Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The scythe lies glittering in the dewy wreath
Of tedded grass, mingled with fading flowers,
That yestermorn bloomed waving in the breeze.
Sounds the most faint attract the ear; the hum
Of early bee, the trickling of the dew,
The distant bleating, midway up the bill.
Calmness sits throned on you unmoving cloud.
To him who wanders o'er the upland leas,
The blackbird's note comes mellower from the dale;
And sweeter from the sky the gladsome lark
Warbles his heaven-tuned song; the lulling brook
Murmurs more gently down the deep-worn glen;
While, from yon lowly roof, whose curling smoke
O'ermounts the mist, is heard, at intervals,
The voice of psalms, the simple song of praise.

With dovelike wings, peace o'er yon village broods ; The dizzying mill-wheel rests; the anvil's din Hath ceased; all, all around is quietness. Less fearful on this day, the limping hare Stops and looks back, and stops and looks on man, Her deadliest foe. The toil-worn horse, set free, Unheedful of the pasture, roams at large; And as his stiff, unwieldy bulk he rolls, His iron-armed hoofs gleam in the morning ray.

But chiefly man the day of rest enjoys. Hail, Sabbath! thee I hail, the poor man's day. On other days the man of toil is doomed To eat his joyless bread, lonely; the ground Both seat and board ; screened from the winter's cold And summer's heat by neighboring hedge or tree; But on this day, imbosomed in his home, He shares the frugal meal with those he loves ; With those he loves he shares the heartfelt joy Of giving thanks to God; not thanks of form, A word and a grimace, but reverently, With covered face, and upward, earnest

eye.

Hail, Sabbath! thee I hail, the poor man's day,
The pale mechanic now has leave to breathe
The morning air, pure from the city's smoke;
While, wandering slowly up the river side,
He meditates on Him, whose power he marks

In each green tree that proudly spreads the bough,
As in the tiny dew-bent flowers that bloom
Around its roots; and, while he thus surveys,
With elevated joy, each rural charm,
He hopes, yet fears presumption in the hope,
That Heaven may be one Sabbath without end.

J. GRAHAME.

LESSON CXCVI.

CONSOLATION OF RELIGION.

There is a mourner, and her heart is broken;

She is a widow; she is old and poor;
Her only hope is in that sacred token

Of peaceful happiness, when life is o'er;
She asks, nor wealth, nor pleasure, begs no more

Than heaven's delightful volume, and the sight
Of her Redeemer. Skeptics! would you pour

Your blasting vials on her head, and blight Sharon's sweet rose, that blooms, and charms her being's night?

She lives in her affections ; for the grave

Has closed upon her husband, children; all. Her hopes are with the arms she trusts will save

Her treasured jewels; though her views are small,

Though she has never mounted high to fall And writhe in her debasement, yet the spring

Of her meek, tender feelings, cannot pall Upon her unperverted palate, but will bring A joy without regret, a bliss that has no sting.

Even as a fountain, whose unsullied wave

Wells in the pathless valley, flowing o'er With silent waters, kissing, as they lave,

The pebbles with light rippling, and the shore

Of matted grass and flowers; so, softly pour
The breathings of her bosom, when she prays,

Low-bowed, before her Maker; then, no more
She muses on the griefs of former days:
Her full heart melts and flows in Heaven's dissolving rays.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

And faith can see a new world, and the eyes

Of saints look pity on her. Death will come:
A few short moments over, and the prize

Of peace eternal waits her, and the tomb

Becomes her fondest pillow : all its gloom
Is scattered. What a meeting there will be

To her and all she loved while here! and the bloom
Of new life from those cheeks shall never flee.
There is the health which lasts through all eternity.

J. G. PERCIVAL.

LESSON CXCVII.

Time's LAST VISIT.

[There is a Persian legend, representing Time, before commencing his “New Year's Flight,” warning those who are to die during the comis

season, of their inevitable fate."]

The night was a cold and stormy one,

And the year was running low,
When Time threw his traveling manile on,

As he was about to go :
And he cast on his glass a rueful look ;

“ The sands will be out,” he said,
(Seizing his memorandum book,)

“And these visits must be made :
But it does little good the fools to warn;

I almost lose my labors ;
They think the last visit I make to them

Is always meant for their neighbors.

Last year my duty was faithfully done;

I traversed the city through,
Revealing to every devoted one,

I had come for a final adieu :
Why, they treated my warning as Nicholas treats

The groans of the dying Poles :
Or thought ’t was to save (how this avarice cheats !)

Their money, not their souls,
That my hint of a speedy departure was given,

Though I bade them farewell like a lover;
And how few there were who prepared for heaven!

I can easily reckon them over.

[ocr errors]

And first to a Banker's house I hied,

Though I knew he was often surly,
But these Rothchilds, one must humor their pride;

So I hastened to warn him early.
I found him within, at a sumptuous feast,

An Apician sauce was before him,
And its flavor he praised to each smiling guest;

• 'Tis Death! thus my warning came o'er him. Oh, how his eye glared as he bade me flee!

I was off like a twinkle of light,
And he ate at that dinner enough for three,

And he died of a spasm that night.

I hurried away to a Doctor, then,

Though I knew I might spare my pains, That he thought of disease as the end of men,

And of death as the doctor's gains ; • My patient must die,' he was maundering on;

As he glanced a fee-bill o'er, *And his money will go to his graceless son,

My bill might be somewhat more;
For the youth will ne'er take the trouble to note

That I've charged five visits a day.'
So he figured away, while I laughed in his ear,

• REMEMBER MY VISITS TO PAY!'

I told an Old Man it was time he should go,

And he was too deaf to hear:
I called, at the play, on a dashing Beau,

And he was too gay to fear :
I paused in a Merchant's counting-room,

And a dunce was I to stop,
Scarce would he have heeded the crash of doom,

While reckoning his leger up. • THERE IS ONE DEMAND,' I began to say,

He burst with a hurried breath, "Show me your bill, I've the cash to pay;'

I left him to settle with death !

I stopped at a Poor Man's humble shed,

And thought ’t would delight him so,
For I knew he had often wished he was dead ;

But he flatly refused to go:
And 0, the wild agony of his eye,

As he begged me one year to give !

Saying 't was too bad for a man to die

Who had struggled so hard to live;
That his wife must beg, and his children starve :

I whispered of charity;
He raised his eye with a look of despair;

• 'Tis a broken reed,' sighed he.

I had fared so ill with the lords of earth,

Of the earth they had proved indeed,
That I turned to the sex of gentler birth,

Hoping more kindly to speed !
On the beautiful BELLE I made a call;

A milliner's girl stood by,
She brought a new dress for the New Year's ball;

I breathed a sepulchral sigh,
And the rich, red flowers looked ghastly white;

• How odd! cried the beauty, in sorrow; • These do not become me at all to-night,

But bring me some brighter to-morrow.'

And then-but why continue the list,

So fraught with chagrin to me:
Who likes to remember the times he has missed,

When recounting his archery?
I called, in fine, on the old and the young,

Fair, ugly, and sober, and gay,
The chorus the same to the tune they all sung;

They would not be hurried away.
There were many who hated the world, to be sure,

And called Time an old, villainous cheat, But Heaven was so distant, so bright, and so pure;

They had no inclination to see 't.

Worms of the dust! I murmured in wrath,

As I entered a stately dome,
And, following the clue of my fated path,

Repaired to a nursery room ;-
The children were sleeping like nestled birds,

And she, the sweet mother dove,
With a face too happy to paint by words,

Was choosing her gifts of love
For the New Year's morn; I touched her cheek,

She knew the deadly thrill,
And raising her eyes with a smile 60 meek;

• My Father, 't is thy will.'

« AnteriorContinuar »