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O blest restraint ! more blessed range!
Too soon the happy child
For life's seducing wild:
Too soon his alter'd day dreams shew
This earth a boundless space, With sun-bright pleasures to and fro
Sporting in joyous race :
While of his narrowing heart each year,
Heaven less and less will fill, Less keenly, through his grosser ear,
The tones of mercy thrill.
It must be so: else wherefore falls
The Saviour's voice unheard,
spare as I have spard ?"
By our own niggard rule we try
The hope to suppliants given ; We mete out love, as if our eye
Saw to the end of heaven.
Yes, ransom'd sinner! wouldst thou know
How often to forgive,
Look where thou hop'st to live :
When thou hast told those isles of light,
And fancied all beyond, Whatever owns, in depth or height,
Creation's wondrous bond ;
Then in their solemn pageant learn
Sweet mercy's praise to see: Their Lord resign’d them all, to earn
The bliss of pardoning thee.
TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AFTER
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself. Philippians iii. 21.
RED o'er the forest peers the setting sun,
The line of yellow light dies fast away That crown'd the eastern copse: and chill and dun
Falls on the moor the brief November day.
Now the tir'd hunter winds a parting note,
And Echo bids good-night from every glade ; Yet wait awhile, and see the calm leaves float
Each to his rest beneath their parent shade.
How like decaying life they seem to glide !
And yet no second spring have they in store, But where they fall forgotten to abide,
Is all their portion, and they ask no more.
Soon o'er their heads blithe April airs shall sing,
A thousand wild flowers round them shall unfold, The green buds glisten in the dews of Spring,
And all be vernal rapture as of old.
Unconscious they in waste oblivion lie,
In all the world of busy life around
No drop, for them, of kindly influence found.
Man's portion is to die and rise again-,
Yet he complains, while these unmurmuring part With their sweet lives, as pure from sin and stain,
As his when Eden held his virgin heart.
And haply half unblam'd his murmuring voice
Might sound in heaven, were all his second life Only the first renew'd—the heathen's choice,
A round of listless joy and weary strife.
For dreary were this earth, if earth were all,
Though brightend oft by dear affection's kiss ;Who for the spangles wears the funeral pall ?
But catch a gleam beyond it, and 'tis bliss.
Heavy and dull this frame of limbs and heart,
Whether slow creeping on cold earth, or borne
O’er wave or field: yet breezes laugh to scorn
Our puny speed, and birds, and clouds in heaven,
And fish, like living shafts that pierce the main, And stars that shoot through freezing air at even
Who but would follow, might he break his chain ?
And thou shalt break it soon; the groveling worm
Shall find his wings, and soar as fast and free
And snowy vest-such grace He won for thee,
When from the
sprung at dawn of morn, And led through boundless air thy conquering road, Leaving a glorious track, where saints new-born
Might fearless follow to their blest abode.
But first, by many a stern and fiery blast
The world's rude furnace must thy blood refine, And many a gale of keenest woe be pass’d,
Till every pulse beat true to airs divine,