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'Live for to-day! to-morrow's light
ALL SAINTS' DAY.
Why blow'st thou not, thou wintry wind,
The fading chaplet of the year?
How quiet shews the woodland scene!
Like weary men when age is won,
Sure if our eyes were purged to trace
God's unseen armies hovering round, We should behold by angels' grace
The four strong winds of Heaven fast bound, Their downward sweep a moment stayed On ocean cove and forest glade, Till the last flower of autumn shed Her funeral odours on her dying bed.
So in Thine awful armoury, Lord,
The lightnings of the judgment-day Pause yet awhile, in mercy stored,
Till willing hearts wear quite away
Their earthly stains; and spotless shine
On every brow in light divine
The Cross by angel hands impressed,
The seal of glory won and pledge of promised rest.
Little they dream, those haughty souls
Whom empires own with bended knee,
Together linked by Heaven's decree ;-
Think ye the spires that glow so bright
In front of yonder setting sun,
No-where th' upholding grace is won,
From many a rural nook unthought of there, Rises for that proud world the saints' prevailing prayer.
On, Champions blest, in Jesus' name!
Short be your strife, your triumph full,
And, lightened of the world's misrule,
Your prayers and struggles o'er, your task all praise and joy
[From Lyra Apostolica.]
Tyre of the farther West! be thou too warned,
Whose eagle wings thine own green world o'erspread, Touching two Oceans: wherefore hast thou scorned
Thy fathers' God, O proud and full of bread?
Why lies the Cross unhonoured on thy ground
Thou bring it to be blessed where Saints and Angels haunt ?
The holy seed, by Heaven's peculiar grace,
Is rooted here and there in thy dark woods; But many a rank weed round it grows apace,
And Mammon builds beside thy mighty floods, O'ertopping Nature, braving Nature's God;
O while thou yet hast room, fair fruitful land, Ere war and want have stained thy virgin sod,
Mark thee a place on high, a glorious stand,
Whence Truth her sign may make o'er forest, lake, and strand.
Eastward, this hour, perchance thou turn'st thine ear,
Listening if haply with the surging sea, Blend sounds of Ruin from a land once dear
To thee and Heaven. O trying hour for thee! Tyre mocked when Salem fell; where now is Tyre?
Heaven was against her. Nations thick as waves, Burst o'er her walls, to Ocean doomed and fire:
And now the tideless water idly laves
Her towers, and lone sands heap her crowned merchants' graves.
FROM THE WATERFALL.'
Go where the waters fall,
Sheer from the mountain's height
Mark how a thousand streams in one,-
Now flashing to the sun,
Now still as beast in lair.
Now round the rock, now mounting o'er,
They rush and roar, they whirl and leap, Not wilder drives the wintry storm.
Yet a strong law they keep,
Strange powers their course inform.
Even so the mighty skyborn stream ;
All marred and broken seem,
Yet in dim caves they softly blend
One their unfailing Guide.
[HARTLEY COLERIDGE, son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, was born-19th September, 1796; died, 6th January, 1849. Besides some prose writings, we have Poems by Hartley Coleridge, vol. i. (all published) Leeds, 1833; Poems by Hartley Coleridge, with a Memoir of his Life by his Brother, 2 vols, 1851.]
Hartley Coleridge always classed himself among the small poets,' and it is true he was not born for great and splendid achievements; but there are some writers for whom our affection would be less if they were stronger, more daring, more successful; and Hartley Coleridge is one of these. We think of him as the visionary boy, whom his father likened to the moon among thin clouds, moving in a circle of his own light,—as the fairy voyager of Wordsworth's prophetic poem, whose boat seemed rather
To brood on air than on an earthly stream.'
We think of him as the elvish figure one might meet forty years later by Grasmere side, too soon an old man and white-haired, with now and then an expression of pain, a half-tone in his voice that betrayed some sense of incompleteness or failure, but with the full eye still bright and soft; the speech still rippling out fancy and play and wisdom; the heart, in spite of sorrow and the injuries of time, still as Wordsworth knew it,
'A young lamb's heart among the full-grown flocks.'
A great poet is a toiler, even when his toil is rapturous. Hartley Coleridge did not and perhaps could not toil. Good thoughts came to him as of free grace; gentle pleasures possessed his senses; loving-kindnesses flowed from his heart, and took as they flowed shadows and colours from his imagination; and all these mingled and grew mellow. And so a poet's moods expressed themselves in his verse; but he built no lofty rhyme. The sonnet, in which a thought and a feeling are wedded helpmates suited his genius; and of his many delightful sonnets some of the best are immediate transcripts of the passing mood of joy or pain. To see him brandishing his pen,' a friend has written, 'and now and then beating time with his foot, and breaking out into a shout at any felicitous idea, was a thing never to be forgotten. . . . His sonnets were all written instantaneously, and never, to my knowledge,