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Oh! in the spring and summer days
When trees and flowers are glad—
When wood-birds tune their joyous lays,
And nought on earth seems sad-
When murmuring streamlets glide along,
On their green banks I lie,
And listening to their peaceful song,
I think t'were sweet to die.
I bless the winged summer hours,
But see nor trees, nor birds, nor flowers.
At evening, when the children meet
Beneath the chesnut tree,
And gaily dance, with fairy feet,
And sing their song of glee :
Or, wondering, watch the morn appear,
And count the stars that rise,
I heave a sigh and oft a tear
Starts in these sightless eyes.
I see them not, those heavens that spread
In silent beauty o'er my head!
Oh! for the echo of that voice,
When forth His fiat went,
That bade the morning stars rejoice
In the blue firmament!
Thou who did'st say "Let there be light," Now listen, while I pray
That thou would'st chase this dreary night,
And make its darkness day;
Then these sad eyes shall wake and see Thy glorious works! how bright they be ! C. PHILLIPS.
THE dove let loose in eastern skies,
Returning fondly home,
Ne'er stoops to earth her wing, nor flies
Where idle warblers roam.
But high she shoots through air and light, Above all low delay,
Where nothing earthly bounds her flight, Nor shadow dims her way.
So grant me, Lord, from every stain.
Of sinful passion free,
Aloft, through virtue's purer air,
To steer my course to Thee!
No sin to cloud, no lure to stay
My soul, as home she springs; Thy sunshine on her joyful way, Thy freedom on her wings.
TIRED OF PLAY.
TIRED of play! tired of play!
What hast thou done this live-long day?
The birds are silent and so is the bee,
The sun is creeping up steeple and tree;
The doves have flown to the sheltering eaves,
And the nests are dark with the drooping leaves,
Twilight gathers and day is done,
How hast thou spent it, beautiful one?
Playing! but what hast thou done beside,
To tell thy mother at eventide ;
What promise of morn is left unbroken,
What kind word to thy playmate spoken?
Whom hast thou pitied and whom forgiven,
How with thy faults has duty striven;
What hast thou learned by field and hill,
By greenwood path and by singing rill.
There will come an eve to a longer day,
That will find thee tired but not of play.
And thou wilt lean as thou leanest now,
With drooping limbs and aching brow,
And wish the shadows would faster creep,
And long to go to thy quiet sleep.
Well were it then if thine aching brow
Were as free from sins and shame as now;
Well for thee if thy lip could tell
A tale like this—of a day spent well.
If thine open hand hath relieved distress,
If thy pity hath sprung to wretchedness,
If thou hast forgiven the sore offence,
And humbled thy heart with penitence;
If nature's voices have spoken to thee,
With their holy meaning eloquently.
If every creature hath won thy love,
From the creeping worm to the brooding dove,
If never a sadlow spoken word
Hath pled with thy human heart unheard,
Then when the night steals on as now,
It will bring relief to thine aching brow,
And with joy and peace at the thought of rest,
Thou wilt sink to sleep on thy mother's breast.
N. P. WILLis.
I DARE NOT SCORN.
I MAY not scorn the meanest thing,
That on the earth doth crawl;
The slave who dares not burst his chain,
The tyrant in his hall.
The vile oppressor who hath made
The widowed mother mourn,
Though worthless, he before me stand-
I cannot, dare not scorn.
The darkest night that shrouds the sky,
Of beauty hath a share;
The blackest heart hath signs to tell,
That God still lingers there.
I pity all that evil are-
I pity, and I mourn,
But the Supreme hath fashioned all,
And, oh! I dare not scorn.