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[From The Christian Year.] THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT.

(The Christian Inheritance.)

See Lucifer like lightning fall,

Dashed from his throne of pride;
While, answering Thy victorious call,
The Saints his spoils divide;

This world of Thine, by him usurped too long,

Now opening all her stores to heal Thy servants' wrong.

So when the first-born of Thy foes

Dead in the darkness lay,

When Thy redeemed at midnight rose

And cast their bonds away,

The orphaned realm threw wide her gates, and told Into freed Israel's lap her jewels and her gold.

And when their wondrous march was o'er,
And they had won their homes,
Where Abraham fed his flock of yore,

Among their fathers' tombs ;

A land that drinks the rain of Heaven at will, Whose waters kiss the feet of many a vine-clad hill;

Oft as they watched, at thoughtful eve,
A gale from bowers of balm

Sweep o'er the billowy corn, and heave

The tresses of the palm,

Just as the lingering Sun had touched with gold, Far o'er the cedar shade, some tower of giants old;

It was a fearful joy, I ween,

To trace the Heathen's toil,

The limpid wells, the orchards green,

Left ready for the spoil,

The household stores untouched, the roses bright Wreathed o'er the cottage walls in garlands of delight.

And now another Canaan yields
To Thine all-conquering ark ;—
Fly from the 'old poetic' fields',
Ye Paynim shadows dark!
Immortal Greece, dear land of glorious lays,

Lo! here the 'unknown God' of thy unconscious praise!

The olive-wreath, the ivied wand,
'The sword in myrtles drest,'

Each legend of the shadowy strand
Now wakes a vision blest;

As little children lisp, and tell of Heaven,

So thoughts beyond their thought to those high Bards

were given.

And these are ours: Thy partial grace

The tempting treasure lends :

These relics of a guilty race

Are forfeit to Thy friends;

What seemed an idol hymn, now breathes of Thee,

Tuned by Faith's ear to some celestial melody.

There's not a strain to Memory dear,
Nor flower in classic grove,

There's not a sweet note warbled here,
But minds us of Thy Love,

O Lord, our Lord, and spoiler of our foes,

There is no light but Thine: with Thee all beauty glows.


(Balaam's Prophecy.)

O for a sculptor's hand,

That thou might'st take thy stand,

Thy wild hair floating on the eastern breeze,

Thy tranced yet open gaze

Fixed on the desert haze,

As one who deep in heaven some airy pageant sees.


Where each old poetic mountain

Inspiration breathed around. Gray.

2 See Burns's Works, i. 293. Dr. Currie's edition.

In outline dim and vast

Their fearful shadows cast

The giant forms of empires on their way

To ruin one by one

They tower and they are gone,

Yet in the Prophet's soul the dreams of avarice stay.

No sun or star so bright

In all the world of light

That they should draw to Heaven his downward eye:
He hears th' Almighty's word,

He sees the angel's sword,

Yet low upon the earth his heart and treasure lie.

Lo! from yon argent field,

To him and us revealed,

One gentle Star glides down, on earth to dwell.
Chained as they are below

Our eyes may see it glow,

And as it mounts again, may track its brightness well.

To him it glared afar,

A token of wild war,

The banner of his Lord's victorious wrath :

But close to us it gleams,

Its soothing lustre streams

Around our home's green walls, and on our church-way path.

We in the tents abide

Which he at distance eyed

Like goodly cedars by the waters spread,

While seven red altar-fires

Rose up in wavy spires,

Where on the mount he watched his sorceries dark and dread.

He watched till morning's ray

On lake and meadow lay,

And willow-shaded streams, that silent sweep

Around the bannered lines,

Where by their several signs

The desert-wearied tribes in sight of Canaan sleep.

He watched till knowledge came
Upon his soul like flame,

Not of those magic fires at random caught :
But true Prophetic light

Flashed o'er him, high and bright,

Flashed once, and died away, and left his darkened thought.

And can he choose but fear,

Who feels his God so near,

That when he fain would curse, his powerless tongue

In blessing only moves?—

Alas! the world he loves

Too close around his heart her tangling veil hath flung.

Sceptre and Star divine,

Who in Thine inmost shrine

Hast made us worshippers, O claim Thine own;

More than Thy seers we know--

O teach our love to grow

Up to Thy heavenly light, and reap what Thou has sown


(The Lilies of the Field.)

Sweet nurslings of the vernal skies,
Bathed in soft airs, and fed with dew,
What more than magic in you lies,
To fill the heart's fond view?
In childhood's sports, companions gay,
In sorrow, on Life's downward way,
How soothing! in our last decay
Memorials prompt and true.

Relics ye are of Eden's bowers,

As pure, as fragrant, and as fair,
As when ye crowned the sunshine hours
Of happy wanderers there.

Fall'n all beside-the world of life,
How is it stained with fear and strife!
In Reason's world what storms are rife,
What passions range and glare!


But cheerful and unchanged the while
Your first and perfect form ye show,
The same that won Eve's matron smile

In the world's opening glow.

The stars of heaven a course are taught
Too high above our human thought;
Ye may be found if ye are sought,
And as we gaze, we know.

Ye dwell beside our paths and homes,
Our paths of sin, our homes of sorrow,
And guilty man, where'er he roams,

Your innocent mirth may borrow.
The birds of air before us fleet,
They cannot brook our shame to meet-
But we may taste your solace sweet
And come again to-morrow.

Ye fearless in your nests abide

Nor may we scorn, too proudly wise,
Your silent lessons, undescried

By all but lowly eyes:

For ye could draw th' admiring gaze
Of Him who worlds and hearts surveys:
Your order wild, your fragrant maze,
He taught us how to prize.

Ye felt your Maker's smile that hour,

As when He paused and owned you good;

His blessing on earth's primal bower,

Ye felt it all renewed.

What care ye now, if winter's storm
Sweep ruthless o'er each silken form?
Christ's blessing at your heart is warm,
Ye fear no vexing mood.

Alas! of thousand bosoms kind,
That daily court you and caress,
How few the happy secret find
Of your calm loveliness!

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