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He shall be strong to sanctify the poet's high vocation,
With sadness that is calm, not gloom, I learn to think upon him ;
With meekness, that is gratefulness, on God whose heaven hath won him—
Who suffered once the madness-cloud toward his love to blind
But gently led the blind along where breath and bird could find him ;
And wrought within his shattered brain such quick poetic senses,
As hills have language for, and stars harmonious influences!
The pulse of dew upon the grass his own did softly number; And silent shadow from the trees fell o'er him like a slumber.
The very world, by God's constraint, from falsehood's chill removing,
Its women and its men became beside him, true and loving! And timid hares were drawn from woods to share his home
Uplooking to his human eyes with sylvan tendernesses!
But while in blindness he remained unconscious of the guiding,
And things provided came without the sweet sense of providing,
He testified this solemn truth, though phrenzy desolatedNor man nor nature satisfy whom only God created!
Like a sick child that knoweth not his mother while she blesses
And droppeth on his burning brow the coolness of her kisses;
That turns his fevered eyes around--“My mother! where's my mother?"____
As if such tender words and looks could come from any other!
The fever gone, with leaps of heart, he sees her bending o'er him ;
Her face all pale from watchful love, the unweary love she bore him!
Thus, woke the poet from the dream his life's long fever gave him,
Beneath those deep pathetic Eyes which closed in death to save him!
Thus? oh, not thus! no type of earth could image that awaking,
Wherein he scarcely heard the chant of seraphs round him breaking;
Or felt the new immortal throb of soul from body parted; But felt those eyes alone, and knew "My Saviour! not deserted !"
Deserted! who hath dreamt that when the cross in darkness rested,
Upon the victim's hidden face, no love was manifested? What frantic hands outstretched have e'er the atoning drops averted,
What tears have washed them from the soul, that one should be deserted?
Deserted! God could separate from his own essence rather: And Adam's sins have swept between the righteous Son and
Yea, once Immanuel's orphaned cry his universe hath
It went up single, echoless, “My God, I am forsaken !”
It went up from the holy lips amid his lost creation,
That earth's worst phrenzies, marring hope, should mar not hope's fruition,
And I, on Cowper's grave, should see his rapture, in a vision!
ELIZABETH B. BROWNING.
"He giveth his beloved sleep.”—Psalm cxxvii. 2.
F all the thoughts of God that are
What would we give to our beloved?
The poet's star-tuned harp to sweep,
What do we give to our beloved?
A little dust to overweep,
The whole earth blasted for our sake,—
"Sleep soft, beloved!" we sometimes say, But have no tune to charm away
Sad dreams that through the eyelids creep;
But never doleful dream again
Shall break his happy slumber when
O earth, so full of dreary noises !
His dews drop mutely on the hill;
Though on its slope men sow and reap;
He giveth his beloved sleep.
Ay, men may wonder while they scan
Confirmed in such a rest to keep;
For me my heart, that erst did go
That sees through tears the mummers leap,
And friends, dear friends, when it shall be
And round my bier ye come to weep,
ELIZABETH B. BROWNING.
NIGH to a grave that was newly made,
Leaned a sexton old on his earth-worn spade; His work was done, and he paused to wait The funeral-train at the open gate.
A relic of by-gone days was he,
And his locks were gray as the foamy sea;
“I gather them in; for man and boy,
I gather them in-I gather them in.
'Many are with me, yet I'm alone;
I'm King of the Dead, and I make my throne
On a monument slab of marble cold—
My scepter of rule is the spade I hold.
Come they from cottage, or come they from hall,
May they loiter in pleasure, or toilfully spin,