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He who governs the creation,
Yet we mark it not;-fruits redden,
Be thou wiser, youthful Maiden !
Now, even now, ere wrapped in slumber, Fix thine eyes upon the sea
That absorbs time, space, and number; Look thou to Eternity!
Follow thou the flowing river
Through the year's successive portals ; Through the bounds which many a star Marks, not mindless of frail mortals, When his light returns from far.
Thus when thou with Time hast travelled
Think, if thou on beauty leanest,
Duty, like a strict preceptor, Sometimes frowns, or seems to frown; Choose her thistle for thy sceptre, While youth's roses are thy crown.
Grasp it,-if thou shrink and tremble,
And ensures those palms of honour Which selected spirits wear, Bending low before the Donor, Lord of heaven's unchanging year!
That Cross belike he also raised as a standard for It came with sleep and showed the Boy, no cherub, not transformed,
And faithful service of his heart in the worst that But the poor ragged Thing whose ways my human might ensue heart had warmed.
Of hardship and distressful fear, amid the houseless
Where he, in his poor self so weak, by Providence was placed.
Me had the dream equipped with wings, so I took him in my arms,
And lifted from the grassy floor, stilling his faint alarms,
bore him high through yielding air my debt of love to pay,
With this dear holy shepherd-boy breathe a prayer By giving him, for both our sakes, an hour of
of earnest heart,
That unto him, where'er shall lie his life's appointed
-Here, Lady! might I cease; but nay, let us before we part
The Cross, fixed in his soul, may prove an allsufficing stay.
THE POET'S DREAM,
SEQUEL TO THE NORMAN BOY.
JUST as those final words were penned, the sun broke out in power,
And gladdened all things; but, as chanced, within that very hour,
Air blackened, thunder growled, fire flashed from clouds that hid the sky,
And, for the Subject of my Verse, I heaved a pensive sigh.
Nor could my heart by second thoughts from heaviness be cleared,
For bodied forth before my eyes the cross-crowned hut appeared;
And, while around it storm as fierce seemed troubling earth and air,
saw, within, the Norman Boy kneeling alone in
How beautiful is holiness!-what wonder if the sight,
I whispered, "Yet a little while, dear Child! thou art my own,
To show thee some delightful thing, in country or in town.
What shall it be? a mirthful throng? or that holy place and calm
The Child, as if the thunder's voice spake with articulate call,
Bowed meekly in submissive fear, before the Lord of All;
His lips were moving; and his eyes, upraised to
sue for grace,
With soft illumination cheered the dimness of that
St. Denis, filled with royal tombs, or the Church of
"St. Ouen's golden Shrine? Or choose what else would please thee most
Of any wonder Normandy, or all proud France, can boast!"
"My Mother," said the Boy, "was born near to a blessed Tree,
The Chapel Oak of Allonville; good Angel, show it me !"
On wings, from broad and stedfast poise let loose by this reply,
For Allonville, o'er down and dale, away then did we fly;
O'er town and tower we flew, and fields in May's fresh verdure drest;
The wings they did not flag; the Child, though grave, was not deprest.
But who shall show, to waking sense, the gleam of light that broke
Forth from his eyes, when first the Boy looked down on that huge oak,
For length of days so much revered, so famous where it stands
For twofold hallowing-Nature's care, and work of human hands?
Strong as an Eagle with my charge I glided round
The wide-spread boughs, for view of door, window, and stair that wound
POEMS REFERRING TO THE PERIOD OF CHILDHOOD.
Gracefully up the gnarled trunk; nor left we unsurveyed
The pointed steeple peering forth from the centre of the shade.
I lighted-opened with soft touch the chapel's iron door,
From floor to roof all round his eyes the Child with wonder cast,
Pleasure on pleasure crowded in, each livelier than the last.
"God for his service needeth not proud work of human skill;
Past softly, leading in the Boy; and, while from They please him best who labour most to do in
roof to floor
peace his will :
So let us strive to live, and to our Spirits will be given
Such wings as, when our Saviour calls, shall bear us up to heaven."
For, deftly framed within the trunk, the sanctuary The Boy no answer made by words, but, so earnest was his look,
By light of lamp and precious stones, that glimmered Sleep fled, and with it fled the dream-recorded in here, there glowed,
"Hither the Afflicted come, as thou hast heard thy Mother say,
And, kneeling, supplication make to our Lady de
What mournful sighs have here been heard, and,
Shrine, Altar, Image, Offerings hung in sign of
Lest all that passed should melt away in silence from my mind,
Sight that inspired accordant thoughts; and speech As visions still more bright have done, and left no I thus renewed:
"Poor Shepherd of the naked Down, a favoured lot is thine,
Far happier lot, dear Boy, than brings full many to this shrine;
From body pains and pains of soul thou needest no release,
Thy hours as they flow on are spent, if not in joy, in peace.
He sees the bending multitude, he hears the choral rites,
"Then offer up thy heart to God in thankfulness and praise,
Yet not the less, in children's hymns and lonely prayer, delights.
Give to Him prayers, and many thoughts, in thy most busy days;
And in His sight the fragile Cross, on thy small hut, will be
Holy as that which long hath crowned the Chapel of this Tree;
"Holy as that far seen which crowns the sumptuous Church in Rome
Where thousands meet to worship God under a
But oh that Country-man of thine, whose eye,
A pledge of endless bliss in acts of early piety,
Nor leave untold our happy flight in that
Alas the dream, to thee, poor Boy! to thee from whom it flowed,
Was nothing, scarcely can be aught, yet 'twas bounteously bestowed,
If I may dare to cherish hope that gentle eyes will
Not loth, and listening Little-ones, heart-touched, their fancies feed.
THE WESTMORELAND GIRL
TO MY GRANDCHILDREN,
SEEK who will delight in fable
* See note.