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A SUNDAY MORNING ECLOGUE.

WRITTEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE DEATH OF REV. GEORGE WHITNEY, OF JAMAICA PLAIN, ROXBURY, AND REV. DR. HARRIS, OF DORCHESTER.

SCENE.

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A rustic Cottage on a Hill-side; a Lake beneath; a Village in the distance beyond. — A Child is sitting on the bank near the cottage door, at which his Father appears.

CHILD.

Is it not time, dear father, for the bell?
I'm weary listening for it. Here I've sat
Since breakfast, waiting, waiting; but I hear
No sound. I'm tired of waiting!

FATHER.

How the child

Delights to catch the music of that bell!
And so do I, in truth. I love its peal,
As it comes swelling o'er the placid lake,
And stirs the silence of our far hill-side.
The undulating tones float calmly on,

As if from heaven's broad depths they wafted down
Sweet messages of peace, such as befit

A Sunday's sacred calm. - Come hither, boy;

Sit on the door-stone by your father's side,
And I will listen with you for the bell.

CHILD.

How beautiful it is!

FATHER.

What's beautiful ?

CHILD.

Why, every thing; — the trees, and flowers, and clouds, And pond, and houses; —all are beautiful.

What makes them always look most beautiful

On Sunday morning?

FATHER.

Do they so?

CHILD.

Why, yes;

And mother says so too; and then she asks,
If heaven will be more fair than this bright earth.

Father.

Well, child, and will it?

CHILD.

O, I asked her that;

She answered, "Surely yes;" and said the hymn,

"If God hath made this world so fair,

Where sin and death abound,

How beautiful, beyond compare,

Must Paradise be found!"

But why on Sunday should it seem most fair?

FATHER.

Because the mind is then in tune; its thoughts
Of holy truth have roused it to perceive
The harmony of all with things divine:
The heart, attuned to heavenly melody,
Beats in accord with nature's melodies,

Which always are of Heaven.

CHILD.

You understand?

O, yes; for mother always says, you know,
If I am sweet and pleasant, every thing
Will pleasant be to me and sweet; and so
All things will be most heavenly to the eye
Beneath a Sabbath sun, because ourselves
Are then most heavenly.

FATHER.

Ay, but might we not

Find all as full of heaven another day?

Surely,

CHILD.

as all would pleasant be to me

If I were always in a pleasant mood.

FATHER.

But children fret, and then all joys are soured;
And men disturb their minds with foolish cares,
Till nature's peace and God's great presence fade;
Till noxious mists have darkened all their world,
And rarely yield a moment's glimpse of heaven.
Bless me, this day, my God, with one such glimpse !
Lift off the darkness from my soul!

Remove
The dimness of my eye, that I may see,

The dulness of my ear, that I may hear,
The melodies and beauties of thy realms.

CHILD.

Hark! hark! Methought I heard it. Have they bells

In heaven, father?

FATHER.

They have music, dear, love and angels. - Hark! -'Tis strange! The shadows have grown short,

And worship

'Tis very strange!

The sun rides high, and yet no call to church!
The air is still - we could not fail to hear.
But what should cause that iron tongue to lie
Speechless to-day, which for two hundred years
Ne'er failed before to ring its summons forth,
Proclaiming, to the forests and the hills,

That toil had pause, and earth was bowed in praise?
What can it mean?

CHILD.

List, father! Up the steep,

Straight from the village, comes the sound of wheels.

FATHER.

And now I see the wagon, as it winds

Round yonder turn. I will approach and know
The reason of this mystery. Neighbor, hail!

A Sabbath's salutation to you, friend!

But why this more than Sabbath's silence? Why
No customary bell?

NEIGHBOR.

Have you not heard?

I have heard nothing.

FATHER.

NEIGHBOR.

Not the heavy news

That fills the vale with sadness, and makes dim
The eyes of all its dwellers?

FATHER.

Not a word.

NEIGHBOR.

Then hear and weep with them. Our pastor's dead!

FATHER.

Dead? Dead? Impossible; so young, so strong-
Impossible! I saw him three days since.

NEIGHBOR.

A sudden illness, with its stern assault,
Leaped on his sturdy frame, and bore him down.
But yesterday he sat as he was wont,
Scarce conscious of an ill beyond the dull
And languid apathy which often keeps

The student from his books. This morning's sun
Beheld his spirit mounting from its clay,

And stricken children weeping o'er his corse,
Appalled and comfortless.

FATHER.

God comfort them,

And us, and all! What mystery is this,

That puts this fearful pause to so much life

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