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O Lord of sorrow! meekly die:
Thou'lt heal or hallow all our woe; Thy name refresh the mourner's sigh ;
Thy peace revive the faint and low.
Great Chief of faithful souls ! arise :
None else can lead the martyr-band, Who teach the brave how peril flies,
When faith, unarmed, uplifts the hand.
O King of earth ! the cross ascend :
O’er climes and ages 'tis thy throne : Where'er thy fading eye may bend,
The desert blooms, and is thine own.
Thy parting blessing, Lord, we pray ;
Make but one fold below, above; And when we go the last lone way, O give the welcome of thy love.
A DREAM OF THE CROSS.
DREAMING I slept. Three crosses stood
High in the gloomy air ;
The third cross waited bare.
A soldier coming to the place,
Would hang me on the third
Mine eyes they sought the master's face,
My will the master's word.
He bent his head; I took the sign
the error way;
The secret should betray.
A moment from the cross's foot
He turned, and left me there, Waiting till that 'grim tree for fruit
My dying form should bear.
Up rose the steaming mists of doubt,
And chilled both heart and brain; They shut the world of vision out,
And fear saw only pain.
*Ah me, my hands! the hammer's blow !
The nails that rend and pierce ! The shock may stun, but slow and slow
The torture will grow fierce.
Alas, the awful fight with death!
The hours to hang and die ! The thirsting gasp for common breath !
The weakness that would cry!'
My soul returned, “A faintness soon
Will shroud thee in its fold;
The hours will bring the fearful noon;
'Twill pass--and thou art cold. “'Tis his to care that thou endure,
To curb or loose the pain ;
It shall not be in vain.'
But ah ! the will, which thus could quail,
Might yield-oh, horror drear! Then more than love, the fear to fail
Kept down the other fear.
I stood, nor moved. But inward strife
The bonds of slumber broke : Oh! had I fled, and lost the life Of which the master spoke?
MAN dwells apart, though not alone,
He walks among his peers unread; The best of thoughts which he hath known,
For lack of listeners are not said.
Yet dreaming on earth's clustered isles,
He saith, “They dwell not lone like men,' Forgetful that their sun-flecked smiles
Flash far beyond each other's ken.
He looks on God's eternal suns
That sprinkle the celestial blue, And saith, “Ah! happy shining ones,
I would that men were grouped like you!'
Yet this is sure, the loveliest star
That clustered with its peers we see,
E overstate the ills of life, and take
Imagination (given us to bring down The choirs of singing angels overshone By God's clear glory) down our earth to rake The dismal snows instead, flake following flake, To cover all the corn; we walk upon The shadow of hills across a level thrown, And pant like climbers; near the alderbrake We sigh so loud, the nightingale within Refuses to sing loud, as else she would. O brothers, let us leave the shame and sin Of taking vainly, in a plaintive mood, The holy name of GRIEF !-holy herein, That by the grief of One came all our good.
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING. FINITE AND INFINITE.
THE wind sounds only in opposing straits,
The sea, beside the shore; man's spirit rends Its quiet only up against the ends Of wants and oppositions, loves and hates, Where, worked and worn by passionate debates, And losing by the loss it apprehends, The flesh rocks round and every breath it sends Is ravelled to a sigh. All tortured states Suppose a straitened place. Jehovah Lord, Make room for rest, around me! out of sight Now float me, of the vexing land abhorred, Till in deep calms of space my soul may right Her nature, shoot large sail on lengthening cord, And rush exultant on the Infinite.
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING
MESSENGER that stood beside my bed,
In words of clear and cruel import said
I bring thee pain of body and of mind.
say not when : Affliction is my name, unloved of men.'
my brother come, I