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To have renew'd the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine ;
And, while the wings of fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic show of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft-
Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.
MOTHER, WHAT IS DEATH ?
“ MOTHÉR, how still the baby lies !
I cannot hear his breath ;
I cannot see his laughing eyes
They tell me this is death.
My little work I thought to bring,
And sat down by his bed,
And pleasantly I tried to sing
They hush'd me-he is dead.
They say that he again will rise,
More beautiful than now;
That God will bless him in the skies-
O, mother, tell me how !"
“Daughter, do you remember, dear,
The cold, dark thing you brought,
And laid upon the casement here,—
A wither'd worm, you thought?
I told you that Almighty power
Could break that wither'd shell,
And show you, in a future hour,
Something would please you well.
Look at the chrysalis, my love,
An empty shell it lies ;-
Now raise your wandering glance above,
To where yon insect flies ?”
“O, yes, mamma! how very gay
Its wings of starry gold !
And see it lightly flies away
Beyond my gentle hold.
0, mother, now I know full well,
If God that worm can change,
And draw it from this broken cell,
On golden wings to range,
How beautiful will brother be,
When God shall give him wings,
Above this dying world to flee,
And live with heavenly things !"
INCOMPREHENSIBILITY OF GOD.
“I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive
WHERE art thou ?-THOU! Source and Support of all
That is or seen or felt; Thyself unseen,
Unfelt, unknown,-alas! unknowable !
I look abroad among thy works—the sky,
Vast, distant, glorious with its world of suns,
Life-giving earth,—and ever-moving main,-
And speaking winds, and ask if these are Thee!
The stars that twinkle on, the eternal hills,
The restless tide's outgoing and return,
The omnipresent and deep-breathing air-
Though hail'd as gods of old, and only less-
Are not the Power I seek; are thine, not Thee!
I ask Thee from the past; if in the years,
Since first intelligence could search its source,
Or in some former unremember'd being,
(If such, perchance, were mine) did they behold
And next interrogate futurity-
So fondly tenanted with better things
Than e'er experience own'd—but both are mute ;
And past and future, vocal on all else,
So full of memories and phantasies,
Are deaf and speechless here! Fatigued, I turn
From all vain parley with the elements;
And close mine eyes, and bid the thought turn inward.
From each material thing its anxious guest,
If, in the stillness of the waiting soul,
He may vouchsafe himself-Spirit to spirit!
O Thou, at once most dreaded and desired,
Pavilion'd still in darkness, wilt thou hide thee?
What though the rash request be fraught with fate,
Nor human eye may look on thine and live?
Welcome the penalty! let that come now,
Which soon or late must come. For light like this
Who would not dare to die?
Peace, my proud aim,
And hush the wish that knows not what it asks.
Await his will, who hath
With every other trial. Be that will
Done now, as ever. For thy curious search,
And unprepared solicitude to gaze
On Him—the Unreveald-learn hence, ir-- ad,
To temper highest hope with humbleness.
Pass thy novitiate in these outer courts,
Till rent the veil, no longer separating
The Holiest of all-as erst, disclosing
A brighter dispensation; whose results
Ineffable, interminable, tend
E'en to the perfecting thyself—thy kind-
Till meet for that sublime beatitude,
By the firm promise of a voice from heaven
Pledged to the pure in heart !
Miss ELIZABETH TOWNSEND
“Now, if I fall, will it be my lot
To be cast in some low and lonely spot,
To melt, and to sink unseen or forgot?
And then will my course be ended ?"
Twas thus a feathery Snow-Flake said,
As down through the measureless space it stray'd,
Or, as half by dalliance, half afraid,
It seem'd in mid air suspended.
“O, no," said the Earth, “thou shalt not lie,
Neglected and lone, on my lap to die,
Thou pure and delicate child of the sky;
For thou wilt be safe in my keeping;
But, then, I must give thee a lovelier form;
Thou 'lt not be a part of the wintry storm,
But revive when the sunbeams are yellow and warm,
And the flowers from my bosom are peeping.
“ And then thou shalt have thy choice to be
Restored in the lily that decks the lea,
In the jessamine bloom, the anemone,
Or aught of thy spotless whiteness ;
To melt, and be cast in a glittering bead,
With the pearls that the night scatters over the mead,
where the bee and the fire-fly feed, Regaining thy dazzling brightness ;
“To wake, and be raised from thy transient sleep,
When Viola's mild blue eye shall weep,
In a tremulous tear, or a diamond leap
In a drop from the unlock'd fountain;
Or, leaving the valley, the meadow and heath,
The streamlet, the flowers, and all beneath,
To go and be wove in the silvery wreath
Encircling the brow of the mountain.
“Or, wouldst thou return to a home in the skies,
To shine in the Iris I'll let thee arise,
And appear in the many and glorious dyes
A pencil of sunbeams is blending.
But true, fair thing, as my name is Earth,
I'll give thee a new and vernal birth,
When thou shalt recover thy primal worth
And never regret descending !"
“Then I will drop,” said the trusting flake;
“ But bear it in mind that the choice I make
Is not in the flowers nor the dew to awake,
Nor the mist that shall pass with the morning :
For, things of thyself, they expire with thee;
But those that are lent from on high, like me,
They rise, and will live, from thy dust set free,
To the regions above returning.
“ And if true to thy word, and just thou art,
Like the spirit that dwells in the holiest heart,
Unsullied by thee, thou wilt let me depart,
And return to my native heaven;
For I would be placed in the beautiful bow,
From time to time, in thy sight to glow,
So thon may'st reinember the Flake of Snow
By the promise that God hath given.”
THEY sin who tell us love can die!
With life all other passions fly,
All others are but vanity,
In heaven ambition cannot dwell
Nor avarice in the vaults of hell;
Earthly these passions of the earth,
They perish where they have their birth :
But love is indestructible,