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Till every limb obey the mounting soul,
The mounting soul, the call by Jesus given. He who the stormy heart can so control
The laggard body soon will waft to heaven.
The heart knoweth his own bitterness, and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy. Proverbs xiv. 10.
WHY should we faint and fear to live alone,
Since all alone, so Heaven has will’d, we die", Nor even the tenderest heart, and next our own,
Knows half the reasons why we smile and sigh ?
Each in his hidden sphere of joy or woe
Our hermit spirits dwell, and range apart, Our eyes see all around in gloom or glow
Hues of their own, fresh borrow'd from the heart.
a Je mourrai seul. Pascal.
And well it is for us our God should feel
Alone our secret throbbings : so our prayer May readier spring to Heaven, nor spend its zeal:
On cloud-born idols of this lower air.
For if one heart in perfect sympathy
Beat with another, answering love for love, Weak mortals, all entranc’d, on earth would lie,
Nor listen for those purer strains above.
Or what if Heaven for once its searching light
Lent to some partial eye, disclosing all The rude bad thoughts, that in our bosom’s night
Wander at large, nor heed Love's gentle thrall ?
Who would not shun the dreary uncouth place?
As if, fond leaning where her infant slept, A mother's arm a serpent should embrace :
So might we friendless live, and die unwept.
Then keep the softening veil in mercy drawn,
Thou who canst love us, tho' Thou read us true; As on the bosom of th' aerial lawn
Melts in dim haze each coarse ungentle hue.
So too may soothing Hope thy leave enjoy
Sweet visions of long sever'd hearts to frame : Though absence may impair, or cares annoy, Some constant mind
draw us still the same.
We in dark dreams are tossing to and fro,
Pine with regret, or sicken with despair,
And with our memory wings her own fond prayer.
O bliss of child-like innocence, and love
Tried to old age ! creative power to win,
Forgetting quite this grosser world of sin.
Bright are their dreams, because their thoughts are
clear, Their memory cheering: but th' earth-stained
spright, Whose wakeful musings are of guilt and fear,
Must hover nearer earth, and less in light.
Farewell, for her, th' ideal scenes so fair
Yet not farewell her hope, since Thou hast deign'd,
Creator of all hearts! to own and share
The woe of what Thou mad'st, and we have stain’d.
Thou know'st our bitterness—our joys are thine b
No stranger Thou to all our wanderings wild : Nor could we bear to think, how every line
Of us, thy darken'd likeness and defild,
Stands in full sunshine of thy piercing eye,
But that thou call'st us Brethren : sweet repose Is in that word—the LORD who dwells on high
Knows all, yet loves us better than He knows.
b Psalm xxxi. 8. Thou hast known my soul in adversities.
TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER
The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteous
Proverbs xvi. 31.
THE bright hair’d morn is glowing
O'er emerald meadows gay,
The early shepherd's way.
Stealing away with night
Tread more than airy light.
And see what joyous greeting
The sun through heaven has shed,
His beams have faster sped.