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77.- THE THREE SONS. I have a son, a little son, a boy just five years old, With eyes of thoughtful earnestness, and mind of

gentle mould ; They tell me that unusual grace in all his ways

appears, That my child is grave and wise of head, beyond

his childish years. I cannot say how this may be, I know his face is

fair, And yet his chiefest comeliness is his sweet and

serious air; I know his heart is kind and fond, I know he

loveth me, And loveth too his mother dear, with grateful

fervency. But that which others most admire is the thought

that fills his mind, The food for grave inquiring speech he every

where doth find. Strange questions doth he ask of me, when we

together walk, He scarcely thinks as children think, or talks as

children talk ; Nor cares he much for childish play, doats not on

bat or ball, But looks on manhood's ways and works, and aptly

mimics all. His little head is busy still, and oftentimes per

plexed With thoughts about this world of care, and

thoughts about the next.

He kneels at his dear mother's knee, she teacheth

him to pray, And strange, and sweet, and solemn, are the words

which he will say. Oh! should my gentle child be spared to man

hood's years like me, A holier and a wiser man I trust that he will be ; And when I look into his eyes, and stroke his

thoughtful brow, I dare not think what I should feel, were I to lose

him now.

I have a son, a second son, a simple child of three, I'll not declare how bright and fair his little

features be, How silver sweet those tones of his when he

prattles on my knee; I do not think his light-blue eyes are, like his

brother's, keen, Nor his brow so full of childish thought, as his

hath ever been; But his little heart's a fountain pure of mind and

tender feeling, And his very look's a gleam of light, rich depths

of love revealing. When he walks with me, the country folks, who

pass him in the street, Will shout for joy, and bless my boy, he looks so

mild and sweet. A playfellow he is to all, and yet, with cheerful

tone, Will sing his little song of love, when left to play


His presence is like sunshine, sent to gladden

home and hearth, To comfort us in all our griefs, and sweeten all

our mirth. Should he grow up to riper years, God grant his

heart may prove As meet a home for heavenly grace, as now for

earthly love; And if beside his grave the tears our aching eyes

may dim, God comfort us for all the love that we shall lose

in him.

I have a son, a third sweet son, his age I cannot

tell, For they reckon not by months and years, where

he is gone to dwell; To us for fourteen anxious months his infant smiles

were given, And then he bade farewell to earth, and went to

live in heaven. I cannot tell what form is his, what looks he

weareth now, Nor guess how bright a glory crowns his shining

seraph brow : The thoughts that fill his sinless soul, the bliss

which he doth feel, Are numbered with the secret things which God

will not reveal. But I know, for God doth tell me this, that now

he is at rest, Where other blessed infants be, on their Saviour's

loving breast;

I know his spirit feels no more the weary load of

flesh, But his sleep is blessed with endless dreams of joy

for ever fresh. I know that we shall meet our babe, his mother

dear, and I, When God himself shall wipe away all tears from

every eye. Whate'er befals his brethren twain, his bliss can

never cease, Their lot may here be grief and care, but his is

certain peace. It may be that the tempter's wiles their souls from

bliss may sever, But if our own poor faith fail not, he must be ours

for ever. When we think of what our darling is, and what

he still may be, When we muse on that world's perfect bliss, and

this world's misery, When we groan beneath this load of sin, and feel

this grief and pain, Oh! we'd rather lose our other two, than have him here again.


78.—A SUMMER EVENING. How fine has the day been, how bright was the sun, How lovely and joyful the course that he run, Though he rose in a mist when his race he begun, And there follow'd some droppings of rain!

But now the fair traveller's come to the west, His rays are all gold, and his beauties are best; He paints the sky gay as he sinks to his rest,

And foretels a bright rising again. Just such is the Christian ; his course he begins Like the sun in a mist, while he mourns for his sins, And melts into tears; then he breaks out and shines,

And travels his heavenly way: But when he comes nearer to finish his race, Like a fine setting sun, he looks richer in grace, And gives a sure hope at the end of his days, Of rising in brighter array.


On his morning rounds, the master

Goes to learn how all things fare;
Searches pasture after pasture,

Sheep and cattle eyes with care;
And for silence or for talk,

He hath comrades in his walk;
Four dogs, each pair of different breed,
Distinguished two for scent, and two for speed.
See a hare before him started!

Off they fly in earnest chase;
Every dog is eager-hearted,

All the four are in the race:
And the hare whom they pursue,

Hath an instinct what to do;
Her hope is near: no turn she makes;
But, like an arrow, to the river takes.

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