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WHILE, lowly bending round the sacred shrine,
The pious throng their common faith declare,
Lady, a friend whose warmest wish is thine,
Breathed to his God, for thee, this fervent prayer:
"Soft may the dews of heavenly grace descend, Fill her warm heart,-wherever doomed to roam, From every latent snare her path defend ;
God and good angels guide her to his home.
"And when the morn unfolds her purple wings,
Till sober evening spreads her mantling shade, May heart-felt peace, from faith and hope that springs, Through life's still varying scenes her breast pervade.
"And at the last and closing scene of life, May hope exulting, faith resigned be given; O spare her parting soul a painful strife,
And short and easy be her path to heaven."
"T was thus he prayed. Nor blame the fervent strain;
Cold were his heart, if silent and unmoved,
In God's own house, it could an hour remain,
Nor breathe its wishes for the friends he loved.
THE weary traveller, destined long to roam,
Far from his early friends and cheerful home,
If chance, some mountain swells before his sight,
Strains every nerve, and scales its towering height.
One moment stops, his wanderings past to view,
His dangers, errors, hopes, and comforts too;
Dwells on the spot, which Pleasure strewed with flowers,
And shudders still at Peril's darker hours;
Surveys the past with sad or thoughtful mind,
And hopes the future,-anxious, but resigned.
Thus on the day which marks the opening year,
Though pure our joys, and bright our hopes appear;
Though for our friends our warmest wishes rise,
And earnest prayers and vows salute the skies;
Though gay Festivity will oft beguile,
From Sorrow's settled gloom, a passing smile;
Still on the former, pensive looks we cast,
And wish each year more happy than the last.
More than the last! Yes: Conscience knows too well
The pains she suffers, but can never tell';
The hours of sloth, which passed unheeded by,
Now rise and swell before the unwilling eye.
The hours of passion-why should Memory turn
To hours like these, which still excite and burn ?—
The hours of passion, be they joy or pain,
Leave on the heart some sad or sinful stain.
More than the last! Ah, where was manly pride,
By labor cherished, and to fame allied?
Where was the firm resolve, the noble aim,
The vigorous effort, and the rising name?
In happier days, when health and sight were mine;
When youthful Ardor sketched the bold design;
When strong Ambition urged the daily toil,
And Hope unflagging spent the midnight oil;
How revelled Thought, in Fancy's glowing reign!
-Visions of glory, rise no more in vain!
But, ""T is thy will," meek Resignation cries;
"The shaft flies low, which aims beneath the skies;
There raise thy hopes, let bold Ambition tower,
And spurn the summits of imperial power.
Thine be the cares which dignify the good,
Submissive passions, and a will subdued;
Thine be the hope which, raised to joys sublime,
Springs from the earth, and triumphs over time."
But has not earthly hope some favorite theme,
Some glowing vision, some delightful dream?
thanks to thee, one ray
Now beams, and brightens into broader day;
A day of ceaseless sunshine, which no storm
Shall e'er obscure, no passing cloud deform.
When laughing Pleasure shrinks from palsied Age,
And mirth and song no more his ear engage;
When tired Ambition dares his pangs avow,
And laureled Pride unbinds his aching brow;
Still pure Affection lives,-her winning art
Can warm, and fill, and animate the heart.
Come then, Improvement, greet the opening year
With tempered ardor, but with vows sincere ;
Leave vain regrets, and onward urge thy course,
With strong Decision's persevering force.
Pursue the steep ascent by sages trod,
And learn, from social love, the love of God;
With mild Affection dwell, and blessing, blest,
Receive, and give, the sunshine of the breast.