Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

THE CHANGELING.

97

So we lift our trusting eyes

From the hills our fathers trode, To the quiet of the skies,

To the Sabbath of our God.

Come to the sunset tree !

The day is past and gone; The woodman's axe lies free, And the reaper's work is done.

-Mrs. Hemans.

THE CHANGELING.

I HAD a little daughter,

And she was given to me To lead me gently backwards

To the heavenly Father's knee; That I, by the force of nature,

Might in some dim wise divine The depth of His infinite patience

To this wayward soul of mine.

I know not how others saw her,

But to me she was wholly fair,
And the light of the heaven she came from

Still lingered and gleamed in her hair ;
For it was as wavy and golden,
And as many changes

took
As the shadows of sun-gilt ripples

On the yellow bed of a brook.

To what can I liken her smiling

Upon me, her kneeling lover?
How it leaped from her lips to her eyelids,

And dimply her wholly over!
Till her outstretched hands smiled also,

And I almost seemed to see
The very heart of her mother
Sending sun through her veins to me.

She had been with us scarce a twelvemonth,

And it hardly seemed a day, When a troop of wandering angels

Stole my little daughter away ;.
Or perhaps those heavenly Zincali

But loosed the hampering strings,
And when they had opened her cage door,

My little bird used her wings.
But they left in her stead a changeling-

A little angel-child,
That seems like her bud in full blossom,

And smiles as she never smiled.
When I wake in the morning I see it

Where she always used to lie, And I feel as weak as a violet,

Alone 'neath the awful sky ;

As weak, yet as trustful also ;

For the whole year long I see
All the wonders of faithful nature

Still worked for the love of me :
Winds wander, and dews drip earthward,

Rains fall, suns rise and set,
Earth whirls,-and all but to prosper

A poor little violet.
This child is not mine, as the first was ;

I cannot sing it to rest ;
I cannot lift it up fatherly,

And bless it upon my breast.
It is strangely unlike my darling,

Yet it lies in my little one's chair,
And the light of the heaven she's gone to
Transfigures its golden hair.

-7. R. Lowell. LONDON CHURCHES.

99

LONDON CHURCHES.

I STOOD, one Sunday morn,

Before a large church door: The congregation gathered,

And carriages a score; From one out stepped a lady

I oft had seen before.

Her hand was on a prayer-book,

And held a vinaigrette ;
The sign of man's redemption

Clear on the book was set ;
But above the Cross there glistened

A golden coronet.
For her the obsequious beadle

The inner door Aung wide;
Lightly, as up a ball-room,

Her footsteps seemed to glide. There might be good thoughts in her,

For all her evil pride.
But after her, a woman

Peeped wistfully within,
On whose wan face was graven

Life's hardest discipline ;
The trace of the sad trinity

Of weakness, pain, and sin.

The few free seats were crowded

Where she could rest and pray, With her worn garb contrasted

Each side in fair array. “ God's house holds no poor sinners !" She sighed, and crept away.

--R. M. Milnes.

Neces

THE GLOW-WORM.
Oh! what is this which shines so bright,

And in the lonely place
Hangs out his small green lamp at night,

The dewy bank to grace?
It is a glow-worm still and pale:

It shines the whole night long,
When only stars, O nightingale,

Seem listening to thy song.
And so amid the world's cold night,

Through good report or ill,
Shines out the humble Christian's light,
As lonely and as still.

-W. L. Bowles.

[graphic]

TO THE EAGLE.

BIRD of the broad and sweeping wing,

Thy home is high in heaven,
Where wide the storms their banners fling,

And the tempest clouds are driven.
Thy throne is on the mountain-top,

Thy fields the boundless air ;
And hoary peaks, that proudly prop

The skies, thy dwellings are.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Thou sittest, like a thing of light,

Amid the noontide blaze;
The midday sun is clear and bright,

It cannot dim thy gaze.
Thy pinions to the rushing blast,

O’er the bursting billows spread,
Where the vessel plunges, hurry past

Like an angel of the dead.
Thou art perched aloft on the beetling crag,

And the waves are white below,
And on, with a haste that cannot lag,

They rush in an endless flow.
Again thou hast plumed thy wing for flight

To lands beyond the sea,
And away, like a spirit wreathed in light,

Thou hurriest wild and free.
Thou hurriest over the myriad waves,

And thou leavest them all behind;
Thou sweepest that place of unknown graves,

Fleet as the tempest wind.
When the night storm gathers dim and dark,

With a shrill and boding scream
Thou rushest by the foundering bark

Quick as a passing stream.
Lord of the boundless realm of air,

In thy imperial name
The hearts of the bold and ardent dare

The dangerous path of fame.
Beneath the shade of thy golden wings,

The Roman legions bore
From the river of Egypt's cloudy springs

Their pride, to the polar shore.
For thee they fought, for thee they fell,

And their wrath was on thee laid ;
To thee the clarions raised their swell

And the dying warrior prayed.
Thou wert, through an age of death and fears,

The image of pride and power,
Till the gathered rage of a thousand years

Burst forth in one awful hour.

« AnteriorContinuar »