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LINES WRITTEN IN A CHURCHYARD. 385
A happier lot than mine, and larger light,
Await thee there; for thou hast bowed thy will
For me, the sordid cares in which I dwell,
Shrink and consume my heart, as heat the scroll;
Yet though thou wear'st the glory of the sky,
Shalt thou not teach me, in that calmer home,
The wisdom which is love--till I become
WILLIAM C. BRYANT.
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?
Nor Elias nor Moses appear;
But the shadows of eve that encompass with gloom
Shall we build to Ambition? Ah no!
Affrighted he shrinketh away;
For see, they would pen him below
In a small narrow cave and begirt with cold clay,
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,
Shall we build to the purple of Pride?
To the trappings which dizen the proud?
Alas! they are all laid aside,
And here 's neither dress nor adornment allowed,
To Riches? Alas, 't is in vain! Who hid, in their turns have been hid:
The treasures are squandered again;
And here in the grave are all metals forbid,
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?
Ah no! they have withered and died,
Friends, brothers, and sisters are laid side by side,
Unto Sorrow?—the dead cannot grieve;
Not a sob, not a sigh meets mine ear,
Which compassion itself could relieve.
SHALL I FEAR, O EARTH, THY BOSOM? 387
Unto Death, to whom monarchs must bow?
Ah no! for his empire is known,
And here there are trophies enow!
Beneath, the cold dead, and around, the dark stone,
The first tabernacle to Hope we will build, And look for the sleepers around us to rise.
The second to Faith, that insures it fulfilled;
And the third to the Lamb of the great sacrifice,
Who bequeathed us them both when he rose to the skies.
Shall I Fear, O Earth, thy Bosom?
HALL I fear, O earth, thy bosom?
Shrink and faint to lay me there,
Whence the fragrant lovely blossom
Whence the tree, the brook, the river,
Yea, whence One arose victorious
No, fair Earth! a tender mother
Thou hast been, and yet canst be ;
And through him, my Lord and Brother,
Sweet shall be my rest in thee!
"My Times are in Thy Hand."
Psalm xxxi. 15.
FATHER, I know that all my life
Is portioned out for me:
And the changes that are sure to come
But I ask thee for a present mind
I ask thee for a thankful love,
I would not have the restless will
Seeking for some great thing to do,
Wherever in the world I am,
I have a fellowship with hearts,
And a lowly work of love to do,
For the Lord on whom I wait.
So I ask thee for the daily strength,
To none that ask denied ;
And a mind to blend with outward things
While keeping at thy side;
Content to fill a little space,
If thou be glorified.
A STRIP OF BLUE.
And if some things I do not ask,
In my cup of blessing be,
I would have my spirit filled the more
More careful than to serve thee much
There are briers besetting every path,
That call for patient care;
There is a crook in every lot,
And an earnest need for prayer; But a lowly heart that leans on thee, Is happy everywhere.
In a service that thy love appoints
For my secret heart has learned the truth
And a life of self-renouncing love
Is a life of liberty.
A Strip of Blue.
Do not own an inch of land,
But all I see is mine
The orchard and the mowing-fields,
The lawns and gardens fine.