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THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM.

327

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning !

Dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid :
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid !

BISHOP HEBER.

The Star of Bethlehem. WHEN marshaled on the nightly plain,

One star alone of all the train

Can fix the sinner's wandering eye.

Hark! hark! to God the chorus breaks

From every host, from every gem; But one alone the Saviour speaks,

It is the Star of Bethlehem.

Once on the raging seas I rode,

The storm was loud, the night was dark, The ocean yawned—and rudely blowed

The wind that tossed my foundering bark.

Deep horror then my vitals froze,

Death-struck-I ceased the tide to stem; When suddenly a star arose,

It was the Star of Bethlehem.

It was my guide, my light, my all ;

It bade my dark forebodings cease ;
And through the storm, and danger's thrall,

It led me to the port of peace.

Now safely moored-my perils o'er,

I'll sing, first in night's diadem,
Forever and for evermore,
The Star !-the Star of Bethlehem !

HENRY KIRKE WHITE.

The Crucifixion.

Faint and bleeding-who is He? By the eyes so pale and dim, Streaming blood and writhing limb; By the flesh with scourges torn, By the crown of twisted thorn, By the side so deeply pierced, By the baffled, burning thirst, By the drooping, death-dewed brow, Son of Man ! 'tis Thou, 'tis Thou !

Bound upon the accursèd tree,
Dread and awful—who is He?
By the sun at noonday pale,
Shivering rocks, and rending veil ;
By earth that trembles at his doom,
By yonder saints who burst their tomb,
By Eden, promised ere he died
To the felon at his side,
Lord ! our suppliant knees we bow,
Son of God! 'tis Thou, 'tis Thou !

Bound upon the accursèd tree,
Sad and dying—who is He?
By the last and bitter cry,
The ghost given up in agony;
By the lifeless body laid
In the chambers of the dead;
By the mourners come to weep
Where the bones of Jesus sleep;
Crucified ! we know thee now-
Son of Man ! 'tis Thou, 'tis Thou !

THE CRUCIFIXION.

329

Bound upon the accursèd tree,
Dread and awful—who is He?
By the prayer for them that slew-
“Lord! they know not what they do !”
By the spoiled and empty grave,
By the souls he died to save,
By the conquests he hath won,
By the saints before his throne,
By the rainbow round his brow,
Son of God ! 'tis Thou, 'tis Thou !

HENRY HART MILMAN.

The Crucifixion.

From the Italian.

I

ASKED the heavens: “What foe to God hath done

This unexampled deed?” The heavens exclaim, 66'Twas man,

and we in horror snatched the sun From such a spectacle of guilt and shame !" I asked the sea; the sea in fury boiled,

And answered with his voice of storm, “’T was man ; My waves in panic at the crime recoiled,

Disclosed the abyss, and from the center ran !" I asked the earth ; the earth replied, aghast,

“'T was man, and such strange pangs my bosom rent, That still I groan and shudder at the past !”

To man, gay, smiling, thoughtless man I went, And asked him next; he turned a scornful eye, Shook his proud head, and deigned me no reply.

JAMES MONTGOMERY.

Whence and Whither.

THE REIGN OF LAW.

THE

Ετέρα μέν ή των επουρανίων δόξα, ετέρα

δε ή των επιγείων.
'HE dawn went up the sky,
Like
any

other day;
And they had only come

To mourn Him where he lay,
“We ne'er have seen the law

Reversed 'neath which we lie ;
Exceptions none are found,

And when we die, we die.
Resigned to fact we wander hither,
We ask no more the whence and whither.

“Vain questions ! from the first

Put, and no answer found.
He binds us with the chain

Wherewith himself is bound.
From west to east the earth

Unrolls her primal curve;
The sun himself were vexed

Did he one furlong swerve :
The myriad years have whirled us hither,
But tell not of the whence and whither.

“We know but what we see

Like cause and like event :
One constant force runs on

Transmuted, but unspent.
Because they are, they are;

The mind may frame a plan;
'Tis from herself she draws

A special thought for man:
The natural choice that brought us hither,
Is silent on the whence and whither,

WHENCE AND WHITHER.

331

“ If God there be, or Gods

Without our science lies; We cannot see or touch,

Measure or analyze. Life is but what we live,

We know but what we know,
Closed in these bounds alone

Whether God be, or no:
The self-moved force that bore us hither
Reveals no whence, and hints no whither.

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“Ah, which is likelier truth,

That law should hold its way, Or, for this one of all,

Life reassert her sway? Like any other morn

The sun goes up the sky;
No crisis marks the day,

For when we die, we die.
No fair fond hope allures us hither :
The law is dumb on whence and whither."

-Then wherefore are ye come?

Why watch a worn-out corse ? Why weep a ripple past

Down the long stream of force ? If life is that which keeps

Each organism whole,
No atom may be traced

Of what he thought the soul:
It had its term of passage hither,
But knew no whence, and knows no whither.

The forces that were Christ

Have ta’en new forms and fled;
The common sun goes up,

The dead are with the dead.

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