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And everywhere kind Christian folks
They found, as Marien said, Who gave them lodging for the night,
And gave them daily bread.
It entereth not his thoughts that God
Heareth the sufferer's groan, That in his righteous eye, their life
Is precious as his own.
Unto the fisher's shed,
Three days beside the dead.
Of barren sand, which bore
For miles along the shore.
Sped Marien, and besought
They would take Christian thought. So in the churchyard by the sea.
The senseless dead was laid : “ And now what will become of us!"
The weeping children said. “For who will give us bread to eat?
The neighbours are so poor ! And he, our kinsman in the town,
Would drive us from his door.
“ For he is rich and pitiless,
With heart as cold as stone! Who will be parents to us now
That ours are dead and gone ?" “ Weep not," said faithful Marien,
“Man's heart is not so hard, But it your friendless misery
Will tenderly regard ! " And I with you will still abide
Your friendless souls to cheer, Be father and mother both to you;
for this God sent me here.
Who hath such store of gold,
His spirit stern and cold.
From earth his soul may win.
The journey will begin."
And at the break of day,
Set out upon their way. 'Mong sandy hills their way they wound;
O'er sea-grass dusk and harsh;
Through many a salt sea-marsh.
A liule loving band,
Like angels, hand in hand.
And thus they pilgrimed, day by day,
Alone yet not cast down,
Unto the sea-port town.
Where men were all astir,
Merchant and mariner.
Far off, beyond the main;
Was in repute but gain.
About the eventide;
They asked on every side.
An old man and a poor,
Unto the kinsman's door.
He to himself did say,
“ Their kinsman! - well-a-way!" All through a labyrinth of walls
Blackened with cloudy smoke, He led them, where was heard the forge
And the strong hammer's stroke. And beneath Jofty windows dim
In many a doleful row, Whence came the jangle of quick looms,
Down to the courts below, Sull on the children, terrified,
With wildered spirits passed ; Until of these great mammon halls,
They reached the heart at last, A little chamber hot and dim,
With iron bars made fast. There sale the kinsman, shrunk and lean,
And leaden-eyed and old, Busied before a lighted lamp
In sealing bags of gold.
The moment that they entered in,
He clutched with pallid fear His heavy bags, as if he thought
That sudden thieves were near. “ Rich man!" said Marien, “ope thy bags
And of thy gold be free, Make gladsome cheer, for Heaven hath sent
A blessing unto thee !" “What!" said the miser, " is there news Of my lost argosy ?"
“Better than gold, or merchant ships,
Is that which thou shalt win," Said Marien, “ thine immortal soul
From its black load of sin." " Look at these children, thine own blood,"
And then their name she told; “Open thine heart to do them good,
To love them more than gold; And what thou givest will coine back
To thee, a thousand-fold !"
Some gainful work may do,
I have not half enow;
Yes, child, thy words are true!"
To cast thy soul away!
Upon his reckoning day!
He sees them day and night; And as thou doest unto them,
On thee he will requite !" “Gave I not alms upon a time ?"
Said he, with anger thrilled ; « And when I die, give I not gold,
A stately church to build ! “What wouldst thou more? my flesh and blood
I seek not to gainsay.
Their labour should repay !"
He locked his bags of gold,
In accents harsh and cold.
And the sweet memory of the past,
The white sands stretching wide;
Upon the rocking tide ;
The ocean's ceaseless boom;
Within the noisy loom.
A weary life they knew;
That were of rosy hue.
Passed ever and anon;
Except to urge them on.
They worked the livelong day;
A soothing word to say :-
The long months wore away.
And the hard kinsman told
Increased the board of gold;
That more may yet be sold !"
Of children weak and poor,
Increased more and more.
The spirit of the boy
He found his chiefest joy.
“Oh leave us not sweet Marien!"
The little children spake ; For if thou leave us here, alone,
Our wretched hearts will break." She left them not - kind Marien!
And in a noisome room, Day after day, week after week,
They laboured at the loom.
Upon the breezy strand,
Passed through each little hand.
Upon their parents dear,
With many a bitter tear.
The hardness of the kinsman's soul
Wrought on him like a spell, Exciting in his outraged heart,
Revenge and hatred fell; The will impatient to control;
The spirit to rebel. Hence was there warfare 'twixt the two,
The weak against the strong;
That could not last for long :
Against the rich man's wrong!
Was gone; his brow was cold;
Was reckless, fierce, and bold.
Nor soothed her as she wept ;
But they, the solitary pair,
Like pitying angels poured
His evil life deplored.
Which in their bosoms lay;
Yet harder doom had they.
The springs of human will;
Of mortal good and ill;
And willed them still to mourn:
Yet bade him not return.
Would do its work of grace ;
Would seek the father's face ; Meantime man's judgment censured them,
As abject, mean, and base. The erring brother was away,
And none could tell his fate;
Sate drooping, desolate.
Nor for the breezy shore :
Distracted her no more.
So worked she day by day,
Which on her spirit lay ;
Her young life wore away.
Oft said, with pitying tongue, “Alas, that labour is the doom
Of aught so weak and young!" Alone the kinsman pitied not;
He chid her, that no more The frame was strong, the hand was swift,
As it had been before.
When holy angels bright
For her one winter's night.
Upon a pallet bed, She lay, and “ hold my hand, sweet friend,"
With feeble voice she said. "Oh hold my hand, sweet Marien,"
The dying child spake low; “ And let me hear thy blessed voice,
To cheer me as I go!
« 'Tis darksome all - Oh, drearly dark!
When will this gloom pass by? Is there no comfort for the poor,
And for the young who die !" Down by her side knelt Marien,
And kissed her fading cheek, Then of the loving Saviour,
In low tones 'gan to speak. She told of Lazarus, how he lay,
A beggar mean and poor, And died, in misery and want,
Beside the rich man's door.
To bear his soul on high,
On Abraham's breast to lie.
Yet higher glory win,
Unsoiled by tainting sin.
“I doubt not, neither fear, All round about the bed, behold,
The angel-bands appear! "I go!- yet still, dear Marien,
One last boon let me win! Seek out the poor lost prodigal,
And bring him back from sin! “I go! I go!" and angels bright,
The spirit bare away:-
In heaven 'twas endless day!
Within a carved bed, Lay the rich kinsman wrapped in lawn,
With pillows 'neath his head. Scheming deep schemes of gold, he lay
All in that lordly room;
For many years to come.
A form that none might sec:
Shall be required of thee !"
Stole in the morning-ray,
The miser kinsman lay.
And chambers high and dim, Where hung was pall, and mourning lights
Made show of grief for him. Full fifty muffled mourners stood,
Amund the scutcheoned bed, That held the corse, as if, indeed, A righteous man were dead.
Within a tomb, which he had built,
Of costly marble-stone, They buried him, and plates of brang
His name and wealth made known. A coffin of the meanest wood,
The little child received ; And o'er her humble, nameless grave,
No hooded mourner grieved. Only kind Marien wept such tears,
As the dear Saviour shed, When in the house of Bethany
He mourned for Lazarus dead.
Now from the miser kinsman's house
Came many a jovial sound;
Ere twelve months had gone round.
Dwelt Marien ; and each day,
And mercy, passed away.
Grief-bowed and labour-spent,
To heaven his sad lament;
The sent of God, she went.
Failed not of daily bread;
And warmed, and clothed, and fed.
And nigh to death she lay, Kind hearts there were who came to her,
And watched her night and day. And afterwards, when evil mon
Doomed her in bonds to lie,
Willing for her to die.
Unto this little one
These righteous works were done!
A tenfold blessing won!
For many a passing year;
No tidings could she hear.
Others who, even as he,
In hopeless misery.
To these repentant, outcast ones,
She spake kind words of grace,
To seek the Father's face;
And love in His embrace.
- But let us now recall Whate'er had happed of change and woe
Unto the prorligal.
He saw her silent woe;
Her weary labour grow.
He hated that hard man,
Their daily tasks began.
He bare an altered mind;Alas, that injuries should make
Else loving hearts unkind ! But so it is ! and when the twain
To cheer his spirit strove, His wrath arose, and he repelled
Their patient deeds of love. Then evil men assailed his youth ;
And he who was so frail
Was feeble to prevail.
And bravely clothed and fed,
A lawless life he led.
Sweet memory of the time,
Had knowledge of no crime.
Than labour night and day,
Upon his spirit lay.
And of the sister meek;
And of the fading cheek;
The faithful and the weak!
He heard his loving parent's voice
Reproach him in his sleep; And conscience, that slern bosom-guest,
Ceaseless upbraidings keep.
Neither would he regard ;
Thus doing outrage to his soul,
By chance he went one day
The little sister lay.
And why he turned the mould
No name the tenant told.
I know each separate mound;
Alone seems holy ground.”
And how she there had wept
In dreamless quiet slept.
She lieth here," said he;
Like this affecteth me!"
And turned from the place;
The brother hid his face.
Bound for a far-off strand,
Pursued her from the land.
And suffering long and sore,
Forlorn and sad be bore.
That miserable ship,
Lay moveless on the deep.
The soul-struck penitent
On his account were sent.
The ship before the gale,
Her rudder, mast, and sail.
And the strained versel bore
A wreck upon the shore.
To note the vessel's fale ; –
Abject and desolate.
And in the city street,
Did thronging thousands meet.
Upon the hearths of poor men's homes
Good neighbours met at night; And kindness and companionship
Made woe and labour light. The loneliest but among the hills
To human hearts was known;
Men might not dwell alone.
And no man knew the while
Upon his lonely isle.
Over the distant sea;
A coming sail might be.
He hoisted signals high ;-
And not a ship sailed by.
Man had forgot his name;
His lonely misery came.
His cheerless solitude,
His human will subdued.
Look up! the Father's voice Calleth thee from thy depths of woe,
And biddeth thee rejoice! - Now Marien from the trading town
Had voyaged; sent of Heaven
Which with long storm had striven,
Amid the seas was driven; Where dwelt a gentle race at rest
Amid their flowery wilds,
As simple as a child's.
But now it chanced one day,
Upon the shore she lay, A strong wind came, and filled the sail,
And bare her thence away. She had no fear, true Marien;
That God was good, she knew, And even then had sent her forth
Some work of love to do. The prodigal upon his rock
Was kneeling, and his prayer For confidence in heaven, arose
Upon the evening air,