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THE POOR BLIND MAN.
THE POOR BLIND MAN OF SALISBURY
CATHEDRAL. THERE is a poor blind man, who, every day, In frost or snow, in sunshine or in rain, Duly as tolls the bell to the high fane, Explores with faltering footsteps his dark way, To kneel before his Maker, and to hear The chanted service pealing full and clear. Ask why, alone, in the same spot he kneels Through the long year? Oh, the wide world is
cold As dark to him : here he no longer feels His sad bereavement-faith and hope uphold His heart; he feels not he is poor and blind, Amid th' unpitying tumult of mankind : His soul is in the choir above the skies, And songs far off of angel companies. Oh happy, if the rich, the vain, the proud, The pageant actors of the motley crowd, Since life is “a poor play’r,” our days a span, Would learn one lesson from this poor blind man.
RURAL SIGHTS AND SOUNDS.
Youth repairs His wasted spirits quickly, by long toil Incurring short fatigue; and though our years, As life declines, speed rapidly away, And not a year but pilfers as he goes Some youthful grace that age would gladly keep, A tooth or auburn lock, and by degrees Their length and colour from the locks they spare, The elastic spring of an unwearied foot That mounts the stile with ease, or leaps the fence, That play of lungs inhaling and again Respiring freely the fresh air, that makes Swift pace or steep ascent no toil to me; Mine have not pilfer'd yet; nor yet impair’d My relish of fair prospect; scenes that sooth'd Or charm’d me young, no longer young I find Still soothing, and of power to charm me still. And witness, dear companion of my walks, Whose arm this twentieth winter I perceive Fast lock'd in mine, with pleasure such as love, Confirm’d by long experience of thy worth And well-tried virtues, could alone inspire, Witness a joy that thou hast doubled long. Thou know'st my praise of nature most sincere, And that my raptures are not conjured up To serve occasions of poetic pomp, But genuine, and art partner of them all. How oft upon yon eminence our pace
152 RURAL SIGHTS AND SOUNDS.
Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds Exhilarate the spirit, and restore The tone of languid nature. Mighty winds, That sweep the skirt of some far-spreading wood RURAL SIGHTS AND SOUNDS.
Of ancient growth, make music not unlike
And in the sunny sky;
CHILDREN'S GLEE. By the low voice of summer seas,
And where streams murmur by.
Of voices that I love;
And in a leafless grove :
Of solitary thought,
And reasonings self-taught.
As in the soul's deep joy,
Through every day's employ.
And lift our hopes too high :
The Indian children, with what glee
Not more refreshment brings,