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When age shall steal on me, and youth is no more, And the moralist Time shakes his glass at my door, What charm in lost beauty or wealth should I find? My treasure, my wealth, is a sweet peace of mind.
That peace I'll preserve then, as pure as was given,
And when long I the burden of life shall have borne,
Virtue can alone bestow
Bliss above and bliss below:
If to virtue thou take heed,
Those who virtue's path forsake.
Virtue how thou may'st attain,
All thy days to virtue lend,
All thy pow'rs for her expend.
Where a heart, from sin exempt,
All besides is empty sound.
Would'st thou, what is virtue, know?
Malice shun; thy wrath restrain;
Keep thy tongue from words that pain.
Leave not virtue till the last,
Choose her ere a day be past.
Raptures true from virtue flow,
Whatsoe'er is meet to do,
That is virtue; that pursue:
Whatsoe'er is meet to shun,
That is vice, and best undone.*
Salt of the earth, ye virtuous few,
Who season human kind;
Light of the world, whose cheering ray
Where misery spreads her deepest shade,
By dying beds, in prison glooms,
To bind the stranger's wound.
* A Cural Song, from the Folk-songs of Southern India, by Charles E. Gover.
You wash with tears the bloody page
When vengeance threats, your prayers ascend
As down the summer stream of vice
Where guilt her foul contagion breathes,
Your hands are ever pure.
is all through History's rolls,
The kindling bosom feels;
And at your tomb, with throbbing heart,
The fond enthusiast kneels.
In every faith, through every clime,
And shrines are dress'd, and temples rise,
Each hallow'd spot to grace;
And paeons loud, in every tongue,
And lengthen'd honours hand your name
To time's remotest bound.
Proceed! your race of glory run,
Your virtuous toils endure !
You come, commission'd from on high,
And your reward is sure.
CHOICE OF HERCULES.
One of the most instructive fables of antiquity represents Hercules (when arrived at years of reflection) as retiring into a solitary place to consider his future course of life. There, we are told, he was accosted by two females, one named Virtue, and the cther Pleasure; each of whom was desirous to prevail upon him to join her votaries. Pleasure presented to him her various allurements, and offered to him a life of ease and indulgence. Virtue displayed to him the fallacy of her rival's pretensions, and showed him that true happiness could be found only in her service, she did not however attempt to deceive him by false expectations: she fairly told him that he would have to overcome difficulties; to pass through various trials; to exercise fortitude and self-denial; to make many sacrifices; and to undergo many labours and dangers: but then it would not be for nothing. She showed him that, by the wise appointment of the gods, there was no valuable object of pursuit which was to be acquired by any other means; and that thus alone he could gain the applause and esteem of the wise and good, the pleasures of self-approbation, and the favour of the gods. Hercules, we are told, was decided by her representations; and his decision was a wise one. -REV. DR. CARPENTER.
* From the Buddhist Canon, translated by Beal.
Vice stings us, even in our pleasures, but virtue con
soles us, even in our pains.
Seek to do good, shun evil, and take heed:
The myriad ills which may the mind enthral,
Vice stands the first and last! the fiend whose
Scatter destruction like deathly pall;
That o'er each orb of faith her shadow flings
And poisons with her lips God's noblest, holiest springs.
There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.