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As if we challenged him to do his worst,
And matter'd not his wrath. Unheard-of tortures
Must be reserved for such: these herd together;
The common damn’d shun their society,
And look upon themselves as fiends less foul.
Our time is fix'd; and all our days are number'd;
How long, how short, we know not: this we know,
Duty requires we calmly wait the summons,
Nor dare to stir till Heaven shall give permission;
Like sentries that must keep their destined stand,
And wait th' appointed hour till they're relieved.
Those only are the brave who keep their ground,
And keep it to the last. To run away
Is but a coward's trick: to run away
From this world's ills, that at the very worst
Will soon blow o'er, thinking to mend ourselves
By boldly venturing on a world unknown,
And plunging headlong in the dark; 't is mad;
No frenzy half so desperate as this.
Tell us, ye dead! will none of you
in pity To those you left behind disclose the secret? 0! that some courteous ghost would blab it out, What’t is you are, and we must shortly be. I've heard that souls departed have sometimes Forewarn'd men of their death: 'twas kindly done To knock and give th' alarum. But what means This stinted charity ? 't is but lame kindness That does its work by halves. Why might you not Tell us what 'tis to die? Do the strict laws Of your society forbid your speaking Upon a point so nice? I'll ask no more ; Súllen like lamps in sepulchres, your shine Enlightens but yourselves: well—'t is no matter: A very little time will clear up all, And make us learn’d as you are, and as close.
LIFE is a sea-how fair its face,
How smooth its dimpling waters pace,
Its canopy how pure!
But rocks below, and tempests sleep,
Insidious, o'er the glassy deep,
Nor leave an hour secure.
Life is a wilderness-beset
With tangling thorns, and treach'rous net,
And prowld by beasts of prey.
One path alone conducts aright,
One narrow path, with little light;
A thousand lead astray.
Life is a warfare—and alike,
Prepared to parley, or to strike,
The practised foe draws nigh.
O hold no truce! less dangerous far
To stand, and all his phalanx dare,
Than trust his specious lie.
Whate'er its form, whate'er its flow,
While life is lent to man below,
One duty stands contest-
To watch incessant, firm of mind,
To watch, where'er the post assign'd,
And leave to God the rest. 'T was while they watch'd, the shepherd swains Heard angels strike to angel-strains
The song of heavenly love;
Blest harmony, that far excels
All music else on earth that dwells,
Or e'er was tuned above..
'Twas while they watch'd the sages traced
The star that every star effaced
With new and nobler shine ; They follow'd, and it led the way, To where the infant Saviour lay,
And gave them light divine.
'Twas while they watch'd, with lamp in hand,
And oil well stored, the Virgin band
The bridal pomp descried ;
They join'd it—and the heavenly gate,
That oped to them its glorious state,
Was closed on all beside.
Watch! “Watch and pray!”-in suffering hour
Thus He exclaim'd who felt
And triumph'd in the strife.
Victor of death! thy voice I hear:
Fain would I watch with holy fear,
Would watch and pray through life's career,
And only cease with life.
DR. MASON GOOD.
THE SPIRIT OF BEAUTY. The Spirit of Beauty unfurls her light, And wheels her course in a joyous flight, I know her track through the balmy air, By the blossoms that cluster and whiten there; She leaves the tops of the mountains green, And gems the valley with crystal sheen. At morn, I know where she rested at night, For the roses are gushing with dewy delight; Then she mounts again, and around her flings A shower of light from her purple wings, Till the spirit is drunk with the music on high, That silently fills it with ecstasy! At noon, she hies to a cool retreat, Where bowering elms over waters meet; She dimples the wave, where the green leaves dip, That smiles, as it curls, like a maiden's lip, When her tremulous bosom would hide in vain, From her lover, the hope that she loves again.
At eve, she hangs o'er the western sky
Dark clouds for a glorious canopy ;
And round the skirts of each sweeping fold,
She paints a border of crimson and gold,
Where the lingering sunbeams love to stay,
When their god in his glory has pass'd away.
She hovers around us at twilight hour,
When her presence is felt with the deepest power;
She mellows the landscape, and crowds the stream
With shadows that fit like a fairy dream :-
Still wheeling her flight through the gladsome air,
The Spirit of Beauty is everywhere!
DU GUESCLIN'S RANSOM.
“He shall be free!” Prince Edward said,
“ Nor longer on a name,
So fair and far renown'd as mine,
Shall rest unknightly shame.
" Sir Knight, thou art a noble man,
Then name thy ransom-fee;
Whate'er the sum, by my good sword,
Thy ransom it shall be !
Du Guesclin, in his prison garb,
Stood proudly 'mid the hall,
And named, with conscious worth, a sum
Might free a king from thrall.
Prince Edward's brow grew darkly red,
“Sir Knight, I say thee nay;
So proud a ransom as thou namest,
No Christian knight can pay."
Three paces stepp'd Du Guesclin on,
And haughtier grew his brow;
“The kings of France and fair Castile
Will not desert me now.
“I know a hundred Breton knights,
All men of high degree,
And each his old and fair domain
Would sell to make me free:
« There's not a woman at her wheel
Throughout this chivalrous land, That would not labour joyfully
To free me from thy hand.” Next morn upon his barbed steed,
With knightly sword and lance, Rode forward from his prison-gate The bravest man in France.
THERE's a cloud in the sky,
There's a cloud in the glen;
But the one is of vapour,
The other of men.
We have sworn by the blood
Which Napoleon has spilt,
With the arm on the altar,
The hand on the hilt-
We have sworn by that God,
Who can keep us, and save us,
To fight for the land
Which our forefathers gave us.
We have sworn by our love,
By that spell which hath bound us,
To fight for the maids
And the mountains around us.
We have ta'en our last look-
We have ta'en our last kiss
But let that hour of anguish
Be paid for in this.