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Then, with my waking thoughts
Bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs,
Bethel I'll raise
So by my woes to be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
Or if, on joyful wing,
Cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon and stars forgot,
Upward I fy;
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
Sarah Flower Adams Music by Dr. Lowell Mason,
My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride;
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring.
My native country thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song:
Let mortal tongues awake,
Let all that breathe partake,
Let rocks their silence break-
The sound prolong.
Our fathers' God! to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!
S. F. Smith, LL.D.
The early sunlight filtered through the filmy draperies to where a wondering baby stretched his dimpled hands to catch the rays that lit his face and flesh as dawn lights up a rose. His startled gaze caught and held the dawn of day in rapturous looks that spoke the dawn of Self, for with the morning gleam out came the greater wonder. It was the mystery of Life.
Across a cradle where, sunk in satin pillows, lay a still, pale form as droops a rose from some fierce heat, the evening shadows fell aslant, and spoke of peace. The twilight calm enclosed the world in silence deep as Truth, and on the little face the wondering look had given place to one of sweet repose. It was the mystery of Death.
At head and foot the tapers burned, a golden light that
clove the night as Hope the encircling gloom. Across the cot where lay the fair, frail form, his hand reached out to hers and met and clasped in tender, burning touch. Into the eyes of each there came the look that is the light of life; that spoke of self to each, yet told they two were one. It was the mystery to which the mysteries Life and Death bow down—the mystery of Love.
'Tis midnight's holy hour-and silence now
Is brooding like a gentle spirit o'er
The still and pulseless world. Hark! on the winds
The bell's deep tones are swelling; 'tis the knell
Of the departed year. No funeral train
Is sweeping past; yet, on the stream and wood,
With melancholy light the moonbeams rest
Like a pale, spotless shroud; the air is stirred
As by a mourner's sigh; and on yon cloud,
That floats so still and placidly through heaven,
The spirits of the seasons seem to stand-
Young Spring, bright Summer, Autumn's solemn form
And winter with his aged locks—and breathe
In mournful cadences that come abroad
Like the far windharp's wild and touching wail,
A melancholy dirge o'er the dead year,
Gone from the earth forever. 'Tis a time
For memory and for tears. Within the deep,
Still chambers of the heart a spectre dim,
Whose tunes are like the wizard voice of Time
Heard from the tomb of ages, points its cold
And solemn finger to the beautiful
And holy visions that have passed away,
And left no shadow of their loveliness
On the dead waste of life.
Has gone, and with it many a glorious throng
Of happy dreams. Its mark is on each brow,
Its shadow in each heart. In its swift course
It waved its scepter o'er the beautiful,
And they are not.
It laid its pallid hand
Upon the strong man, and the haughty form
Is fallen, and the flashing eye is dim.
It trod the hall of revelry where thronged
The bright and joyous, and the tearful wail
Of stricken ones is heard, where erst the song
And reckless shout resounded. It passed o'er
The battle plain where sword and spear and shield
Flashed in the light of midday, and the strength
Of serried hosts is shivered, and the grass,
Green from the soil of carnage, waves above
The crushed and mouldering skeleton. It came
And faded like a wreath of mist at eve,
Yet ere it melted in the viewless air
It heralded its millions to their home
In the dim land of dreams. Remorseless Time
Fierce spirit of the glass and scythe-what power
Can stay him in his silent course, or melt
His iron heart to pity? On, still on
He presses, and forever. The proud bird,
The condor of the Andes, that can soar
Through heaven's unfathomable depths, or brave
The fury of the northern hurricane,
And bathe his plumage in the thunder's home,
Furls his broad wings at nightfall and sinks down
To rest upon his mountain crag-but Time
Knows not the weight of sleep or weariness,
And night's deep darkness has no chain to bind
His rushing pinion. ...
Time, the tomb-builder, holds his fierce career,
Dark, stern, all pitiless, and pauses not
Amid the mighty wrecks that strew his path
To sit and muse, like other conquerors,
Upon the fearful ruin he has wrought!
George D. Prentice.
There's a letter on the bottom of the pile,
Its envelope a faded yellow brown,
It has traveled to the city many a mile,
And the postmark names a little unknown town.
But the hurried man of business pushes all the others by,
And on the scrawly characters he turns a glistening eye;
He forgets the cares of commerce and his anxious schemes
for gain, The while he reads what mother writes from up in Maine.
There are quirks and scratchy quavers of the pen
Where it struggled in the fingers old and bent.
There are places that he has to read again
And ponder on to find what mother meant.
There are letters on his table that enclose some bouncing
checks; There are letters giving promises of profits on his “specs;" But he tosses all the litter by, forgets the golden rain, Until he reads what mother writes from up in Maine.