Imagens das páginas

O, then what joy to walk at will,
Upon the golden harvest-hill!

What joy in dreamy ease to lie

Amid a field new-shorn, And see all round on sun-lit slopes The piled-up shocks of corn, And send the fancy wandering o'er All pleasant harvest-fields of yore.

I feel the day; I see the field;

The quivering of the leaves And good old Jacob and his house Binding the yellow sheaves; And at this very hour I seem To be with Joseph in his dream.

I see the fields of Bethlehem,

And reapers many a one, Bending unto their sickles' stroke, And Boaz looking on; And Ruth, the Moabitess fair, Among the gleaners stooping there.

Again, I see a little child,

His mother's sole delight; God's living gift of love unto

The kind, good Shunamite; To mortal pangs I see him yield, And the lad bear him from the field.

The sun-bathed quiet of the hills;
The fields of Galilee,
That eighteen hundred years agone
Were full of corn, I see,

And the dear Saviour take his way
'Mid ripe ears on the Sabbath-day.

O golden fields of bending corn,

How beautiful they seem!-The reaper-folk, the piled-up sheaves, To me are like a dream; The sunshine and the very air Seem of old time, and take me there!


They eat from gold and silver all luxuries wealth can buy ;

They sleep on beds of softest down, in chambers rich and high.

They dwell in lordly houses, with gardens round about,

And servants to attend them if they go in or out.

They have music for the hearing, and pictures for the eye,

And exquisite and costly things each sense to gratify.

No wonder they are beautiful! and if they chance to die,

Among dead lords and ladies, in the chancel vault they lie.

With marble tablets on the wall inscribed, that all may know,

The children of the rich man are mouldering below.

The children of the poor man, around the humble doors

They throng of city alleys and solitary moors.

In hot and noisy factories they turn the ceaseless wheel,

And eat with feeble appetite their coarse and joyless meal.

They rise up in the morning, ne'er dreaming of delight;

And weary, spent, and heart-sore, they go to bed at night.

They have no brave apparel, with golden clasp and gem;

So their clothes keep out the weather they're good enough for them.

Their hands are broad and horny; they hunger, and are cold;

They learn what toil and sorrow mean ere they are five years old.

-The poor man's child must step aside if the rich man's child go by;

And scarcely aught may minister to his little vanity.

The children of the rich old man no carking care And of what could he be vain ?-his most beautiful they know,


Like lilies in the sunshine how beautiful they grow! Is what the rich man's children have worn and cast

And well may they be beautiful; in raiment of the best,

In velvet, gold, and ermine, their little forms are drest.

With a hat and jaunty feather set lightly on their head,


The finely spun, the many-hued, the new, are not for him,

He must clothe himself, with thankfulness, in garments soiled and dim.

And golden hair, like angels' locks, over their shoul- He sees the children of the rich in chariots gay go by, ders spread.

And well may they be beautiful; they toil not, neither spin,

Nor dig, nor delve, nor do they aught their daily bread to win.

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And what a heavenly life is their's," he sayeth with a sigh.

Then straightway to his work he goeth, for feeble though he be,

His daily toil must still be done to help the family.

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AT that sweet hour of even,

When nightingales awake, Low-bending o'er her first-born son, An anxious mother spake. "Thou child of prayer and blessing, Would that my soul could know, What the unending future holds For thee of joy or woe.

"Thy life, will it be gladness,

A sunny path of flowers;—
Or strift, with sorrow dark as death,
Through weary, wintry hours?

"Oh child of love and blessing,
Young blossom of life's tree-
My spirit trembles but to think

What time may make of thee!

"Yet of the unveiled future

Would knowledge might be given!" Then voices of the unseen ones

Made answer back from heaven.


"Tears he must shed unnumbered;
And he must strive with care,
As strives in war the armèd man:
And human woe must bear.

"Must learn that joy is mockery;

That man doth mask his heart; Must prove the trusted faithless; And see the loved depart!

"Must feel himself alone, alone;

Must weep when none can see; Then lock his grief, like treasure up, For lack of sympathy.

"Must prove all human knowledge
A burden, a deceit;
And many a flattering friendship find
A dark and hollow cheat.

"Well may'st thou weep, fond mother;-
For what can life bequeath,
But tears and sighs unnumbered,
But watching, change, and death!"


"Rejoice, rejoice, fond mother, Thou hast given birth,

To this immortal being,

To this sweet child of earth!

"The pearl within the ocean,
The gold within the mine,
Have not a thousandth part the worth
Of this fair child of thine!

"Oh fond and anxious mother,
Look up with joyful eyes,
For a boundless wealth of love and power
In that young spirit lies!

"Love to enfold all natures

In one benign embrace;
Power to diffuse a blessing wide
O'er all the human race!

"Bless God both night and morning;
Be thine a joyful heart;

For the child of mortal parents hath
With the Eternal part!

"The stars shall dim their brightness;
And as a parched scroll

The earth shall fade, but ne'er shall fade The undying human soul!

"Oh then rejoice fond mother, That thou hast given birth To this immortal being,

To this fair child of earth!"


How goodly is the earth!

Look round about and see
The green and fertile field;
The mighty branched tree;
The little flowers out-spread
In such variety!
Behold the lovely things
That dance on airy wings;
The birds whose summer pleasure

Is not of stinted measure;
The grassy vales, the hills;
The flower-embordered rills;
The clouds that lie at rest
Upon the noonday's breast;
Behold all these and know,
How goodly is the earth!
How goodly is the earth!

Its mountain-tops behold;
Its rivers broad and strong;
Its solemn forests old;

Its wealth of flocks and herds;
Its precious stones and gold;

Behold the radiant isles
With which old ocean smiles;
Behold the seasons run
Obedient to the sun;

The gracious showers descend;
Life springing without end:
By day the glorious light;
The starry pomp by night;-
Behold all these, and know
How goodly is the earth!

How goodly is the earth!

Yet if this earth be made So goodly wherein all

That is shall droop and fade; Wherein the glorious light

Hath still its fellow, shade;So goodly, where is strife Ever 'twixt death and life; Where trouble dims the eye; Where sin hath mastery; How much more bright and fair, Will be that region, where The saints of God shall rest Rejoicing with the blessed;Where pain is not, nor death,The Paradise of God!



My life hath had its curse; and I will tell
To you its dark and troubled history.
Brethren you are; oh then as brethren dwell,
Linked soul to soul in blessèd unity;
Like the rejoicing branches of a tree,
All braving storm, all sharing sunny weather,
All putting on their leaves, and withering all together.

I had a brother. As a spring of joy
Was he unto the gladness of my youth;
And in our guileless confidence, each boy,
Vowed a sweet vow of everlasting truth,
All sympathetic love, all generous ruth;
Alas! that years the noble heart should tame,
And the boy's virtue put the man to shame!

I was the elder; and as years passed on
Men paid invidious homage to the heir;
And pride, which was the sin of angels, won
Our human hearts; their guilt I will not spare :
If I was proud, the boy began to wear
A lip of scorn, and paid me back my pride,
With arrowy wit that wounded and defied.

Still he was dear to me, and I would gaze
With yearning heart upon him as he went
Past me in silent pride, and inly praised

His godlike form, and the fair lineament
Of his fine countenance, as eloquent
As if it breathed forth music; and his voice
Oh how its tones could soften and rejoice!

Strange was it, that a brother, thus my pride, Grew to my friendship so estranged and cold; Strange was it, that kind spirits erst allied

By kindred fellowship, so proved of old, Were sundered and to separate interests sold! I know not how it was; but pride was strong In either breast, and did the other wrong. There was another cause-we fiercely strove In an ambitious race;- but worse than all, We met, two rival combatants in love:

My brother was the victor, and my fall, Maddening my jealous pride, turned love to gall. There was no lingering kindness more. We parted, Each on his separate way, the severed-hearted. For years we met not; met not till we stood, Silent and moody, by our father's bed, Each with his hatred seemingly subdued

Whilst in the presence of that reverent head: Surely our steadfast rancour might have fled When that good father joined our hands and smiled, And died believing we were reconciled!

And so we might have been; but there were those
Who found advantage in our longer hate;
Who stepped between our hearts and kept us foes,
And taught that hatred was inviolate :-
Fools to be duped by such! But ah, too late
True knowledge and repentance come; and back
I look in woe upon life's blighted track!

We were the victims of the arts we scorned;
We were like clay within the potter's hand:
And so again we parted. He adorned

The courtly world: his wit and manners bland
The hearts of men and women could command.
I too ran folly's round, till tired of pleasure,
I sought repose in tranquil, rural leisure.

Ere long he left his native land, and went

Into the East with pomp and power girt round. And so years past: the morn of life was spent, And manhood's noon advanced with splendour crowned;

They said 'mid kingly luxury without bound, He dwelt in joy; and that his blessings ever Flowed like that land's unmeasured, bounteous river. And the world worshipped him, for he was greatGreat in the council, greater in the field. And I too had my blessings, for I sate

Amid my little ones: the fount unsealed
Of my heart's wronged affections seemed to yield
A tenfold current: and my babes, like light
Unto the captive's gaze, rejoiced my sight.

I dwelt within my home an altered man ;
Again all tenderness and love was sweet,
"T was as if fresh existence had began,
Since pleasant welcomes were sent forth to greet
My coming, and the sound of little feet
Was on my floor, and bright and loving eyes
Beamed on me without feigning a disguise.

As the chill snows of winter melt away
Before the genial spring, so from my heart
Passed hatred and revenge; and I could pray

For pardon, pardoning all; my soul was blessed With answered love, and hopes whereon to rest My joy in years to come; I asked no more, The cup of that rich blessedness ran o'er. Alas! even then the brightness of my life

Again grew dim; my fount of joy was dried; My soul was doomed to bear a heavier strife Than it had borne! - my children at my side In their meek, loving beauty, drooped and died First they, and then their mother! Did I weep? No, tears are not for griefs intense and deep! Ah me! those weary days, those painful nights, When voices from the dead were in mine ear,

And I had visions of my lost delights,

And saw the lovely and the loving near,

"I will arise," I cried. like him of yore,

The conscience-stricken prodigal, and lay
Myself, as in the dust, his face before,

And, I have sinned, my brother! I will say
'Forgive, forgive! The clouds shall pass away,
And I will banquet on his love; and rest
My weary soul on his sustaining breast!"

I gathered up my strength; I asked of none
Council or aid; I crossed the desert sea;
The purpose of my soul, to all unknown,
Was yet supporting energy to me.

I was like one from cruel bonds set free,
Who walks exulting on, yet telleth not
The all-sufficing gladness of his lot.

Then woke and knew my home so dim and drear! Through the great cities of the East I passed What marvel if I prayed that I might die, In my soul's great, unchastened misery!

I had known sorrow, and remorse, and shame,
But never knew I misery till that time;
And in my soul sprang up the torturing blame,

That they had died for my unpardoned crime!
Then madness followed; and my manhood's prime
Passed like a dark and hideous dream away,
Without a memory left of night or day.
I dwelt within my childhood's home, and yet
I wist not of each dear familiar place;
My soul was in a gloomy darkness set,

Engulphed in deadness for a season's space. At length light beamed; a ray of heavenly grace Upon my bowed and darkened spirit lay, Healing its wounds and giving power to pray. I rose a sorrowing man, and yet renewed:

Resigned, although abashed to the dust; I felt that God was righteous, true, and good, And though severe in awful judgment, just; Therefore in him I put undoubting trust, And walked once more among my fellow-men, Yet in their vain joys mingling not again. My home was still a solitude; none sought Nor found in me companion; yet I pined For something which might win my weary thought From its deep anguish; some strong, generous mind, Round which my lorn affections might be twined: Some truthful heart on which mine own might lean, And still from life some scattered comfort glean. The dead, alas! I sorrowed for the dead,

Until well-nigh my madness had returned;
Till memory of them grew a thing of dread,
And therefore towards a living friend I yearned.
My brother! then my soul unto thee turned;
Then pined I for thy spirit's buoyant play,
Like the chained captive for the light of day!
The kindness of his youth came back to me;
I saw his form in visions of the night;

I seemed to hear his footsteps light and free
Upon my floors; the memoried delight

Of his rich voice came back with sweeter might!
Perchance 'twas madness—so I often thought,
For with insatiate zeal in me it wrought.

Into the kingdom where he reigned supreme;
I came unto a gorgeous palace, vast

As the creation of a poet's dream :-
My strength gave way, how little did I seem'
I felt like Joseph's brethren, mean and base,
I turned aside and dared not meet his face.

Hard by there was a grove of cypress trees;

A place, as if for mourning spirits made; Thither I sped, my burdened heart to ease,

And weep unseen within the secret shade. A mighty woe that cypress grove displayed! Oh let me weep! you will not say that tears Wrung by that sorrow can be stanched by years.

There was a tomb; a tomb as of a king;

A gorgeous palace of the unconscious dead. My heart died in me, like the failing wing

Of the struck bird, as on that wall I read
My brother's name! Feeling and memory fled;
The flood-gates of my misery gave way,
And senseless on the marble floor I lay.

I lay for hours; and when my sense returned
The day was o'er; no moon was in the sky,
But the thick-strewn, eternal planets burned
In their celestial beauty steadfastly; —

It seemed each star was as a heavenly eye Looking upon my sorrow;- thus I deemed, And sate within the tomb till morning beamed.

-For this I crossed the sea: in those far wilds,
Through perils numberless, for this I went!
What followed next I tell not: as a child's
Again my soul was feeble; too much spent
To suffer as of old, or to lament.

I came back to the scenes where life began,
By griefs, not years, a bowed and aged man.

I murmur not; but with submissive will
Resign to woe the evening of my day;
On the great morrow love will have its fill;
God will forgive our poor repentant clay,
Nor thrust us from his paradise away!
But brethren, be ye warned! Oh do not sever
Your kindred hearts, which should be linked

For ever!


My old friend, he was a good old friend,
And I thought, like a fool, his face to mend;
I got another; but ah! to my cost

I found him unlike the one I had lost!

I and my friend, we were bred together: —
He had a smile like the summer weather;
A kind warm heart; and a hand as free:-
My friend, he was all the world to me!

I could sit with him and crack many a joke,
And talk of old times and the village folk;
He had been with us at the Christmas time;
He knew every tree we used to climb;
And where we played; and what befell,
My dear old friend remembered well.
It did me good but to see his face;
And I've put another friend in his place!
I wonder how such a thing could be,

For my old friend would not have slighted me!

Oh my fine new friend, he is smooth and bland,
With a jewelled ring or two on his hand;
He visits my lord and my lady fair;

He hums the last new opera air.

He takes not the children on his knee;

My faithful hound reproacheth me,

For he snarls when my new friend draweth near,
But my good old friend to the brute was dear!
I wonder how I such thing could do,

As change the old friend for the new!

My rare old friend, he read the plays,
That were written in Master Shakspeare's days;
He found in them wit and moral good:-
My new friend thinks them coarse and rude: -
And many a pleasant song he sung,

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For there is no bond between us twain;`
And I sigh for my dear old friend again;
And thus, too late, I bitterly rue
That I changed the old friend for the new!



"Arise, my maiden, Mabel,"
The mother said, "arise,

For the golden sun of Midsummer
Is shining in the skies.
"Arise, my little maiden,

For thou must speed away,
To wait upon thy grandmother
This livelong summer day.
"And thou must carry with thee

This wheaten cake so fine;
This new-made pat of butter;

This little flask of wine!

"And tell the dear old body,

This day I cannot come,

For the good man went out yester-morn, And he is not come home.

"And more than this, poor Amy

Upon my knee doth lie;

I fear me, with this fever-pain
That little child will die!

"And thou can'st help thy grandmother;
The table thou can'st spread;
Can'st feed the little dog and bird,

And thou can'st make her bed.

"And thou can'st fetch the water,
From the lady-well hard by;
And thou can'st gather from the wood
The fagots brown and dry.

"Can'st go down to the lonesome glen,
To milk the mother-ewe;
This is the work, my Mabel,
That thou wilt have to do.

"But listen now, my Mabel,

This is Midsummer-day, When all the fairy people

From elf-land come away.

"And when thou art in lonesome glen, Keep by the running burn,

And do not pluck the strawberry flower, Nor break the lady-fern.

"But think not of the fairy folk, Lest mischief should befall; Think only of poor Amy,

And how thou lov'st us all.

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