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Wherein the church is join'd to its great Head;
Beloved and loving, cherishing and cherish'd.
And let no cold distrust on either part
Mar or obstruct the full and perfect freedom
Wherewith in turn we render, each to each,
Our debts of mutual service, faithful counsel,
Gentle admonishment, well-timed reproof,
And solace mild, and cheering exhortation.
Nor let us lack congenial partnership
Of thought and study, intermingling oft,
As time permits, with books of sacred lore
And serious meditation, hastier snatches
Of fiction wild and wizard phantasy.
So may our hearts be strengthen'd and refresh'd
For due discharge of this world's sterner duties;
For self-denying acts of meek good will
Toward all men ; chiefly those whom Heaven's high
Hath placed within our own peculiar charge,
Appears most brightly; here I recognize,
With love and admiration most profound,
The rich array of choicest qualities
Which grace thy wedded character, and fit thee
As fully for the mother as the wife.
Affection deep and fervent, yet controll'd
By principle severe, decisive firmness,
And patience most long-suffering; prudence mild,
And skill to guide and govern their young hearts
By gentle yet resistless impulses
To meek obedience and submission calm.
0, if 'tis written in high Heaven's decrees
That both of us must not behold them come
To life's maturity, mayst thou survive
To guide their progress thither; for so best
Shall our fond hopes and prayers be realized
By final union in the world to come.
But finish'd is my exile; I return Homeward with eager heart, most glad once more To seize my pastoral staff, and so exchange The wild and wandering visions of the Muse For ministerial duties, and sweet store Of home enjoyments. May this idle song Find favour in thy sight, as I dare hope It will not fail to find. Receive it, dearest, Indulgently, as doubtless much it needs, Framed as it is with long unpractised skill, And energies decay'd; keep it in memory Of thy fond husband's love, and when 'tis read,
Cease to regret that once, at Friendship's call,
AN APOLOGY FOR TACITURNITY.
I Love thee, lady—oh how well
Nor thou canst guess, nor I can tell;
But 'tis with such a reverent love
As saints feel here for saints above;
A love less fond than household ties
And sweet domestic sympathies,
Less passionate, but purer far
Than purest dreams of lovers are;
Such love as felt the Florentine
For her, his soul's immortal queen,
Who led him, in angelic guise,
Through the bright realms of Paradise;
For thou, though mortal still I ween,
Even such a guide to me hast been;
A cheering light, a mission'd star
To guide my footsteps from afar,
Through mist and fog, through shower and shine,
Right heavenward to thy home and mine.
Whence comes it then, (if thou canst guess,) That when my heart would fain express The thoughts thy presence makes to flow, The feelings that within me glow; When I would open my full soul Without reserve, without controul, Lay bare to thee each secret part Of this poor wayward, sinful heart, And speak with thee, in converse high, Of thoughts that roam beyond the sky, Of all my hopes, of all my fears, Of griefs that " lie too deep for tears," Of doubts that o'er my spirit steal, Of all I would, but cannot feel, Of many a dark rebellious hour In thought and will to Heaven's high power, Of bitter strife waged hard within, Of triumphs dark achieved by sin— When thus I would pour forth to thee My inmost soul's anxiety,— Or when, in less religious mood, I'd talk with thee, if talk I could, On subjects grave of pleasant thought, In all too happy to be taught By thy pure wisdom, which doth reach The farthest realm of thought and speech, And make all lovely—tell me why This spell-bound tongue so dumb doth lie? Why is it that thy speaking eye, Which smiles upon me with intent
To give serene encouragement,
And thy sweet words, which fain would break
My spirit's charm, and gently wake
My slumbering speech to converse high,
By sense of mutual sympathy—
Why do these serve to tighten more
The chain which was so tight before?
Why doth each sweet attempt of thine
To give me freedom, only twine
A heavier, stronger spell around me
Than that with which my nature bound me?
Why, when my heart is yearning still
Of fervent talk to take its fill,
Doth want of power so fetter will,
That half in fear, and half in joy,
I falter like a frighten'd boy,
And stammer forth, in hurried tone,
A few faint scatter'd words alone;
Unmeaning words of vain assent,
Or more unmeaning sentiment,
Betokening thought confused and dim,
Ideas indistinct, that swim
In shapeless masses, undefined
And dreamlike, through my labouring mind;
And feelings which, though proud to feel,
I neither dare nor can reveal?
It is not fear, it is not love,