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lines of lifted cloud, casting a new glory on every wreath as it passes by, until the whole heaven, one scarlet canopy, is interwoven with a roof of waving flame, and tossing, vault beyond vault, as with the drifted wings of many companies of angels : and then, when you can look no more for gladness, and when you are bowed down with fear and love of the Maker and Doer of this, tell me who has best delivered this His message unto men !
I BRING fresh showers for the thirsting flowers
From the seas and the streams;
In their noonday dreams.
The sweet buds every one,
As she dances about the sun.
And whiten the green plains under,
And laugh as I pass in thunder!
I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast ;
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Lightning my pilot sits,
It struggles and howls at fits ;
Over earth and ocean with gentle motion,
This pilot is guiding me,
In the depths of the purple sea ;
Over the lakes and the plains,
The Spirit he loves remains ;
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
The sanguine sunrise with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread, Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead, As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings, An eagle alit, one moment may
In the light of its golden wings. And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
Its ardours of rest and of love,
From the depth of heaven above,
As still as a brooding dove.
That orbed maiden with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the moon,
By the midnight breezes strewn;
Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,
The stars peep behind her and peer ; And I laugh to see them whirl and flee
Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas, Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
Are each paved with the moon and these.
I bind the sun's throne with a burning zone,
And the moon's with a girdle of pearl ;
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
Over a torrent sea,
The mountains its columns be.
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
Is the million-coloured bow ;
While the moist earth was laughing below.
I am the daughter of earth and water,
And the nursling of the sky; I pass through the
pores of the ocean and shores ; I change, but I cannot die. For after the rain, when with never a stain,
The pavilion of heaven is bare,
Build up the blue dome of air,
And out of the caverns of rain,
P. B. SHELLEY,
GATHER a single blade of grass, and examine for a minute, quietly, its narrow, sword-shaped strip of fluted green. Nothing, as it seems, there of notable goodness or beauty. A very little strength, and a very little tallness, and a few delicate long lines meeting in a point,-not a perfect point either, but blunt and unfinished, by no means a creditable, or apparently much-cared-for example of Nature's workmanship; made, as it seems, only to be trodden on to-day, and to-morrow to be cast into the oven ; and a little pale and hollow stalk, feeble and flaccid, leading down to the dull brown fibres of roots. And yet, think of it well, and judge whether of all the gorgeous flowers that beam in summer air, and of all strong and goodly trees, pleasant to the eyes or good for food -stately palm and pine, strong ash and oak, scented citron, burdened vine,—there be any by man so deeply loved, by God so highly graced, as that narrow point of feeble green.
It seems to me not to have been without a peculiar significance that our Lord, when about to work the miracle which, of all that He showed, appears to have been felt by the multitude as the most impressive—the miracle of the loaves—commanded the people to sit down by companies ‘upon the green grass.' He was about to feed them with the principal produce of earth and the sea, the simplest representations of the food of mankind. He gave them the seed of the herb; He bade them sit down upon the herb itself, which was as great a gift, in its fitness for their joy and rest, as its perfect fruit for their sustenance ; thus, in this single order and act, when rightly understood, indicating for evermore how the Creator had entrusted the comfort, consolation, and sustenance of man to the simplest and most despised of all the leafy families of the earth.
And well does it fulfil its mission. Consider what we owe merely to the meadow grass, to the covering of the dark