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It seem'd like Sacrilege to break
Those Meditations deep; Those Glorious Dreams of Happiness,
From thoughts profound and sweet.
Yet would my shadow on the wall
Oft catch his eyesight dim;
He bade me enter in.
Then he would talk of Shakespeare,
And of the works sublime; Of Plato, Aristotle, Milton,
Colossi for all Time.
Anon, my Faith was strengthened
'Gainst sceptic doubts and fears, When in the simplest language,
His eyes suffused with tears,
He told how God had kept him
Through many an evil hour, When Satan hurled about him
The vigours of his power.
And how a sweet Communion,
A sacred, holy Joy ;
A Bliss without alloy,
Had long been his through Trust in Him,
So often light esteemed ; Who from all base and worldly thoughts
His heart had gently weaned:
And knit His Presence there instead
With binding cords of love,
Of perfect Life above.
Thus far removed from busy Towns,
From turmoil, vice, and din, He lived amid the Country fields
A life that few can win.
He breathed the Air so fresh and pure
From meadow, moor, and lea ; He heard the Throstle pipe its song
With voice of melody.
All Nature was his Open Book,
And spoke to him of God;
And in the dewy sod.
He heard Him in the rustling breeze,
The thunder and the rain,
And desolate the Plain.
And thus he shrined Him in his heart,
And every Day drew nigh
Eternal in the Sky.
The original of this poem is Mr. William Bogg, of Brawby. He was formerly Assistant-Master in Rochester Cathedral School, and afterwards at the Grammar School, York; then with a Mr. Naggs, a well-known and respected Master of a School at Scarborough; and, finally, for a short time he took charge of the Brawby School previous to its coming under Government Inspection. The old gentleman is hale and hearty, though ninety years old, and, with the exception of Hearing, has the use of all his Faculties. He is a sincere Christian, and I would there were many such. He is a splendid Greek and Latin scholar, and is fond of Reading and Translating his favourite Authors in these Languages. He also loves to make Copies Engravings, and with a common blacklead pencil can wonderfully imitate them. The Bible and the Poetry of British Bards are also beloved by him. I often go and have a chat with him, writing down on a slate what I wish to say. This Poem was composed at Brawby, March 8-13, 1886, since which time Mr. Bogg has diedSeptember 23, 1893, aged ninety-one. I happened to be at Babbacombe at the time having my Holidays.
SNOWDROPS, with your Snow-white Bells,
All nodding in the Wind;
Thy fairy forms we find !
While yet the keen, cold wintry Gale
Re-echoes wild and shrill,
And barren lonely Hill.
Each speaking of returning Spring,
And death of Winter keen;
Fresh growing by the Hawthorn Hedge,
Bright clust'ring in a row; Thou dost its dark brown colour edge,
With line of virgin snow.
Sweet peeping by the Cottage Door,
Or in God's Acre lone,
Known only by a stone.
Fair Emblem of a Life to come!
A Life of joy and love, When these our Earthly Days are done,
In the Sunshine of God's Love.
Dear Snow-flowers of our Youth,
Would we were Pure as thou ! Then Innocence with Love and Truth
Would smile upon our brow.
INSCRIPTION FOR A DIAL.
Vita similis est umbrae
Supra horologium conjecta ;
Ecce umbra est fugita !
LIFE is like the Shadow
Upon a Dial thrown;
Behold, the Shadow's flown!
Composed about the year 1888, and translated for me into atin by dear old Mr. William Bogg, who was then alive.
ONE wild, rough day in March,
When winds piped loud and long,
To listen to their Song ;
As roared the Tempest by ;