Page images

There is peace in his calm, confiding air ;
For his last thoughts are God's, his last words

The voice of prayer at the sable bier !
A voice to sustain, to soothe, and to cheer.
It commends the spirit to God who gave;
It lifts the thoughts from the cold, dark grave;
It points to the glory where He shall reign,
Who whisper'd, “ Thy brother shall rise again.”
The voice of prayer in the world of bliss !
But gladder, purer, than rose from this.
The ransom'd shout to their glorious King,
Where no sorrow shades the soul as they sing;
But a sinless and joyous song they raise ;
And their voice of prayer is eternal praise.
Awake, awake, and gird up thy strength
To join that holy band at length.
To Him who unceasing love displays,
Whom the powers of nature unceasingly praise,
To Him thy heart and thy hours be given;
For a life of prayer is the life of heaven.


A Psalm of Life.
TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest !

And the grave is not its goal; “ Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"

Was not spoken of the soul. Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each to-morrow

Find us farther than to-day. Art is long, and Time is fleeting,

And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating

Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,

In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!

Be a hero in the strife!


Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !

Let the dead Past bury its dead ! Act,--act in the living Present!

Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time ;-
Footprints, that perhaps another,

Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing, shall take heart again.


Let us, then, be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.



All, all on Earth, is Shadow. WHY then their loss deplore, that are not lost?

Why wanders wretched thought their tombs

around, In infidel distress ? Are angels there? Slumbers, rak'd up in dust, ethereal fire ?

They live! they greatly live a life on Earth Unkindled, unconceived; and from an eye Of tenderness let heavenly pity fall On me, more justly number'd with the dead. This is the desert, this the solitude: How populous, how vital, is the grave! This is creation's melancholy vault, The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom; The land of apparitions, empty shades ! All, all on Earth, is shadow, all beyond Is substance; the reverse is folly's creed. How solid all, where change shall be no more!

This is the bud of being, the dim dawn, The twilight of our day, the vestibule : Life's theatre as yet is shut, and Death, Strong Death, alone can heave the massy bar, This gross impediment of clay remove,


And make us embryos of existence free.
From real life, but little more remote
Is he, not yet a candidate for light,
The future embryo, slumbering in his sire.
Embryos we must be, till we burst the shell,
Yon ambient azure shell, and spring to life,
The life of gods, O transport ! and of man.

Yet man, fool man! here buries all his thoughts;
Inters celestial hopes without one sigh.
Prisoner of Earth, and pent beneath the Moon,
Here pinions all his wishes ; wing’d by Heaven
To fly at infinite; and reach it there,
Where seraphs gather immortality,
On life's fair tree, fast by the throne of God.
What golden joys ambrosial clustering glow,
In his full beam, and ripen for the just,
Where momentary ages are no more!
Where Time, and Pain, and Chance, and Death

expire! And is it in the flight of threescore years, To push eternity from human thought, And smother souls immortal in the dust? A soul immortal, spending all her fires, Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness, Thrown into tumult, raptur'd or alarm’d, At aught this scene can threaten or indulge, Resembles ocean into tempest wrought, To waft a feather, or to drown a fly. Where falls this censure? It o'erwhelms

myself; How was my heart incrusted by the world! O how self-fetter'd was my grovelling soul !

How, like a worm, was I rapt round and round
In silken thought, with reptile Fancy spun,
Till darken’d Reason lay quite clouded o'er
With soft conceit of endless comfort here,
Nor yet put forth her wings to reach the skies !

Night-visions may befriend (as sung above):
Our waking dreams are fatal. How I dreamt
Of things impossible! (Could sleep do more?)
Of joys perpetual in perpetual change!
Of stable pleasures on the tossing wave!
Eternal sunshine in the storms of life!
How richly were my noon-tide trances hung
With gorgeous tapestries of pictur'd joys !
Joy behind joy, in endless perspective !
Till at Death's toll, whose restless iron tongue
Calls daily for his millions at a meal,
Starting I woke, and found myself undone.
Where now my phrenzy's pompous

furniture ? The cobweb'd cottage, with its ragged wall Of mouldering mud, is royalty to me! The spider's most attenuated thread Is cord, is cable, to man's tender tie On earthly bliss! it breaks at every breeze.


A Picture. BEHOLD'ST thou yonder on the crystal sea,

Beneath the throne of God, an image fair, And in its hand a mirror large and bright? 'Tis Truth, immutable, eternal Truth,

« PreviousContinue »