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TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
The dreary sounds of crowded earth,
The cries of camp or town,
Never untuned his lonely mirth,
Nor drew his visions down.
The snow-clad peaks of rosy light
That meet his morning view,
The thwarting cliffs that bound his sight,
They bound his fancy too.
Two ways alone his roving eye
For age may onward go,
Or in the azure deep on high,
Or darksome mere below.
O blessed restraint! more blesséd range!
Too soon the happy child
His nook of homely thought will change
For life's seducing wild:
Too soon his altered day-dreams show
This earth a boundless space,
With sun-bright pleasures to and fro
Sporting in joyous race:
While of his narrowing heart each year
Heaven less and less will fill,
Less keenly through his grosser ear
The tones of mercy thrill.
It must be so; else wherefore falls
The Saviour's voice unheard,
While from his pardoning cross he calls,
"O, spare, as I have spared?"
By our own niggard rule we try
The hope to suppliants given;
We mete out love, as if our eye
Saw to the end of heaven.
Yes, ransomed sinner! wouldst thou know
How often to forgive,
How dearly to embrace thy foe,
Look where thou hop'st to live:
When thou hast told those isles of light,
And fancied all beyond,
Whatever owns, in depth or height,
Creation's wondrous bond;
Then in their solemn pageant learn
Sweet mercy's praise to see;
Their Lord resigned them all, to earn
The bliss of pardoning thee.
THE BEGGAR.-J. R. Lowell.
A BEGGAR through the world am I,
From place to place I wander by;
Fill up my pilgrim's scrip for me,
For Christ's sweet sake and charity!
A little of thy steadfastness,
Rounded with leafy gracefulness,
Old oak, give me,
That the world's blasts may round me blow,
And I yield gently to and fro,
While my stout-hearted trunk below,
And firm-set roots, unmovéd be.
Some of thy stern, unyielding might,
Enduring still through day and night
Rude tempest-shock and withering blight,-
That I may keep at bay
The changeful April sky of chance,
And the strong tide of circumstance,
Give me, old granite gray.
Some of thy mournfulness serene,
Some of thy never-dying green,
Put in this scrip of mine, -
That grief may fall like snow-flakes light,
And deck me in a robe of white,
Ready to be an angel bright, -
O sweetly mournful pine.
A little of thy merriment,
Of thy sparkling, light content,
Give me, my cheerful brook,
That I may still be full of glee
And gladsomeness, where'er I be,
Though fickle fate hath prisoned me
In some neglected nook.
Ye have been very kind and good
To me, since I have been in the wood;
Ye have gone nigh to fill my heart;
But good-by, kind friends, every one,
I've far to go ere set of sun;
Of all good things I would have part,
The day was high ere I could start,
And so my journey 's scarce begun.
Heaven help me! how could I forget
To beg of thee, dear violet!
Some of thy modesty,
That flowers here as well, unseen,
As if before the world thou 'dst been,
O, give, to strengthen me.
ODE TO DUTY. — Wordsworth.
STERN daughter of the voice of God!
O Duty! if that name thou love,
Who art a light to guide, a rod
To check the erring, and reprove
Thou, who art victory and law
When empty terrors overawe,
From vain temptations dost set free,
And calm'st the weary strife of frail humanity!
There are who ask not if thine eye
Be on them; who, in love and truth,
Where no misgiving is, rely
Upon the genial sense of youth;
Glad hearts! without reproach or blot;
Who do thy work and know it not;
Long may the kindly impulse last!
But thou, if they should totter, teach them to stand
Serene will be our days and bright,
And happy will our nature be,
When love is an unerring light,
And joy its own security.
And they a blissful course may hold,
Even now, who, not unwisely bold,
Live in the spirit of this creed;
Yet find that other strength, according to their need.
I, loving freedom, and untried,
No sport of every random gust,
Yet being to myself a guide,
Too blindly have reposed my trust;
And oft, when in my heart was heard
Thy timely mandate, I deferred
The task, in smoother walks to stray;
But thee I now would serve more strictly, if I
Through no disturbance of my soul,
Or strong compunction in ine wrought,
I supplicate for thy control;
But in the quietness of thought:
Me this unchartered freedom tires;
I feel the weight of chance desires :
My hopes no more must change their name,
I long for a repose that ever is the same.
Stern Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear
The Godhead's most benignant grace;
Nor know we anything so fair
As is the smile upon thy face;
Flowers laugh before thee on their beds;
And Fragrance in thy footing treads;
Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong;
And the most ancient heavens, through thee, are
fresh and strong.
To humbler functions, awful Power!
I call thee; I myself commend
Unto thy guidance, from this hour;
O, let my weakness have an end!
Give unto me, made lowly, wise,
The spirit of self-sacrifice;
The confidence of reason give;
And in the light of truth thy bondman let me live!