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An emblem this of what the sober hour
Can do for minds disposed to feel its power!
Thus oft, when we in vain have wished away
The petty pleasures of the garish day,
Meek eve shuts up the whole usurping host
(Unbashful dwarfs, each glittering at his post)
And leaves the disencumbered spirit free
To reassume a staid simplicity.
'Tis well—but what are helps of time and place,
When wisdom stands in need of Nature's grace;
Why do good thoughts, invoked or not, descend,
Like angels from their bowers, our virtues to befriend;
If yet to-morrow, unbelied, may say,
“I come to open out, for fresh display,
The elastic vanities of yesterday?"
The sun, that seemed so mildly to retire,
Flung back from distant climes a streaming fire,
Whose blaze is now subdued to tender gleams,
Prelude of night's approach with soothing dreams.
Look round ;-of all the clouds not one is moving ;
'T'is the still hour of thinking, feeling, loving.
Silent, and steadfast as the vaulted sky,
The boundless plain of water seems to lie:
Comes that low sound from breezes rustling o'er
The grass-crowned headland that conceals the shore !
No, 'tis the earth-voice of the mighty sea,
Whispering how meek and gentle he can be !
Thou Power supreme! who, arming to rebuke
Offenders, dost put off the gracious look,
And clothe thyself with lerrors like the flood
Of ocean roused into his fiercest mood,
Whatever discipline thy will ordain
For the brief course that must for me remain;
Teach me with quick-eared spirit to rejoice
In admonitions of thy softest voice!
Whate'er the path these mortal feet may trace,
Breathe through my soul the blessing of thy grace,
Glad, through a perfect love, a faith sincere
Drawn from the wisdom that begins with fear;
Glad to expand, and, for a season, free
From finite cares, to rest absorbed in thee!
THE LABOURERS NOONDAY HYMN, Up to the throne of God is borne
The voice of praise at early morn, · And he accepts the punctual hymn
Sung as the light of day grows dim,
Nor will he turn his ear aside
From holy offerings at noontide:
Then here reposing let us raise
A song of gratitude and praise.
What though our burthen be not light,
We need not toil from morn till night;
The respite of the midday hour
Is in the thankful creature's power.
Blest are the moments, doubly blest,
That, drawn from this one hour of rest,
Are with a ready heart bestowed
Upon the service of our God !
Why should we crave a hallowed spot?
An altar is in each man's cot,
A church in every grove that spreads
Its living roof above our heads.
Look up to heaven! the industrious sun
Already half his race hath run;
He cannot halt nor go astray,
But our immortal spirits may.
Lord ! since his rising in the east,
If we have faltered or transgressed,
Guide, from thy love's abundant source,
What yet remains of this day's course :
Help with thy grace, through life's short day,
Our upward and our downward way;
And glorify for us the west,
When we shall sink to final rest.
INVOCATION TO THE EARTH.
FEBRUARY, 1816. “Rest, rest, perturbed earth! Oh, rest, thou doleful mother of mankind!”. A spirit sang in tones more plaintive than the wind : “From regions where no evil thing has birth I come-thy stains to wash away, Thy cherished fetters to unbind, To open thy sad eyes upon a milder day. The heavens are thronged with martyrs that have risen
From out thy noisome prison ;
The penal caverns groan
With tens of thousands rent from off the tree
Of hopeful life, by battle's whirlwind blown
Into the deserts of eternity.
“Unpitied havoc! Victims unlamented !
But not on high, where madness is resented,
And murder causes some sad tears to flow,
Though, from the widely-sweeping blow,
The choirs of angels spread, triumphantly augmented.
“False parent of mankind !
Obdurate, proud, and blind.
I sprinkle thee with soft celestial dews,
Thy lost maternal heart to re-infuse !
Scattering this far-fetched moisture from my wings,
Upon the act a blessing I implore,
Of which the rivers in their secret springs,
The rivers stained so oft with human gore,
Are conscious ; may the like return no more!
May Discord--for a seraph's care
Shall be attended with a bolder prayer-
May she, who once disturbed the seats of bliss
These mortal spheres above,
Be chained for ever to the black abyss !
And thou, O rescued earth, by peace and love,
And merciful desires, thy sanctity approve !"
The spirit ended his mysterious rite,
And the pure vision closed in darkness infinite.
PRESENTIMENTS! they judge not right
Who deem that ye from open light
Retire in fear of shame;
All heaven-born instincts shun the touch
Of vulgar sense, and, being such,
Such privilege ye claim.
The tear whose source I could not guess,
The deep sigh that seemed fatherless,
Were mine in early days;
And now, unforced by Time to part
With Fancy, I obey my heart,
And venture on your praise.
What though some busy foes to good,
Too potent over nerve and blood,
Lurk near you, and combine
To taint the health which ye infuse ;
This hides not from the moral muse
Your origin divine.
How oft from you, derided powers !
Comes Faith that in auspicious hours
Builds castles, not of air;
Bodings unsanctioned by the will
Flow from your visionary skill,
And teach us to beware.
The bosom-weight, your stubborn gift
That no philosophy can lift,
Shall vanish, if ye please,
Like morning mist; and, where it lay
The spirits at your bidding play
In gaiety and ease.
Star-guided contemplations move
Through space, though calm, not raised above
Prognostics that ye rule;
The naked Indian of the wild,
And haply, too, the cradled child,
Are pupils of your school.
But who can fathom your intents,
Number their signs or instruments?
A rainbow, a sunbeam,
A subtle smell that spring unbinds,
Dead pause abrupt of midnight winds,
An echo, or a dream.
The laughter of the Christmas hearth
With sighs of self-exhausted mirth
Ye feelingly reprove;