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Of slavery's footstep violate the strand,
The poor man's boon, that stints him of his bread, Let not the tardy tide efface the mark ;
Is prized more highly in the sight of Him Sweep off the stigma with a sea of blood ! Who sees the heart, than golden gifts from hands
Thrice happy he, who, far in Scottish glen That scarce can know their countless treasures Retired, (yet ready at his country's call,)
less :* Has left the restless emmet-hill of man:
Yea, the deep sigh that heaves the poor man's breast He never longs to read the saddening tale
To see distress, and feel his willing arm Of endless wars; and seldom does he hear Palsied by penury, ascends to heaven; The tale of wo; and ere it reaches him,
While ponderous bequests of lands and goods Rumour, so loud when new, has died away Ne’er rise above their earthly origin. Into a whisper, on the memory borne
And should all bounty that is clothed with Of casual traveller :-as on the deep,
power Far from the sight of land, when all around Be deem'd unworthy ?-Far be such a thought! Is waveless calm, the sudden tremulous swell, E’en when the rich bestow, there are sure tests That gently heaves the ship, tells, as it rolls, Of genuine charity ;-Yes, yes, let wealth Of earthquakes dread, and cities overthrown. Give other alms than silver or than gold,
O Scotland ! much I love thy tranquil dales : Time, trouble, toil, attendance, watchfulness, But most on Sabbath eve, when low the sun Exposure to disease ;-yes, let the rich Slants through the upland copse, 'tis my delight, Be often seen beneath the sick man's roof; Wandering, and stopping oft, to hear the song Or cheering, with inquiries from the heart, Of kindred praise arise from humble roofs; And hopes of health, the melancholy range Or, when the simple service ends, to hear
Of couches in the public wards of wo: The lifted latch, and mark the gray-hair'd man, There let them often bless the sick man's bed, The father and the priest, walk forth alone With kind assurances that all is well Into his garden-plat, or little field,
At home, that plenty smiles upon the board, To commune with his God in secret prayer, The while the hand that earn'd the frugal meal To bless the Lord, that in his downward years Can hardly raise itself in sign of thanks. His children are about him: Sweet, meantime, Above all duties, let the rich man search The thrush, that sings upon the aged thorn, Into the cause he knoweth not, nor spurn Brings to his view the days of youthful years, The suppliant wretch as guilty of a crime. When that same aged thorn was but a bush.
Ye, bless'd with wealth! (another name for Nor is the contrast between youth and age
power To him a painful thought; he joys to think Of doing good,) O would ye but devote His journey near a close,-heaven is his home. A little portion of each seventh day More happy far that man, though bowed down, To acts of justice to your fellow men ! Though feeble be his gait, and dim his eye, The house of mourning silently invites : Than they, the favourites of youth and health, Shun not the crowded alley; prompt descend Of riches, and of fame, who have renounced Into the half-sunk cell, darksome and damp; The glorious promise of the life to come,
Nor seem impatient to be gone: Inquire, Clinging to death.
Console, instruct, encourage, soothe, assist; Or mark that female face, Read, pray, and sing a new song to the Lord; The faded picture of its former self,
Make tears of joy down grief-worn furrows flow. The garments coarse, but clean ;-frequent at church O health ! thou sun of life, without whose beam I've noted such a one, feeble and pale,
The fairest scenes of nature seem involved Yet standing, with a look of mild content, In darkness, shine upon my dreary path Till beckon'd by some kindly hand to sit.
Once more ; or, with thy faintest dawn, give hope, She had seen better days; there was a time That I may yet enjoy thy vital ray! Her hands could earn her bread, and freely give Though transient be the hope, 'twill be most To those who were in want; but now old age,
sweet, And lingering disease, have made her helpless. Like midnight music, stealing on the ear, Yet she is happy, ay, and she is wise,
Then gliding past, and dying slow away. (Philosophers may sneer, and pedants frown,) Music ! thou soothing power, thy charm is proved Although her Bible is her only book ;
Most vividly when clouds o'ercast the soul; And she is rich, although her only wealth
So light its loveliest effect displays Is recollection of a well-spent life
In lowering skies, when through the murky rack Is expectation of the life to come.
A slanting sunbeam shoots, and instant limns Examine here, explore the narrow path In which she walks ; look not for virtuous deeds
* “And Jesus sal over against the treasury, and beIn history's arena, where the prize
held how the people cast money into the treasury: and Of fame, or power, prompts to heroic acts.
many that were rich cast in much. And there came a Peruse the lives themselves of men obscure - certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which There charity, that robs itself to give;
make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, There fortitude in sickness, nursed by want;
and saith unto them, Verily, I say unto you, that this poor
widow hath cast more in than all they which have cast There courage, that expects po tongue to praise; There virtue lurks, like purest gold deep bid,
into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abun
dance, but she of her want did cast in all that she had, With no alloy of selfish motive mix's.
even all her living." Mark xii. 41–44.
The ethereal curve of seven harmonious dyes,
A SPRING SABBATH WALK.
He is a faithful pastor of the poor ;Who, by thy airy spell, canst whirl the mind He thinks not of himself; his Master's words, Far from the busy haunts of men, to vales
Feed, feed my sheep* are ever at his heart, Where Tweed or Yarrow flows; or, spurning The cross of Christ is aye before his eyes. time
0, how I love, with melted soul, to leave Recall red Flodden field; or suddenly
The house of prayer, and wander in the fields Transport, with alter'd strain, the deafen'd ear Alone! What though the opening spring be chill! To Linden's plain !-But what the pastoral lay, Although the lark, check'd in his airy path The melting dirge, the battle's trumpet peal, Eke out his song, perch'd on the fallow clod, Compared to notes with sacred numbers link'd That still o'ertops the blade! Although no branch In union, solemn, grand! O then the spirit, Have spread its foliage, save the willow wand Upborne on pinions of celestial sound,
That dips its pale leaves in the swollen stream! Soars to the throne of God, and ravish'd hears What though the clouds oft lower! Their threats Ten thousand times ten thousand voices rise
but end In hallelujahs ;-voices, that erewhile
In sunny showers, that scarcely fill the folds
The merle's dulcet pipe,-melodious bird!
Bless'd be the female votaries, whose days (Whose early flowers anticipate the leaf,) No Sabbath of their pious labours prove,
Welcomes the time of buds, the infant year. Whose lives are consecrated to the toil
Sweet is the sunny nook, to which my steps Of ministering around the uncurtain'd couch Have brought me, hardly conscious where I roam'd; Of pain and poverty! Bless'l be the hands, Unheeding where,--so lovely all around The lovely hands, (for beauty, youth, and grace, The works of God, array'd in vernal smile ! Are ost conceal'd by pity's closest veil,)
Oft at this season, musing, I prolong That mix the cup medicinal, that bind
My devious range, till, sunk from view, the sun The wounds which ruthless warfare and disease Emblaze, with upward-slanting ray, the breast, Have to the loathsome lazar-house consign'd. And wing unquivering of the wheeling lark, Fierce superstition of the mitred king!
Descending, vocal, from her latest flight; Almost I could forget thy torch and stake, While, disregardful of yon lonely star,When I this blessed sisterhood survey,
The harbinger of chill night's glittering host,Compassion's priestesses, disciples true
Sweet Redbreast, Scotia's Philomela, chants, Of him whose touch was health, whose single In desultory strains, his evening hymn.
A SUMMER SABBATH WALK.
DELIGHTFUL is this loneliness: it calms
My heart: pleasant the cool beneath these elms, Will, when the Sabbath of the tomb is past,
That throw across the stream a moveless shade. Call forth the dead, and reunite the dust
Here nature in her midnoon whisper speaks ; (Transform’d and purified) to angel souls.
How peaceful every sound !-the ring-dove's plaint, Ecstatic hope! belief! conviction firm !
Moan'd from the twilight centre of the grove, How grateful 'tis to recollect the time
While every other woodland lay is mute, When hope arose to faith! Faintly at first
Save when the wren flits from her down-coved nest, The heavenly voice is heard; then, by degrees,
And from the root-sprig trills her ditty clear,Its music sounds perpetual in the heart.
The grasshopper's oft pausing chirp,—the buzz, Thus he, who all the gloomy winter long
Angrily shrill, of moss-entangled bee, Has dwelt in city crowds, wandering a field Betimes on Sabbath morn, ere yet the spring * " So when he had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Unfold the daisy's bud, delighted hears
Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these ? The first lark's note, faint yet, and short the
He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love
thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to song,
him again the second time. Simon, son of Jonas, lovest Check'd by the chill ungenial northern breeze ; thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest But, as the sun ascends, another springs,
that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He And still another soars on loftier wing,
saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest Till all o'erhead, the joyous choir unseen,
thou me? Peter was grieved, because he said unto him
the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Poised welkin high, harmonious fills the air,
Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I lova As if it were a link 'tween earth and heaven.
thee. Jesus saith unto hins, Feed my sheep." John xxi. 38
That, soon as loosed, booms with full twang away, His comfort, stay, and ever new delight!
While, heedless, at his side, the lisping boy
AN AUTUMN SABBATH WALK.
When homeward bands their several ways disperse,
Sad sighs the wind, that from those ancient elms (Where safe and happily he might have lurk’d,) Shakes showers of leaves upon the wither'd grass: Elate upon ambition's gaudy wings,
The sere and yellow wreaths, with eddying sweep, Forgetful of his origin, and, worse,
Fill up the furrows 'tween the hillock'd graves. Unthinking of his end, flies to the stream;
But list that moan! 'tis the poor blind man's dog, And if from hostile vigilance he 'scape,
His guide for many a day, now come to mourn Buoyant he flutters but a little while,
The master and the friend—conjunction rare ! Mistakes th’inverted image of the sky
A man indeed he was of gentle soul, For heaven itself, and, sinking, meets his fate. Though bred to brave the deep: the lightning's flash
Now let me trace the stream up to its source Had dimm’d, not closed, his mild, but sightless eyes, Among the hills; its runnel by degrees
He was a welcome guest through all his range Diminishing, the murmur turns a tinkle.
(It was not wide:) no dog would bay at him; Closer and closer still the banks approach,
Children would run to meet him on his way, Tangled so thick with pleaching bramble shoots, And lead him to a sunny seat, and climb With brier, and hazel branch, and hawthorn spray, His knee, and wonder at his oft-told tales. That, fain to quit the dangle, glad I mount
Then would he teach the elfins how to plait Into the open air : Grateful the breeze
The rushy cap and crown, or sedgy ship ; That fans my throbbing temples ! smiles the plain And I have seen him lay his tremulous hand Spread wide below: how sweet the placid view ! Upon their heads, while silent moved his lips. But, O! more sweet the thought, heart-soothing Peace to thy spirit! that now looks on me thought,
Perhaps with greater pity than I felt That thousands, and ten thousands of the sons To see thee wandering darkling on thy way. Of toil, partake this day the common joy
But let me quit this melancholy spot, Of rest, of peace, of viewing hill and dale,
And roam where nature gives a parting smile. Of breathing in the silence of the woods,
As yet the blue-bells linger on the sod And blessing Him who gave the Sabbath day. That copes the sheepfold ring; and in the woods Yes, my heart flutters with a freer throb,
A second blow of many flowers appears ; To think that now the townsman wanders forth Flowers faintly tinged, and breathing no perfume. Among the fields and meadows to enjoy
But fruits, not blossoms, form the woodland wreath The coolness of the day's decline ; to see
That circles Autumn's brow: the ruddy haws His children sport around, and simply pull
Now clothe the half-leaved thorn; the bramble The flower and weed promiscuous, as a boon,
bends Which proudly in his breast they smiling fix. Beneath its jetty load; the hazel hangs Again I turn me to the hill, and trace
With auburn branches, dipping in the stream The wizard stream, now scarce to be discern'd; That sweeps along, and threatens to o’erflow Woodless its banks, but green with ferny leaves, The leaf-strewn banks: oft, statue-like, I gize, And thinly strew'd with heath-bells up and down. In vacancy of thought, upon that stream,
Now, when the downward sun has left the glens, And chase, with dreaming eye, the eddying foam ;
A WINTER SABBATH WALK.
How dazzling white the snowy scene! deep, deep,
Each hollow pathway level with the plain: Which He,-who listens to the hallelujahs Hid are the bushes, save that, here and there, Of choiring seraphim,-delights to hear;
Are seen the topmost shoots of brier or broom. It is the music of the heart, the voice
High-ridged, the whirled drift has almost reach'd Of venerable age,-of guileless youth,
The powder'd key-stone of the churchyard porch. In kindly circle seated on the ground
Mute hangs the hooded bell ; the tombs lie buried, Before their wicker door. Behold the man! No step approaches to the house of prayer. The grandsire and the saint; his silvery locks The flickering fall is o’er; the clouds disperse, Beam in the parting ray: before him lies,
And show the sun, hung o'er the welkin's verge ; Upon the smooth cropt sward, the open book, Shooting a bright but ineffectual beam
On all the sparkling waste. Now is the time, Silence was o'er the deep; the noiseless surge, To visit nature in her grand attire ;
The last subsiding wave,of that dread tumult Though perilous the mountainous ascent,
Which raged, when ocean, at the mute command, A noble recompense the danger brings.
Rush'd furiously into his new-cleft bed,
How beautiful the plain stretch'd far below! Was gently rippling on the pebbled shore ; Unvaried though it be, save by yon stream
While, on the swell, the sea-bird with her head With azure windings, or the leafless wood. Wing-veil'd, slept tranquilly. The host of heaven, But what the beauty of the plain, compared Entranced in new delight, speechless adored ; To that sublimity which reigns inthroned, Nor stopp'd their fleet career, nor changed their Holding joint rule with solitude divine,
form Among yon rocky fells, that bid defiance
Encircular, till on that hemisphere, To steps the most adventurously hold !
In which the blissful garden sweet exhaled There silence dwells profound; or if the cry Its incense, odorous clouds,-the Sabbath dawn Of high-poised eagle break at times the calm, Arose ; then wide the flying circle oped, The mantled echoes no response return.
And soard, in semblance of a mighty rainbow But let me now explore the deep sunk dell.
Silent ascend the choirs of seraphim; No foot-print, save the covey's or the flock's, No harp resounds, mute is each voice; the burst Is seen along the rill, where marshy springs Of joy and praise reluctant they repress, Still rear the grassy blade of vivid green.
For love and concord all things so attuned Beware, ye shepherds, of these treacherous haunts, To harmony, that earth must have received Nor linger there too long: the wintry day
The grand vibration, and to the centre shook: Soon closes; and full oft a heavier fall
But soon as to the starry altitudes Heap'd by the blast, fills up the shelter'd glen, They reach'd, then what a storm of sound tremenWhile, gurgling deep below, the buried rill
dous Mines for itself a snow-coved way. 0! then, Swell’d through the realms of space! The mornYour helpless charge drive from the tempting spot,
ing stars And keep them on the bleak hill's stormy side, Together sang, and all the sons of God Where night-winds sweep the gathering drift Shouted for joy ! Loud was the peal; so loud away :
As would have quite o’erwhelm’d the human sense ; So the great Shepherd leads the heavenly flock But to the earth it came a gentle strain, From faithless pleasures, full into the storms Like softest fall breathed from Æolian lute, Of life, where long they bear the bitter blast, When 'mid the chords the evening gale expires. Until at length the vernal sun looks forth,
Day of the Lord! creation's hallow'd close! Bedimm’d with showers: Then to the pastures Day of the Lord! (prophetical they sang,) green
Benignant mitigation of that doom He brings them, where the quiet waters glide, Which must, ere long, consign the fallen race, The streams of life, the Siloah of the soul.
Dwellers in yonder star, to toil and wo!
THE FINDING OF MOSES.
Slow glides the Nile: amid the margin flags,
Closed in a bulrush ark, the babe is left, -
Left by a mother's hand. His sister waits
Far off; and pale, 'tween hope and fear, beholds Like that untouching cincture which enzones
The royal maid, surrounded by her train, The globe of Saturn, compass'd wide this orb, Approach the river bank,-approach the spot And with the forming mass floated along,
Where sleeps the innocent: She sees them stoop In rapid course, through yet untravell’d space,
With meeting plumes; the rushy lid is oped, Beholding God's stupendous power,-a world
And wakes the infant, smiling in his tears, Bursting from chaos at the omnific will,
As when along a little mountain lake
And parts the reeds, unveiling, as they bend,
JACOB AND PHARAOH.
Was seated ; while around him stood submiss
The patriarch enters, leaning on the arm Their orisons pour'd forth ; love, concord, reign'd; Of Benjamin. Unmoved by all the glare The falcon, perch'd upon the blooming bough Of royalty, he scarcely throws a glance With Philomela, listen'd to her lay;
Upon the pageant show; for from his youth Among the antler'd herd, the tiger couch'd A shepherd's life he led, and view'd each night Harmless ; the lion's mane no terror spread The starry host; and still, where'er he went, Among the careless ruminating flock.
He felt himself in presence of the Lord.
His eye is bent on Joseph, him pursues.
ELIJAH FED BY RAVENS.
SORE was the famine throughout all the bounds A blessing from his lips ! the aged man
Of Israel, when Elijah, by command Lays on the ground his staff, and stretching forth Of God, journeyed to Cherith's failing brook. His tremulous hand o'er Pharaoh's uncrown'd head, No rain-drops fall, no dew-fraught cloud, at mom Prays that the Lord would bless him and his land. Or closing eve, creeps slowly up the vale ;
The withering herbage dies; among the palms
The shrivell’d leaves send to the summer gale JEPHTHAH'S VOW.
An autumn rustle ; no sweet songster's lay From conquest Jephthah came, with faltering step Is warbled from the branches ; scarce is heard And troubled eye ; his home appears in view; The rill's faint brawl. The prophet looks around He trembles at the sight. Sad he forbodes,
And trusts in God, and lays his silver'd head His vow will meet a victim in his child :
Upon the flowerless bank; serene he sleeps, For well he knows, that, from her earliest years, Nor wakes till dawning: then with hands enclasp’d, She still was first to meet his homeward steps : And heavenward face, and eyelids closed, he prays Well he remembers, how, with tottering gait, To Him who manna on the desert shower'd, She ran, and clasp'd his knees, and lisp'd, and look'd To Him who from the rock made fountains gush: Her joy; and how, when garlanding with flowers Entranced the man of God remains : till roused His helm, fearful, her infant hand would shrink
By sound of wheeling wings, with grateful heart, Back from the lion couch'd beneath the crest.
He sees the ravens fearless by his side What sound is that, which, from the palm-tree Alight, and leave the heaven-provided food.
THE BIRTH OF JESUS ANNOUNCED.
DEEP was the midnight silence in the fields
Of Bethlehem; hush'd the folds ; save that at times Hope from the omen springs : 0 blessed hope !
Was heard the lamb’s faint bleat: the shepherds, It may not be her voice !-Fain would he think
stretch'd 'Twas not his daughter's voice that still approach'd, On the green sward, survey'd the starry vault. Blent with the timbrel's note. Forth from the grove The heavens declare the glory of the Lord, She foremost glides of all the minstrel band :
The firmament shows forth thy handy-work: Moveless he stands; then grasps his hilt, still red
Thus they, their hearts attuned to the Most HighWith hostile gore, but, shuddering, quits the hold: When suddenly a splendid cloud appear'd, And clasps in agony his hands, and cries,
As if a portion of the milky way “ Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me low."
Descended slowly in the spiral course.
Near and more near it draws; then, hovering, floats
Upon the folded flocks, a heavenly radiance,
From whence was utter'd loud, yet sweet, a voice,– DEEP was the furrow in the royal brow,
Fear not, I bring good tidings of great joy ;
The angel spake; when, lo! upon the cloud,
A multitude of seraphim, enthroned, In Pharaoh's realm; his brethren thither sent;
Sang praises, saying,-Glory to the Lord Suppliant they stood before his face, well known, On high ; on earth be peace, good will to men. Unknowing,—till Joseph fell upon the neck With sweet response harmoniously they choir'd, Of Benjamin, his mother's son, and wept.
And while, with heavenly harmony, the song Unconsciously the warlike shepherd paused ; Arose to God, more bright the buoyant throne But when he saw, down the yet quivering string, Illumed the land: the prowling lion stops, The tear-drop trembling glide, abash'd, he check’d, Awe-struck, with mane upreard, and Aatten'd Indignant at himself, the bursting flood,
head; And, with a sweep impetuous, struck the chords : And, without turning, backward on his steps From side to side his hands transversely glance, Recoils, aghast, into the desert gloom. Like lightning 'thwart a stormy sea; his voice A trembling joy th' astonish'd shepherds prove, Arises 'mid the clang, and straightway calms As heavenward reascends the vocal blaze The harmonious tempest, to a solemn swell Triumphantly; while by degrees the strain Majestical, triumphant ; for he sings
Dies on the ear, that, self-deluded, listens
As if a sound so sweet could never die.
BEHOLD MY MOTHER AND MY BRETHREN.
Who is my mother, or my brethren?
With a meek smile of pity blent with love,