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Imperfection of Human Sympathy.
HY should we faint and fear to live alone,
Since all alone, so heaven has willed, we die; Nor e'en the tenderest heart, and next our own, Knows half the reasons why we smile and sigh?
Each in his hidden sphere of joy or woe,
Our hermit spirits dwell, and range apart;
Our eyes see all around in gloom or glow,
Hues of their own, fresh borrowed from the heart.
And well it is for us our God should feel
Alone our secret throbbings; so our prayer May readier spring to heaven, nor spend its zeal
On cloud-born idols of this lower air.
For if one heart in perfect sympathy
Beat with another, answering love for love,
Or what if Heaven for once its searching light
Who would not shun the dreary uncouth place?
Then keep the softening veil in mercy drawn,
Melts in dim haze each coarse, ungentle hue.
WE ARE GROWING OLD.
Thou know'st our bitterness-our joys are thine-
Of us, thy darkened likeness and defiled,
Stands in full sunshine of thy piercing eye,
But that thou call'st us brethren; sweet repose Is in that word-The Lord who dwells on high Knows all, yet loves us better than he knows.
We are Growing Old.
E are growing old-how the thought will rise
On some long-remembered spot that lies
In the silence of the past!
It may be the shrine of our early vows,
But it seems like a far-off isle to us,
O, wide and wild are the waves that part
For deep o'er many a stately bark
Have the whelming billows rolled,
That steered with us from that early mark-
Old in the dimness and the dust
Old in the wrecks of love and trust,
Which our burdened memory bears.
Each form may wear to the passing gaze
And beams may brighten our later days
But oh, the changes we have seen
The graves that have in our path grown green,
The winters still on our own may spare
But we saw their snows upon brighter hair—
We have gained the world's cold wisdom now,
But where are the living founts whose flow
We have won the wealth of many a clime,
But where is the hope that saw in time
Will it come again when the violet wakes,
We have stood in the light of sunny brakes
And our souls might joy in the spring-time then,
For it never could give us the youth again
Of hearts that are growing old.
WATCHING FOR DAWN.
Watching for Dawn.
S yestermorn my years have flown away;
But for lost youth there come no new to-morrows: No lure compels the drowsy joys to stay
No curtain quite shuts out the bat-winged sorrows.
O my sweet youth! Left I one fruit untasted,
All that was sweetest grows most bitter now.
Then plucked I bitter sweets, yet plucked again:
Self-love is mad—grows madder with indulgence:
In this dark night of mortal wretchedness
What stars are fixed? I see but comets gleaming; Without, are sounds of strife and dull distress-Within, I watch a candle's fitful beaming.
Yet stars there are, like fires afar off burning-
Look! in the east appear some gleams of morn-
A still, small voice gives answer to my prayer.
"Put out the candle, for the sun has risen!
All other lights, above, below, grow dim; Go, Soul! like Paul and Silas, from thy prison; Christ hath redeemed thee-be complete in Him." ANONYMOUS
The Return of Youth.
Y friend, thou sorrowest for thy golden prime,
For thy fair youthful years, too swift of flight; Thou musest with wet eyes upon the time
Of cheerful hopes that filled the world with light,— Years when thy heart was bold, thy hand was strong,
And quick the thought that moved thy tongue to speak; And willing faith was thine, and scorn of wrong Summoned the sudden crimson to thy cheek.
Thou lookest forward on the coming days,
Slopes downward to the place of common sleep;
Dull love of rest, and weariness, and fear.
Yet grieve thou not, nor think thy youth is gone,
Waits like the morn, that folds her wing and hides