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THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM.
Brightest and best of the sons of the morning!
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid!
The Star of Bethlehem.
HEN marshaled on the nightly plain, The glittering host bestud the sky; One star alone of all the train
Can fix the sinner's wandering eye.
Hark! hark! to God the chorus breaks
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
And through the storm, and danger's thrall,
Now safely moored-my perils o'er,
The Star-the Star of Bethlehem!
HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
BOUND upon the accursed tree,
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 accursed tree,
To the felon at his side,
Lord! our suppliant knees we bow,
Bound upon the accursèd tree,
Bound upon the accursed tree,
HENRY HART MILMAN.
From the Italian.
ASKED the heavens: "What foe to God hath done This unexampled deed?" The heavens exclaim, "'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.
'Ετέρα μὲν ἡ τῶν ἐπουρανίων δόξα, ἑτέρα δὲ ἡ τῶν ἐπιγείων.
And they had only come
To mourn Him where he lay,
Reversed 'neath which we lie;
And when we die, we die.
"Vain questions! from the first
Put, and no answer found.
Wherewith himself is bound.
Unrolls her primal curve;
"We know but what we see
Like cause and like event:
Transmuted, but unspent.
The mind may frame a plan;
A special thought for man: The natural choice that brought us hither,
Is silent on the whence and whither.
WHENCE AND WHITHER.
If God there be, or Gods
We know but what we know,
“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.