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And now how mighty a sum of love
Is lost forever for me!
No, I'm not what I was yesterday,
Though change there be little to see.
TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY.-Milton.
LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth
Wisely hast shunned the broad way and the green,
And with those few are eminently seen
That labor up the hill of heavenly truth,
The better part with Mary and with Ruth
Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,
And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen,
No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.
Thy care is fixed, and zealously attends
To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light,
And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure
Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful friends
Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Hast gained thy entrance, virgin wise and pure.
TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.- Keble. "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?"-MATTHEW Xviii. 21.
WHAT liberty so glad and gay,
As where the mountain boy,
Reckless of regions far away,
A prisoner lives in joy.
TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
The dreary sounds of crowded earth,
The cries of camp or town,
Never untuned his lonely mirth,
Nor drew his visions down.
The snow-clad peaks of rosy light
That meet his morning view,
The thwarting cliffs that bound his sight,
They bound his fancy too.
Two ways alone his roving eye.
For age may onward go,
Or in the azure deep on high,
Or darksome mere below.
O blessed restraint! more blesséd range!
Too soon the happy child
His nook of homely thought will change
For life's seducing wild:
Too soon his altered day-dreams show
This earth a boundless space,
With sun-bright pleasures to and fro
Sporting in joyous race:
While of his narrowing heart each year
Heaven less and less will fill,
Less keenly through his grosser ear
The tones of mercy thrill.
It must be so; else wherefore falls
The Saviour's voice unheard,
While from his pardoning cross he calls,
"O, spare, as I have spared?"
By our own niggard rule we try
The hope to suppliants given;
We mete out love, as if our eye
Saw to the end of heaven.
Yes, ransomed sinner! wouldst thou know
How often to forgive,
How dearly to embrace thy foe,
Look where thou hop'st to live :
When thou hast told those isles of light,
And fancied all beyond,
Whatever owns, in depth or height,
Creation's wondrous bond;
Then in their solemn pageant learn
Sweet mercy's praise to see;
Their Lord resigned them all, to earn
The bliss of pardoning thee.
THE BEGGAR. — J. R. Lowell.
A BEGGAR through the world am I,
From place to place I wander by;
Fill up my pilgrim's scrip for me,
For Christ's sweet sake and charity!
A little of thy steadfastness,
Rounded with leafy gracefulness,
Old oak, give me,
That the world's blasts may round me blow, And I yield gently to and fro,
While my stout-hearted trunk below,
And firm-set roots, unmovéd be.
Some of thy stern, unyielding might,
Enduring still through day and night
Rude tempest-shock and withering blight,-
That I may keep at bay
The changeful April sky of chance,
And the strong tide of circumstance, -
Give me, old granite gray.
Some of thy mournfulness serene,
Some of thy never-dying green,
Put in this scrip of mine,
That grief may fall like snow-flakes light,
And deck me in a robe of white,
Ready to be an angel bright,-
O sweetly mournful pine.
A little of thy merriment,
Of thy sparkling, light content,
Give me, my cheerful brook,
That I may still be full of glee
And gladsomeness, where'er I be,
Though fickle fate hath prisoned me
In some neglected nook.
Ye have been very kind and good
To me, since I have been in the wood;
Ye have gone nigh to fill my heart;
But good-by, kind friends, every one,
I've far to go ere set of sun;
Of all good things I would have part,
The day was high ere I could start,
And so my journey's scarce begun.
Heaven help me! how could I forget
To beg of thee, dear violet!
Some of thy modesty,
That flowers here as well, unseen,
As if before the world thou 'dst been,
O, give, to strengthen me.
STERN daughter of the voice of God!
O Duty! if that name thou love,
Who art a light to guide, a rod
To check the erring, and reprove ;
Thou, who art victory and law
When empty terrors overawe,
From vain temptations dost set free,
And calm'st the weary strife of frail humanity!
There are who ask not if thine
Be on them; who, in love and truth,
Where no misgiving is, rely
Upon the genial sense of youth;
Glad hearts! without reproach or blot;
Who do thy work and know it not;
Long may the kindly impulse last!
But thou, if they should totter, teach them to stand
Serene will be our days and bright,
And happy will our nature be,
When love is an unerring light,
And joy its own security.
And they a blissful course may hold,
Even now, who, not unwisely bold,
Live in the spirit of this creed;
Yet find that other strength, according to their need.
I, loving freedom, and untried,
No sport of every random gust,
Yet being to myself a guide,
Too blindly have reposed my trust ;