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For not to careless wreathers of chance flowers
Openeth the Muse her amaranthine bowers,
But to the Few, who worthily have fought
The toilsome fight, and won their way to fame.
With such as these I may not cast my lot,
With such as these I must not seek a name;
Content to please awhile and be forgot;
Winning from daily toil (which irks me not)
Rare and brief leisure these poor songs to frame.

SONNET XXXIV.

My sister, we have lived long years apart,
Our mutual visits short and far between,
Like those of angels, yet we have not been
Divided, as I trust, in mind or heart.
Pale now and changed, though in thy prime thou

art,
And in the chasten'd sweetness of thy mien
I read the workings of a soul serene
And patient under pain’s life-wasting smart.
May God be with thee, and thy sojourn bless
Near Cheltenham's healing springs, that they

may be
E'en as Bethesda's wondrous pool to thee,
Giving thee back lost health and loveliness ;
While yet He purifies thy heart no less
By blest affliction's subtlest alchymy.

October, 1836.

PROTESTANT HYMN TO THE VIRGIN.

I.
With no forbidden vow

To thy blest name we bow,
Holiest of women, nor, with suppliant knee,

And fondly whisper'd prayer,

The votive gift prepare, Which yet, with reverend heart, we bring to

Thee,
As to the highly favour’d, from whose womb
Into this groaning world did its Redeemer come.

II.
Not as enthroned on high

Near Heaven's dread Majesty,
Not as endued with Mediatorial power,
With Christ to intercede

For human hearts that bleed
When sin assails, or care and grief devour;

Not as the Queen of Heaven, by right divine, Do we bemock thy praise, or idolize thy shrine.

III.
We know not on what shore,

Since life's brief toil was o'er,
Thy soul hath sojourn’d; whether dreamless sleep,

Diffused o'er brain and breast,

Lulls sense and thought to rest, While angels their calm watch beside thee keep,

Till their great Captain's trump shall rend the

tomb, Proclaiming the dread day of Nature's final doom.

iv.
Or whether, near the side

Of Him, the Crucified,
Thy Saviour and thy Son, already tasting

Rich antepasts of Heaven,

(Thy mortal sins forgiven For his dear sake) thou calmly view'st the

wasting Of Time’s dull ages, which must fade and flee Ere body, soul, and sense, in perfect bliss can be ;

v.
Or whether from on high

Thou lead'st the company
Of spirits sent to minister below

To all salvation’s heirs,

Soothing their human cares,
And o'er their darkest hours of earthly woe

Breathing the balm of Heaven's eternal peace, And smoothing danger’s waves, and causing fear to cease.

VI.
Such hosts as once of old

Did mortal eye behold,
Unseen till then, nor ever since display'd,

When, in the illumined mount,

In numbers passing count,
Chariot on chariot, horse with horse array'd

In fiery legions, with empyreal blaze At the great Prophet's prayer burst on his servant's

gaze.

VII.

Such forms as oft seem nigh

To Christian dreamer's eye At lonely twilight, or the tearful hour · When friends long parted meet

In converse sad but sweet, Of friends fast bound in Death's still grasping

power; The loved, the long'd for, who, from their repose, Look down, they fondly deem, on all their joys and

woes.

VIII.

No thought of man can guess

In what obscure recess Of Heaven or Earth those blessed souls may be,

Who, purged from fleshly stain,

Are from the galling chain
Of fleshly bondage, by the grave, set free:
We know not of their haunts, but know that thou
Art e'en as one of them, and with them mingled
now.

IX.
Of all that saintly host

With whom consort'st thou most ?
To whom (if disembodied spirits frame

Intelligible speech · Imparting each to each

Thought for which we, the earthly, have no name)

To whom, O Holiest, dost thou now disclose The pure and peaceful thoughts which gladden thy

repose ?

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Haply they all to thee

Yield meet precedency,
To thee, the saintliest of all saints confest,

Encircling some bright throne
· Whereon thou reign'st alone,
The virgin queen of all the realm of rest,

Dispensing smiles, like light, from side to side, On ranks of radiant saints, and martyrs glorified.

XI.
Yet one perchance there is,

Joint heiress of thy bliss,
And scarce less honour'd; before whom e'en thou

With reverence due lay'st down

Thine amaranthine crown,
And veil'st the blaze of thy effulgent brow;

She, our great Mother, Mary, ours and thine, And saved, like us and thee, by love and grace divine.. .

XII.
On her majestic face

The blest still haply trace
The lingering look of scarce forgotten sadness,

E’en while, in rapture mild,

On thee her favourite child She gazeth through bright smiles and tears of

gladness,

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