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For lo! above the western haze
High towers the rainbow arch In solid span of purest rays: How stately is its march!
Pride of the dewy morning!
Even so, in hope and trembling
His little lambs assembling,
With glance both kind and true; 'Tis not the eye of keenest blaze,
Nor the quick-swelling breast,
That soonest thrills at touch of praiseThese do not please him best.
But voices low and gentle,
And timid glances shy,
That seem for aid parental
Still pressing, longing to be right,
In these the Pastor dares delight,
These in Life's distant even
As in th' autumnal heaven
Mild rainbow tints at night, When the last shower is stealing down, And ere they sink to rest,
The sun-beams weave a parting crown
For some sweet woodland nest.
The promise of the morrow
Is glorious on that eve,
Dear as the holy sorrow
When good men cease to live.
When brightening ere it die away
Mounts up their altar flame,
Still tending with intenser ray
To Heaven whence first it came.
Say not it dies, that glory,
'Tis caught unquench'd on high, Those saintlike brows so hoary
Shall wear it in the sky.
No smile is like the smile of death,
When all good musings past
SUNDAY NEXT BEFORE ADVENT.
Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
WILL God indeed with fragments bear,
Snatch'd late from the decaying year ?
The dregs of a polluted life?
When down th' o'erwhelming current tost,
Just ere he sink for ever lost,
The sailor's untried arms are cross'd
St. John vi. 12.
In agonizing prayer, will Ocean cease her strife?
Sighs that exhaust but not relieve,
For lavish'd hours and love mispent!
Back on the gaudy world our wilful eyes were bent.
Too soon th' ennobling carols, pour'd
For thankful echoing all the year
Too soon those airs have pass'd away ;
Nor long within the heart would stay
The silence of CHRIST's dying day,
Profan'd by worldly mirth, or scar'd by worldly fear.
Some strain of hope and victory
On Easter wings might lift us high;
A little while we sought the sky:
And when the SPIRIT'S beacon fires
On every hill began to blaze,
Lightening the world with glad amaze;
Who but must kindle while they gaze?
But faster than she soars, our earth-bound Fancy tires.
Nor yet for these, nor all the rites,
And sweeten every secret tear :—
And now elate and trembling now
To the Redeemer's feet their new-found treasures bear:
Not for the Pastor's gracious arm
Stretch'd out to bless-a Christian charm
To dull the shafts of worldly harm :
Nor, sweetest, holiest, best of all,
For the dear feast of JESUS dying,
Upon that altar ever lying,
Where souls with sacred hunger sighing
Are call'd to sit and eat, while angels prostrate fall:
No, not for each and all of these,
Have our frail spirits found their ease.
The gale that stirs th' autumnal trees