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And still that light upon the world
Its guiding splendour throws,
Bright in the opening hours of life,
But brighter at the close.
The waning moon in time shall fail
To walk the midnight skies,
But God hath kindled this bright light
With fire that never dies.
-W. C. B. Peabody.
Toil on! toil on! ye ephemeral train,
Who build in the tossing and treacherous main;
Toil on! for the wisdom of man ye mock
With your sand-based structures and domes of rock;
Your columns the fathomless fountains lave,
And your arches spring up to the crested wave :
Ye are a puny race, thus to boldly rear
A fabric so vast in a realm só drear.
Ye bind the deep with your secret zone,
The ocean is sealed and the surge a stone,
Fresh wreaths from the coral pavement spring,
Like the terraced pride of Assyria's king.
The turf looks green where the breakers rolled,
O'er the whirlpool ripens the rind of gold,
The sea-snatched isle is the home of men,
And mountains exult where the wave hath been.
But why do ye plant ’neath the billows dark,
The wrecking reef for the gallant bark?
There are snares enough on the tented field,
'Mid the blossomed sweets that the valleys yield ;
There are serpents to coil ere the flowers are up,
There's a poison drop in man's purest cup;
There are foes that watch for his cradle breath,
And why need ye sow the floods with death?
With mouldering bones the deeps are white,
From the ice-clad pole to the tropics bright;
The mermaid hath twisted her fingers cold
With the mesh of the sea-boys' curls of gold,
And the gods of ocean have frowned to see
The mariner's bed in their halls of glee.
Hath earth no graves, that ye thus must spread
The boundless sea for the thronging dead?
Ye build---ye build--but ye enter not in,
Like the tribes whom the desert devoured in their sin;
From the land of promise ye fade and die,
Ere its verdure gleams forth on your weary eye.
As the kings of the cloud-crowned pyramid,
Their noteless bones in oblivion hid,
Ye slumber unmarked 'mid the desolate main,
While the wonder and pride of your works remain.
PAUSE not to dream of the future before us,
Pause not to weep the wild cares that come o'er us;
Hark! how creation's deep musical chorus
Unintermitting goes up into heaven.
Never the ocean wave falters in flowing,
Never the little seed stops in its growing,
More and more richly the rose heart keeps glowing,
Till from its nourishing stem it is riven.
Labour is life. 'Tis the still water faileth,
Idleness ever despaireth, bewaileth ;
Keep the watch wound, for the dark rust assaileth;
Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon.
Labour is glory. The flying cloud lightens,
Only the waving wing changes and brightens,
Idle hearts only the dark future frightens :
Play the sweet keys wouldst thou keep them in tune.
Labour is rest from the sorrows that greet us,
Rest from all petty vexations that meet us,
Rest from sin promptings that ever entreat us,
Rest from world sirens that lure us to ill.
Work, and pure slumbers shall wait on thy pillow;
Work, thou shalt ride over care's coming billow ;
Lie not down wearied 'neath woe's weeping willow ;
Work with a stout heart and resolute will.
Droop not, though shame, sin, and anguish are round thee,
Bravely Aing off the cold chain that hath bound thee,
Look on yon pure heaven, smiling beyond thee;
Rest not content in thy darkness, a clod;
Work for some good, be it ever so slowly,
Labour-all labour is noble and holy.
- Frances Osgood.
On Linden, when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow,
And dark as winter was the flow
Of Iser rolling rapidly.
But Linden saw another sight,
When the drum beat at the dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light
The darkness of her scenery.
By torch and trumpet fast arrayed,
Each horseman drew his battle-blade,
And furious every charger neighed
To join the dreadful revelry.
Then shook the hills with thunder riven;
Then rushed the steed, to battle driven ;
And louder than the bolts of heaven
Far flashed the red artillery.
But redder yet that light shall glow
On Linden's hills of stainéd snow,
And bloodier yet the torrent flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
'Tis morn, but scarce yon level sun Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun, Where furious Frank and fiery Hun
Shout in their sulphurous canopy.
The combat deepens. On, ye Brave,
Who rush to glory, or the grave !
Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave,
And charge with all thy chivalry!
Few, few shall part where many meet !
The snow shall be their winding-sheet,
And every turf beneath their feet
Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.
THE SLAVE'S DREAM.
BESIDE the ungathered rice he lay,
His sickle in his hand ;
His breast was bare, his matted hair
Was buried in the sand.
Again, in the mist and shadow of sleep,
He saw his native land.
Wide through the landscape of his dreams
The lordly Niger flowed ; Beneath the palm-trees on the plain
Once more a king he strode, And heard the tinkling caravans
Descend the mountain road.
He saw once more his dark-eyed queen
Among her children stand ;
They clasped his neck, they kissed his cheeks.
They held him by the hand.
A tear burst from the sleeper's lids,
And fell upon the sand.
And then at furious speed he rode
Along the Niger's bank ;
His bridle-reins were golden chains,
And with a martial clank,
At each leap he could feel his scabbard of steel
Smiting his stallion's flank.