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Just as the little boat approached
The island bleak and bare. The boat ran up a creek, as if,
"Twere steered by angels good; And ere the evening prayer was done
Beside the youth she stood.
Its deep excess to say;
His spirit died away.
And tears that ceaseless flowed; He pourèd forth from his full heart
A fervent praise of God.
“The meanest of thy creatures, low
I bend before thy throne, And offer my poor self to make
Thy loving-kindness known! « Oh father, give me words of power,
The stony hearts to move ; Give me prevailing eloquence,
To publish forth thy love! “ Thy love which wearieth not; which like
Thy sun, on all doth shine!
My life, oh Lord, are thine!"
The glorious island neared,
Above the sea appeared.
As if of opal glow;
In valleys grew below.
As Paradise, ere sin
With death had entered in.
A lovely land !-"And even now,"
Cried Marien,“ see they come, Children of love, my brother, now
To bid thee welcome home!
“But let us hence," said Marien;
And with the earliest morn,
They left the isle forlorn.
Over the waters blew,
Till the isle was out of view.
They sat; and of times gone, And of the blessèd dead conversed,
As the slender boat sailed on.
Over the Gospel bent,
O'er sinners that repent;
Returning bowed with shame, And the good father hastening forth
To meet him as he came;
Be brought; the golden ring;
As if to hail a king. "For this, my son," said he, “ was dead,
And is alive; is found, Who was long lost; 'tis meet, therefore,
That stintless joy abound!" "Oh, child of woe," said Marien,
“ Look up, for thou art he ; And round about the Father's throne
Many rejoice for thee !" "Oh Lord, I bless thee,” said the youth,
* That of thy mercy great,
From my forlorn estate !
Myself I dedicate!
“For these, God kept thee in the wild,
From sinful men apart;
Made pure thy trusting heart! “Thy work is here! Go forth, 'mid these
Meek children of the sun, Oh servant of the Lord, and tell
What He for thee hath done!"
A joyous, peaceful host,
Had sorrowed for as lost.
" And welcome to thee, little child!"
They sang forth sweet and clear; “And welcome to the stranger poor,
Who cometh with thee here!" And then they brought him silken cloth,
Since he was meanly drest; And juicy, mellow fruits to eat, And perfumed waters for his feet,
And mats whereon to rest
And ever as they served him,
They sang forth sweet and low, “Would this repose might solace theo, These apples cure thy woe!"
And though the twain knew not their speech,
Yet well they understood
Their actions kind and good.
The youth, and learned their tongue ; And with the sound of Christian praise
The hills and valleys rung.
That lay beneath the moon,
Of Christian virtues boon.
Unsuffering from their birth;
As angels on the earth.
Their chief, their priest, their friend,
Willing himself to spend.
From worldly taint kept free,
Amid its summer sea.
Was done; and ere his day
Was wearing fast away.
His loving eye grow dim;
They sorrowed over him.
And children wild and young,
And weeping round him hung. In flowery thickets of the hills
Sad mourners knelt in prayer, That God this servant so revered,
This friend beloved would spare. And round about his feet they sat,
Observant, meek, and still,
To do his slightest will.
Had wandered far and wide,
The hand of Heaven her guide. And now unto the glorious isle
She came; but on the shore She saw no wandering company,
As she had seen before.
A solemn stillness lay;
of many a Sabbath day!
A hush, as of suspended breath,
Ere some great grief began; For the mournful people silently
Stood round the dying man. Through the still vales went Marien,
And came at length to where,
In agony of prayer.
With heart of mournful ruth,
She saw the holy youth. With closèd eyes and pallid lips
He lay, as one whose life Meeteth with death, yet waiteth still
The last conflicting strise. Beside him knelt she on the turf,
And spoke in accents low Words of strong love, which like new life
Seemed through the frame to go. He raised himself, and blessing God,
That He of him had care,
Had sent his angel there ;
Than softest lute could make,
With fervent love, he spake. “Oh friends, beloved friends! weep not,
Nor be oppressed with woe; 'Tis of His will, who doeth right,
That I am called to go! “ Fain would I tarry, but the cry
Hath sounded in mine ear, • Haste to depart, the Lord hath need
Of thee no longer here! “Even like the Master whom I serve,
I pray ye not to grieve; But as ye have believed in me,
Also in Him believe! “I go, but leave you not forlorn,
As sheep without a guide ; — For Christ the unfailing Comforter
Shall still with you abide!
Awaits me, and I go,
For ye who love me so!
And unto yours, I go!"
A golden, cloudless sky;
Arose to God on high.
They buried him, and there
Long time with them dwelt Marien,
Until she was sent forth,
New service on the earth.
May angels guide thy bark, 'Mid slumbrous calm, 'mid tempests wild,
And o'er the waters dark !
The angel of the poor —
The world from shore to shore !
Not he! for he loveth the children;
And holiday begs for all;
For the great ones and the small !
For in giving he doth not tire ; From the red-faced, jovial butler,
To the girl by the kitchen-fire. And he tells us witty old stories;
And singeth with might and main; And we talk of the old man's visit
Till the day that he comes again! Oh he is a kind old fellow,
For though that beef be dear, He giveth the parish paupers
A good dinner once a year! And all the workhouse children
He sets them down in a row,
And two-pence a-piece also.
Have heard those children young,
Came oft and tarried long! He must be a rich old fellow,
What money he gives away! There is not a lord in England
Could equal him any day!
And long life, let us sing,
Than many a crowned king!
THE TWELFTH HOUR.
Now he who knows old Christmas,
He knows a carle of worth ; For he is as good a fellow,
As any upon the earth! He comes warm cloaked and coated,
And buttoned up to the chin,
We open and let him in.
So we sweep the hearth up clean; We set him the old armed chair,
And a cushion whereon to lean. And with sprigs of holly and ivy
We make the house look gay, Just out of an old regard to him, —
For it was his ancient way. We broach the strong ale barrel,
And bring out wine and meat; And thus have all things ready,
Our dear old friend to greet. And soon as the time wears round,
The good old carle we see. Coming a-near; – for a creditor
Less punctual is than he! He comes with a cordial voice
That does one good to hear; He shakes one heartily by the hand,
As he hath done many a year. And after the little children
He asks in a cheerful tone, Jack, Kate, and little Annie,
He remembers them every one ! What a fine old fellow he is,
With his faculties all as clear, And his heart as warm and light
As a man's in his fortieth year! What a fine old fellow, in troth!
Not one of your griping elves, Who, with plenty of money to spare, Think only about themselves !
My friends, the spirit is at peace;
Oh do not trouble me with tears;
Nor covet for me length of years,
I know how strong is human fear;
And words of power are in mine ear;
“We are commissioned from above, Through the dark portal to convey
Thee to the paradise of love; Thou need'st not shrink, thou need'st not fear; We, thy sure help, are gathered near !
A world of beauty in my mind,
A never-ceasing store.
“I hear you talk of mountains,
The beautiful, the grand; Of splintered peaks so grey and tall; Of lake, and glen, and waterfall; Of flowers and trees; - I ken them all;
Their difference understand.
“Thy weakness on our strength confide;
Thy doubt upon our steadfast trust; And rise up, pure and glorified,
From thine infirm and sinful dust. Rise up, rise up! the eternal day Begins to dawn — why wilt thou stay? “ Look forth — the day begins to dawn;
The future openeth to thy view; The veil of mystery is undrawn;
The old things are becoming new; The night of time is passing by : Poor trembler, do not fear to die! “Come, come! the gates of pearl unfold:
The eternal glory shines on thee! Body, relax thy lingering hold,
And set the struggling spirit free!" "Tis done, 'uis done!-- before my sight Opens the awful infinite: I see, I hear, I live anew! Oh friends, dear friends, -adieu, adieu!
“The harebell and the gowan
Are not alike to me, Are different as the herd and flock, The blasted pine-tree of the rock, The waving birch, the broad, green oak,
The river and the sea.
" And oh, the heavenly music,
That as I sit alone, Comes to mine inward sense as clear As if the angel voices were Singing to harp and dulcimer
Before the mighty Throne!
THE BLIND BOY AND HIS SISTER.
“ It is not as of outward sound,
Of breeze, or singing bird ; But wondrous melody refined ; A gift of God unto the blind; An inward harmony of mind,
By inward senses heard !
“ And all the old-world stories
That neighbours tell o' nights; Of fairies on the fairy mound, Of brownies dwelling under ground, Of elves careering round and round,
Of fays and water-sprites;
Is all a merry show;
Yet where I seem to go.
“Oh brother," said fair Annie,
To the blind boy at her side;
O'er all things far and wide!
In many a distant glen;
I would that thou could'st ken!
As well as I see thine;
Yet thou dost ne'er repine!"
Said the blind boy with a smile;
For many and many a mile! “I ken the night and day, Annie,
For all ye may believe;
Like gorgeous hues of eve. " I sit upon the stone, Annie,
Beside our cottage door,
“But better far than this, Annie,
Is when thou read'st to me Of the dear Saviour meek and kind, And how he healed the lame and blind. Am I not bealed !- for in my mind
His blessèd form I see!
“Oh, love is not of sight, Annie,
Is not of outward things; For, in my inmost soul I know, His pity for all mortal woe; His words of love, spoke long ago,
Unseal its deepest springs!
“Then do not mourn for me, Annie,
Because that I am blind;The beauty of all outward sight; The wondrous shows of day and night; All love, all faith, and all delight, Are strong in heart and mind!"
THE SPIRIT'S QUESTIONINGS.
What of this ? our blessed Lord
Loved such as we;How he blessed the little ones
Sitting on his knee!
WHERE shall I meet thee,
Thou beautiful one? Where shall I find thee,
For aye who art gone? What is the shape
To thy clear spirit given ? Where is thy home
In the infinite heaven? I see thee, but still
As thou wert upon earth, In thy bodied delight,
In thy wonder and mirth! But now thou art one
of the glorified band Who have touched the shore
of the far spirit-land! And thy shape is fair,
And thy locks are bright, In the living stream
Of the quenchless light. And thy spirit's thought
It is pure, and free From darkness and doubt
And from mystery! And thine ears have drunk
The awful tone of the First and Last,
Of the Ancient One! And the dwellers old
Thy steps have met, Where the lost is found,
And the past is yet. Where shall I find thee,
For aye who art gone ? Where shall I meet thee,
Thou beautiful one?
Hoar with the lapse of ages seemed
The silent land toward which I drew; And yet within myself I deemed
The dwellers in that land were few. A strong conviction seemed 10 rest
Upon my heart that I was then In the sole portion of the earth, Since creation's perfect birth,
Had held the sons of men ; And I was on a marvelling quest Of that small colony of the blest. How lone, how silent! not a sound
In earth or air, from wind or flood; But o'er the bare and barren ground
Brooded an endless solitude. It was an awful thing to tread
O'er grey and parched and mighty plains,
The blood chilled in my veins, —
Which seemed of an eternal power,
And I walked over fern and flower; Hills, robed in light celestial blue,
Bounded that amplitude of plain ;
And not a wild bird's strain,
One I beheld who strongly toiled;
Of noble form, but dimmed and soiled
And he clove wood for sacrifice.
Did from the pile arise ;
Before me; and between the tall
So low, it scarcely hung at all; 'Twas like no cloud which sails the sky;
Around it all was clearly seen; It mixed not with the ambient air; Rolled on itself compact and fair,
THE POOR CHILD'S HYMN.
We are poor and lowly born;
With the poor we bide; Labour is our heritage,
Care and want beside.
Was of lowly birth,
Were his friends on earth!
Simple children all; Gifted with but humble powers,
And of learning small.