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TEN years ago, ten years ago,
Life was to us a fairy scene;
And the keen blasts of worldly wo
Had seared not then its pathway green.
Youth and its thousand dreams were ours,
Feelings we ne'er can know again;
Unwither'd hopes, unwasted powers,
And frames unworn by mortal pain ;-
Such was the bright and genial glow
Of life with us ten years ago.
Time hath not blanched a single hair
That clusters round thy forehead now;
Nor hath the cankering touch of care
Left even one furrow on thy brow.
Thine eyes are blue as when we met,
In love's deep truth, in earlier years;
Thy cheek of rose is blooming yet,
Though sometimes stain'd by secret tears;
But where, oh where's the spirit's glow,
That shone through all ten years ago?
I, too, am changed-I scarce know why,
Can feel each flagging pulse decay;
And youth, and health, and visions high,
Melt like a wreath of snow away.
Time cannot, sure, have wrought the ill;
Though worn in this world's sickening strife,
In soul and form I linger still
In the first summer months of life,
Yet journey on my path below,
Oh, how unlike ten years ago!
But look not thus-I would not give
The wreck of hopes that thou must share,
To bid those joyous hours revive
When all around me seem'd so fair.
We've wander'd on in sunny weather,
When winds were low, and flowers in bloom, And hand in hand have kept together,
And still will keep, 'mid storm and gloom, Endear'd by ties we could not know,
When life was young, ten years ago.
Has fortune frown'd? Her frowns were vain,
For hearts like ours she could not chill.
Have friends proved false? Their love might wane,
But ours grew stronger, firmer still.
Twin barks on this world's changing wave,
Steadfast in calms, in tempests tried ;
In concert still our fate we 'll brave,
Together cleave life's fitful tide-
Nor mourn, whatever winds may blow,
Youth's first wild dreams, ten years ago.
Have we not knelt beside his bed,
And watch'd our first-born blossom die? Hoped, till the shades of hope had fled, Then wept, till sorrow's fount was dry? Was it not sweet, in that dark hour,
To think, 'mid mutual tears and sighs,
Our bud had left its earthly bower,
And burst to bloom in paradise?
What to the thought that soothed that wo
Were heartless joys ten years ago?
Yes, it is sweet, when heaven is bright,
To share its sunny beams with thee;
But sweeter far, 'mid clouds and blight,
To have thee near to weep with me.
Then dry those tears-though something changed
From what we were in earlier youth,
Time, that hath hopes and friends estranged,
Hath left us love in all its truth;—
Sweet feelings we would not forego
For life's last joy ten years ago.
ADAM AND EVE'S ALTERNATE HYMN.
THE all-quickening light is rolling there,
Which bids the shadowy forms emerge
From horizon's furthest verge
And flit across earth's bosom fair;
The song of birds salutes the day—
A song whose chorus soars to Him
Who pours on all his blessing's beam,
And wakes the universal lay.
Come, let us join that choral song;
Come, let our voices blend with theirs;
And as their praises float along
We'll pour the incense of our prayers.
I'll lead the grateful hymn, my love!
And thou a sweeter strain shalt bring;
How shall we celebrate-how sing
The Spirit blest that reigns above!
Yes! let us sing of God-the spring,
The source of all we feel and see;
What theme can be so blest as he-
Lift, lift, my love! thy thoughts on high;
I'll follow their sublimest flight,
And hill, and wood, and valley bright
Shall to the joyous hymn reply.
O Father! we approach thy throne,
Who bidd'st the glorious sun arise;
All-good, Almighty, and All-wise!
Great source of all things-God alone!
We see thee, brighter than the rays
Of the bright sun; we see thee shine,
As in a fountain's face-divine;
We see thee endless Fount of days:
We see thee, who our frames hast brought,
With one swift word, from senseless clay-
Waked, with one glance of heavenly ray,
Our never-dying souls from nought.
Those souls thou lightedst with the spark
Of thy pure fire, and, gracious still,
Gavest immortality, free will,
And language, not involved, nor dark.
God-God be praised! who form'd us thus,
He was, and is, and shall endure:
Pure-he shall make all nature pure,
And fix his dwelling here with us.
What sweeter thought, what stronger token,
Than that his everlasting hand
Body and soul in holy band
Hath bound, that never shall be broken!
'Tis he whose kind and generous care
This lovely garden's range hath planted,
Where nought that charms desire is wanted,
And joy's a guest immortal here;-
The fount of life, whence waters living
O'erspreading all the garden flow-
Bright flowers upon their borders grow,
While to the trees life's food they're giving.
Here blooms the life-imparting tree,
Whose fruit, just hid in silvery leaves,
Makes man a spirit, and retrieves
His weakness and satiety.
The dews, from morning's vault that fall,
Are honey'd manna on our tongue:
Shall not his hallow'd praise be sung,
Whom nature sings-the Source of all?
O blest be he who blessings pours!
Who fills the heart with tenderness,
And with his richest gifts will bless-
He wondrous-whom our tongue adores.