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"And set my saints before thee in the way, "Lest thou should'st faint or stray?
"What? was the promise made to thee alone? "Art thou th' excepted one?
"An heir of glory without grief or pain? "O vision false and vain!
"There lies thy cross; beneath it meekly bow; "It fits thy stature now :
"Who scornful pass it with averted eye, " "Twill crush them by and by.
"Raise thy repining eyes, and take true measure "Of thine eternal treasure;
"The Father of thy Lord can grudge thee nought, "The world for thee was bought,
"And as this landscape broad-earth, sea, and sky,— "All centers in thine eye,
"So all God does, if rightly understood,
"Shall work thy final good."
TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY AFTER
The vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it shall speak and not lie though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Habakkuk ii. 3.
THE morning mist is clear'd away,
Nor yet th' autumnal breeze has stirr❜d the grove,
Faded yet full, a paler green
Skirts soberly the tranquil scene,
The red-breast warbles round this leafy cove.
Sweet messenger of " calm decay,"
Saluting sorrow as you may,
As one still bent to find or make the best,
In thee, and in this quiet mead
Rather in all to be resign'd than blest.
'Tis a low chant, according well
With the soft solitary knell,
As homeward from some grave belov'd we turn,
Or by some holy death-bed dear,
Most welcome to the chasten'd ear
Of her whom heaven is teaching how to mourn.
O cheerful tender strain! the heart
'Mid wither'd hues and sere, its lot be cast:
That is the heart for thoughtful seer,
And tracing through the cloud th' eternal Cause.
d Zechariah xiv. 6. It shall come to pass in that day, that the night shall not be clear nor dark.
That is the heart for watchman true
Waiting to see what God will do,
As o'er the Church the gathering twilight falls :
If chance the golden hours be nigh,
By youthful Hope seen beaming round her walls.
Forc'd from his shadowy paradise,
His thoughts to Heaven the steadier rise : There seek his answer when the world reproves : Contented in his darkling round,
If only he be faithful found,
When from the east th' eternal morning moves.
Note: The expression, “calm decay,” is borrowed from a friend: by whose kind permission the following stanzas are here inserted.
Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? St. Matthew xviii. 21.
WHAT liberty so glad and gay,
As where the mountain boy,
Reckless of regions far away,
The dreary sounds of crowded earth,
Never untun'd his lonely mirth,
Nor drew his visions down.
The snow-clad peaks of rosy light
That meet his morning view,
The thwarting cliffs that bound his sight,
They bound in fancy too.