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Till the Israelite sword
In their bosoms was gored But they knew not Elisha,
They knew not their doom.
Those, those were the triumphs
Of Israel of old !
And those were the shepherds,
Who guarded the fold.
But the Leopard was loose
From his thicket again, And the flock of the chosen
Was scatter'd and slain. Yet visions are rising Mysterious and grand;
The trumpet shall sound,
And thy dead be unbound. For the night is far spent,
And the day is at hand !
UNDER a spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands ; The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black, and long;
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat;
He earns whate'er he can;
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.
Week in, week out from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.
And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing floor.
He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys ;
He hears the parson pray and preach ;
He hears his daughter's voice
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother's voice
Singing in Paradise !
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies ;
And with his hard rough hand he wipes
A tear from off his eyes.
Onward through life he goes ;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees its close:
Something attempted,-something done,-
Has earn'd a night's repose.
Thanks, thanks, to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught !
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought ;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought !
FOLLY OF ATTEMPTING TO PLEASE ALL
ONCE on a time, a son and sire, we're told,
The stripling tender, and the father old,
Purchased a jackass at a country fair,
To ease their limbs, and hawk about their ware:
FOLLY OF ATTEMPTING TO PLEASE ALL MANKIND. 289
But as the sluggish animal was weak,
They feared, if both should mount, his back would break.
Up gets the boy, the father leads the ass, .
And through the gazing crowd attempts to pass.
Forth from the throng the grey-beards hobble dut,
And hail the cavalcade with feeble shout,
“ This the respect to reverend age you show,
And this the duty you to parents owe?
He beats the hoof, and you are set astride!
Sirrah! get down and let your father ride."
As Grecian lads were seldom void of grace,
The decent, duteous youth resigned his place.
Then a fresh murmur through the rabble ran;
Boys, girls, wives, widows, all attack the man.
“ Sure never was brute beast so void of nature !
Have you no pity for the pretty creature ?
To your own baby can you be unkind ?
Here-Suke, Bill, Betty-put the child behind.”
Old Dapple next the clowns' compassion claimed:
“ 'Tis wonderment them boobies ben't ashamed !
Two at a time upon the poor dumb beast !
They might as well have carried him, at least.”
The pair, still pliant to the partial voice,
Dismount, and bear the ass—then what a noise !
Huzzas, loud laughs, low gibe, and bitter joke,
From the yet silent sire, these words provoke :-
“ Proceed, my boy, nor heed their farther call :
Vain his attempts who strives to please them all."
YE Nymphs of Solyma ! begin the song :
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains, and the Sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and th' Aonian maids,
Delight no more ;–0 thou, my voice inspire
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire !
Rapt into future times, the bard begun :
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son !
From Jesse's root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies :
Th' Ethereal Spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic Dove.
Ye heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail ;
Returning Justice lift aloft her scale ;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend.
Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn!
Oh, spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born!
See Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring, · With all the incense of the breathing spring :