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IS IT COME?
Is it Come ?
Who looked for the world's long-promised day,
With the desert's sand and the granite gray. From the Pyramid, temple, and treasured dead,
We vainly ask for her wisdom's plan; They tell us of the tyrant's dread:
Yet there was hope when that day began.
The Chaldee came with his starry lore,
And built up Babylon's crown and creed ; And bricks were stamped on the Tigris' shore
With signs which our sages scarce can read. From Ninus' temple and Nimrod's tower,
The rule of the old East's empire spread Unreasoning faith and unquestioned power
But still, Is it come? the watcher said.
The light of the Persian's worshiped flame
O’er the ancient bondage its splendor threw; And once, on the West a sunrise came,
When Greece to her freedom's trust was true: With dreams to the utmost ages dear,
With human gods, and with god-like men, No marvel the far-off day seemed near
To eyes that looked through her laurels then.
The Romans conquered and reveled too,
Till honor,and faith, and power were gone; And deeper old Europe's darkness grew
As, wave after wave, the Goth came on. The gown was learning, the sword was law;
The people served in the oxen's stead; But ever some gleam the watcher saw
And evermore, Is it come? they said.
Poet and seer that question caught,
Above the din of life's fears and frets ;
Through schools and creeds which the earth forgets. And statesmen trifle, and priests deceive,
And traders barter our world awayYet hearts to that golden promise cleave,
And still at times, Is it come? they say.
The days of the nations bear no trace
Of all the sunshine so far foretold;
The age is weary with work and gold;
On hearth and altars the fires are dead;
A Song for the New Year (1867).
The mountain stands mutely sublime ;
Is filled by the fingers of Time. But Man robbeth sea of its wonder,
Making syllabled speech of its roar ; He rendeth the mountain asunder,
And rolleth his wheels through its core;
And every locked secret unbars ;
And writeth his name on the stars.
But purpose is weaker than passion,
And patience is dearer than blood;
Ere he findeth and graspeth the good.
A SONG FOR THE NEIV YEAR.
He pursucth the phantom of beauty,
Or peddleth his valor for pelf;Till the iron of merciless duty
Has crashed through the armor of self. He soweth the life of his brother;
He wasteth the half of his soul ;The harvest is reaped by another,
And Death dippeth deep for his toll.
So the march of triumphal procession,
That Science is fain to begin,
Of ignorance, folly, and sin.
The story of Freedom must bend ;
Go stumbling along to its end.
Of time, but some progress it shows;
So the drama creeps on to its close.
If the blood that was weaker than water
Too thinly and sluggishly ran,
Giveth strength to the sinews of man ;
Shall greet his gray brothers with glee, And the swell of its ringing vibration
Sweep over the isles of the sea;
That promiseth joyous increase,
EDWIN R. JOHNSON.
A Psalm of Life. TELL 'ELL me not, in mournful numbers,
· Life is but an empty dream; For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem !”
Life is real! Life is earnest !
And the grave is not its goal: “Dust thou art, to dust returnest,”
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow
Is our destined end or way; But to act that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be a hero in the strife !
Trust no future, howe'er pleasant !
Let the dead Past bury its dead ! Act, act in the living Present,
Heart within, and God o'erhead !
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time:
THE DAY'S RATION.
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.
And heaven-sprung adage of the olden time?
SAMUEL T. COLERIDGE.
The Day's Ration.
THEN I was born,
From all the seas of strength Fate filled a chalice, Saying, “ This be thy portion, child ; this chalice, Less than a lily's, thou shalt daily draw Froin my great arteries—nor less nor more.” All substances the cunning chemist Time Melts down into that liquor of my life