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Men think it is an awful sight
A helpless infant newly born, Whose little hands unconscious hold The keys of darkness and of morn.
Mine held them once; I flung away
Those keys that might have open set The golden sluices of the day,
But clutch the keys of darkness yet;-
Into God's harvest; I, that might
O glorious Youth, that once was mine!
Ye enter at this ruined shrine
Whence worship ne'er shall rise again; The bat and owl inhabit here,
The snake nests in the altar-stone, The sacred vessels moulder near,The image of the God is gone.
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.
SONG OF THE SILENT LAND.
Lines Written in a Bible.
ITHIN this awful volume lies
Song of the Silent Land.
NTO the silent land!
Ah! who shall lead us thither?
Clouds in the evening sky more darkly gather,
Who leads us with a gentle hand
Thither, O thither!
Into the silent land?
Shall bear hope's tender blossoms
Into the silent land!
Into the silent land!
To you, ye boundless regions
Of all perfection! Tender morning-visions and
Who in life's battle firm doth stand
O land! O land!
For all the broken-hearted,
The mildest herald by our fate allotted
Into the land of the great departed--
(Translated by H. W. LONGFELLOW.)
J. G. VON SALIS.
The Future Life.
OW shall I know thee in the sphere which keeps The disembodied spirits of the dead, When all of thee that time could wither sleeps And perishes among the dust we tread?
For I shall feel the sting of ceaseless pain,
In thy serenest eyes the tender thought.
Will not thy own meek heart demand me there!
And wilt thou never utter it in heaven?
In meadows fanned by heaven's life-breathing wind,
Wilt thou forget the love that joined us here?
The love that lived through all the stormy past,
Shall it expire with life, and be no more?
LINES WRITTEN IN A CHURCHYARD. 385
A happier lot than mine, and larger light,
For me, the sordid cares in which I dwell,
Shrink and consume my heart, as heat the scroll;
And wrath has left its scar-that fire of hell
Yet though thou wear'st the glory of the sky,
Shalt thou not teach me, in that calmer home,
Thy fit companion in that land of bliss?
Lines written in a Churchyard.
"It is good for us to be here. If thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias."
METHINKS it is good to be here;
If thou wilt, let us build-but for whom?
But the shadows of eve that encompass with gloom
Shall we build to Ambition? Ah no!
For see, they would pen him below
To Beauty? Ah no! she forgets The charms which she wielded before ;
Nor knows the foul worm that he frets The skin which but yesterday fools could adore, For the smoothness it held, or the tint which
Shall we build to the purple of Pride?
And here 's neither dress nor adornment allowed,
Alas, 't is in vain!
To the pleasures which Mirth can afford, The revel, the laugh, and the jeer ?
Ah! here is a plentiful board!
But the guests are all mute as their pitiful cheer,
Shall we build to Affection and Love?
Friends, brothers, and sisters are laid side by side,
Unto Sorrow?—the dead cannot grieve;
Which compassion itself could relieve.