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Worn by the senseless wind, shall live alone
In the frail pauses of this simple strain,
Let not high verse, mourning the memory
Of that which is no more, or painting's woe
Or sculpture, speak in feeble imagery
Their own cold powers. Art and eloquence,
And all the shows o' the world, are frail and vain
To weep a loss that turns their light to shade.
It is a woe " too deep for tears," when all
Is reft at once, when some surpassing Spirit,
Whose light adorned the world around it, leaves
Those who remain behind nor sobs nor groans,
The passionate tumult of a clinging hope;
But pale despair and cold tranquillity,
Nature's vast frame, the web of human things,
Birth and the grave, that are not as they were.
THE RITUAL OF NATURE.
By Ernest Jones, whose poetryjs far better than his politics.
Loun the lofty belfry rung,
Wide the massy portal swung—
For Beldagon's Cathedral fane
A proud assembly sought again.
High the fields are waving;
Orchard fruit is blest—
Summer's merry saving
For Winter's happy rest.
O'er the clover lea
The blossom-loving bee,
Though 'tis Sunday morn,
Winds her humming horn,
Where lily-bell and rose
No door denying close—
Asking neither price nor pay,
Wooing what might pass that way,
To be their sweets' partaker.
Bell and book unheeding,
The quiet kine are feeding,
The birds are on the wing,
The pebbled runnels ring,
The rivers still are flowing,
The graceful corn is growing,
The frolic wind is blowing—
And yet, the world caressing,
Unwrinkled by a frown,
The blue sky, sends a blessing
On all creation down.
Come away awhile with me
To harvest field and clover lea;
Sit by nature's side, and pray,
And join her service for the day:
Every whispering leaf's a preacher,
Every daisy is a teacher,
Writing on the unsullied sod
Revelation straight from God.
Then, while yon solemn belfry swings,
List how Earth her matin sings,
And how the early morning rises,
Step by step, with glad surprises:
We shall return in time to hear
How saints adore and sinners fear.
Mistily, dreamily, steals a faint glimmer—
Hill-tops grow lighter, though stars grow dimmer:
First a streak of grey; then a line of green;
Then a sea of roses, with golden isles between.
All along the dawn-lit prairies
Stand the flowers, like tip-toe fairies
Waiting for the early dew.
As the moning
Walks their airy muster through,
All the new-born blossoms christening
With a sacrament of dew.
And from them—a flower with wings—
Their angel that watch'd through the night—
The beautiful butterfly springs
To the lij;ht.
See! a shadow moves,
Down the mountain furl'd:
It is a thin grey shadow—
Yet it moves the world.
For, hist ye! list ye! what is gliding,
Where the trail is newly laid?
In the herbage hiding,
Through the bushes sliding,
With the moving shadow?
Crowds of timid things,
Paws, and feet, and wings,
All through the boughs and bushy glade,
And o'er the clover meadow.
And gaze aloft, where riven
Through the parted heaven,
Cleaves a snowy stream;
Between its cloudy shores
A towering eagle soars,
To bathe in the first sunbeam;
And comes back to the mountains dun,
To tell them he has seen the sun.
Then the skies grow bold,
Fast the day mounts higher,
Forth, in cloudless glory,
Bursts the flashing fire!
And where the warm rays quiver,
On pool, and rill, and river,
Whirling, twirling, upward curling,
Vapoury columns music-rife,
Meeting, parting, backward darting,
Swarms the merry insect life.
Lone, the chanticleer
Crew reveillee long;
'Tis now his turn to hear
The world awake to song.
The .flower that sings, as the sunlight clings
On the petal with finger of gold; And the forest.—that harp of a million strings,
And ajolian melodies old!
While the voice of the springs in the mountain rings
The great keynote of the main,
And the light cloud flings from its shadowy wings
The laugh of the dancing rain.
Then the birds all pause on the blossoming haws,
As the drop on the branch they hear,
And the thunder, that awes—like a giant's applause—
The song it was given to cheer.
But the lark carols high in the light of the sky,
Where the portals of paradise glow;
The angels allure him so far to fly,
For envy of man below.
And the musical wail of the nightingale
Confesses a heavenly birth;
The last of the seraphim, haunting the vale
For love of a daughter of earth.
And the labourer's lay is enlivening day,
And the shepherd boy answering wild;
And the young at their play in the new-mown hay,
And the mother's sweet song to her child;
As if nature, intent to surpass all she lent
In the breath of the rose and the coo of the dove,
To crown the great hymn of the universe sent—
And a spirit glides before me,
Pointing to the moral true:
O my God, how I adore thee
When I walk thy wonders through,
Learning Spring's romantic story,
Or the Summer's tale of glory,
Or the Autumn's legend hoary,
Old as earth, yet ever new!
Nor is it sadder when the Winter
Lays his hand, though wet and cold,
On bough and blossom, grass and mould,
Saying, in his breathings deep—
Mortal, rest; and Nature, sleep;
But unto nought that liveth, weep!
But ever the loving hand of Heaven
Heals the wound that man has given;
Reptile, bird, and beast of prey,
From half the world are swept away—
Those who took the taint decay.
And ever the stream of Truth is flowing
And ever the seed of Peace is growing;
And ever a voice is stealing,
The gospel of Love revealing;
Flower and mountain, wave and wind,
Say—God is good; and God is kind;
He frowns at fear, and grief, and care,
And man's worst blasphemy, despair.
For joy is praise, and peace is prayer,
And Heaven is near, and Earth is bright,
And God is Love, and Life, and Light.
A PAUSE OF THOUGHT.
From an extinct periodical, called the Germ, to which some of the most rising spirits of our time were contributors.
I Looked for that which is not, nor can be,
And hope deferr'd made my heart sick, in truth;
But years must pass before a hope of youth
Is resigned utterly.
I watch'd and waited with a steadfast will:
And, though the object seem'd to flee away
That I so long'd for, ever, day by day,
I watch'd and waited still.
Sometimes I said,—" This thing shall be no more;
My expectation wearies and shall cease;
I will resign it now, and be at peace:"—
Yet never gave it o'er.
Sometimes I said,—" It is an empty name
I long for: to a name why should I give
The peace of all the days I have to live?"
Yet gave it all the same.