, dumb and breathless,
And they caught the sound at last; Faint and far beyond the Goomtee
Rose and fell the piper's blast! Then a burst of wild thanksgiving
Mingled woman's voice and man's; "God be praised !—the march of Havelock!
The piping of the clans!"
Louder, nearer, fierce as vengeance,
Sharp and shrill as swords at strife, Came the wild MacGregor's clan-call.
Stinging all the air to life. But when the far-off dust-cloud
To plaided legions grew, Full tenderly and blithsomely
The pipes of rescue blew!
Round the silver domes of Lucknow,
The air of Auld Lang Syne. O'er the cruel roll of war-drums
Rose that sweet and homelike strain; And the tartan clove the turban,
As the Goomtee cleaves the plain.
Dear to the corn-land reaper
And plaided mountaineer,— To the cottage and the castle
The piper's song is dear. Sweet sounds the Gaelic pibroch
J'er mountain, glen, and glade; But the sweetest of all music
The Pipes at Lucknow played I
I Mourn no more my vanished years:'
Beneath a tender rain,
My heart is young again.
The west winds blow, and, singing low,
The windows of my soul I throw
No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
The best of now and here.
I plough no more a desert land,
The manna dropping from God's hand