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CONVERSATION WITH THE WOMAN

OF SAMARIA.

I. “ The water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” - John iv. 14. 'T was early summer; and the glare of noon Shot fiercely down upon the earth. The breeze Whisper'd in invitation, as it stirr'd Among the leaves of this deep solitude, When first I wander'd hither; and the shade Of lofty rock and leafy covert, wooed My fainting spirit, and my sinking steps. The purling waters of a streamlet, too, Won me to enter here, and breathe the air That played upon their surface, and imbibe The coolness of their source. Gladly I turn’d, And traced the seldom trodden path that wound Along the bank, holding its tangled way Mid lowly brier with wild flower interwoven, And under the thick bows of ivied elms.

Here, in the very bosom of the dell, Amid its wildest loneliness, there stands A single, towering, moss-grown rock, whose clefts Shelter the first pale cowslip of the spring, And, here and there, a slender hyacinth. Under the grey rock's base, a giant elm Hath forced his sturdy roots, and upward flung

His broad trunk full upon its flinty breast.
Then, arching far and wide, his boughs descend
Brushing, with every breeze, the ground beneath.
Forth from the elm's deep roots, and ʼmid the sand
That intervenes, there gush'd a bubbling fountain.
The sparkling water for a moment boild
In its pure basin; lingering to bathe
The dipping leaves of the o'erhanging elm ;
That swept away o'er beds of glistening pebble,
Till, in the gloom of yonder thicket hid,
Nought but the murmuring of its waters told
Its secret progress.

- Bending o'er the roots Of the majestic tree, I drank. The draught Was cool and pure, fraught with returning life.

Here was a time to lie, and muse, and dream Of that primeval age of happiness, When cooling breezes, and refreshing springs, And fruits and flowers, made Eden paradise ; When man was innocent; and had not brought Upon his soul the alternate light and shade, The moment's brilliance, and the long deep gloom, Which, all too late, he learned to be the sum Of the high vaunted bliss of knowing good And evil.

*

Summer was in her sickly wane. A drought Had parch’d the earth ; a hot and feverish air

Breathed over nature, and dried up her freshness.
Floweret and leaf were shrivelled, and had bowed
Their heads in temporary death. The sun
Was at its height. The air was motionless.
The birds were dumb upon the drooping boughs.
A weary traveller, I had toild my way,
Scorched by the sun, while burning thirst
Was preying on my strength; ere I had reach'd
The fountain whose pure waters erst restor'd
My drooping spirit. Eagerly I sped
To breathe the coolness of the shade, and drink
Again from that reviving stream. There stood
The hoary rock, the venerable elin ;-
But where the fount whose deep clear water play'd
In gladness at their foot ? Where? It was gone!
Vanish’d, even as the brightness of a dream !

So fares it with the unhappy man who seeks
For lasting pleasures in the stream of life.
The draught he swallows now, so eagerly
That its fell power makes reason itself to reel,
He fondly dreams waits but for his return;
He does return, with greedier thirst, to quaff
The treacherous stream, but finds the channel dry.
Sore disappointment blights his idle hopes,
And preys upon his spirit, like the worm
That never dies. -Oh! heard he but the voice
Of Grace, “ Ho! every one that thirsteth, come !

And drink

ye

of the waters of that fount Which flows exhaustless from the lips of Truth. Here is no giddy, brief, deceptive draught. Taste but the stream, and it becomes a well Within you, springing up to life eternal."

W. Russell.

“ God is a spirit.” – John iv. 24.

II.
On Thou, to whom, in ancient time
The lyre of Hebrew bards was strung,
Whom kings adored in song sublime,
And Prophets praised with glowing tongue !

Not now on Zion's height alone
The favored worshippers may dwell,
Nor where, at sultry noon, thy Son,
Sat, weary, by the patriarch's well.

From every place below the skies,
The grateful song, the fervent prayer,
The incense of the heart, may rise
To heaven, and find acceptance there.

To Thee shall age, with snowy hair,
And strength and beauty bend the knee,

And childhood lisp, with reverent air,
Its praises and its prayers to Thee.

Oh Thou to whom in ancient time
The lyre of prophet bards was strung,
To Thee at length, in every clime,
Shall temples rise, and praise be sung.

Pierpont.

III. Spirit! whose life-sustaining presence fills Air, ocean, central depths, by man untried, Thou for thy worshippers hast sanctified All place, all time! The silence of the hills Breathes veneration :-founts and choral rills Of thee are murmuring :- to its inmost glade The living forest with thy whisper thrills, And there is holiness on every shade. Yet must the thoughtful soul of man invest With dearer consecration those

pure fanes, Which, sever'd from all sound of earth's unrest, Hear nought but suppliant or adoring strains Rise heavenward. Ne'er may rock or

possess Their claim on human hearts to solemn tenderness.

Mrs Hemans.

cave

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