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RODS AND KISSES.

AI

LL blessings ask a blessed mood;

The garnish here is more than meat; Happy who takes sweet gratitude;

Next best, though bitter, is regret.

'Tis well if, on the tempest's gloom,

You see the covenant of God;
But far, far happier he on whom
The kiss works better than the rod.

COVENTRY PATMORE.

PASSING PLEASURES.

THESE blessed passing pleasures !

We need not let them waste,
We need not leave their treasures

Behind us in our haste.
We need not doubt their fitness

Where earth's deep shadows fall ;
God giving, He is witness

That we shall want them all.

Amid the old sad story

Of human shame and sin,
If He gives gleams of glory

We ought to let them in.

And oh, when brought before us

Where heart and soul can see, How mighty to restore us

Love's little signs may be.

A bird, a tree, a flower,

A creature just as frail, Will take us in His power

To Him within the veil; Will come, if He has bidden,

Amidst the darkening fight, And leave us safely hidden

Behind a shield of light.

Perhaps his angels see us

Disquieted in vain ;
Perhaps his watch would free us

From some ensnaring pain ;
But only He can measure

Who sees our nature through The good that in his pleasure

A passing joy may do.

If but for one bright minute

Through gathering clouds it break, There is a token in it

That He would have us take. And, his least sign obeying,

No wealth our hearts shall miss, Even when we hear Him saying

“See greater things than this !'

For He, the dull ear gaining,

Meeting the dim weak sight,
Our faith is gently training

To bear the perfect light.
And while his mercies guide us,

We in one sure belief
May trust the joy beside us
Even as we trust the grief.

ANNA LÆTITIA WARING

GOD'S WAY.

'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, saith the Lord.'

I
SAID, “The darkness shall content my soul;

God said, “Let there be light.'
I said, “The night shall see me reach my goal ;'

Instead came dawning bright.

I bared my head to meet the smiter's stroke;

There came sweet dropping oil.
I waited, trembling, but the voice that spoke

Said gently, 'Cease thy toil.'

I looked for evil, stern of face and pale ;

Came good, too fair to tell.
I leant on God when other joys did fail;
He gave me these as well.

SARAH WILLIAMS. MUSIC.

THA
CHAT music breathes all through my spirit

As the breezes blow through a tree;
And my soul gives light as it quivers,

Like moons on a tremulous sea.

New passions are wakened within me,

New passions that have not a name; Dim truths that I knew but as phantoms

Stand up clear and bright in the flame.

And my soul is possessed with yearnings
Which make

my

life broaden and swell; And I hear strange things that are soundless,

And I see the invisible.

Oh silence that clarion in mercy,

For it carries my soul away;
And it whirls my thoughts out beyond me,

Like the leaves on an autumn day.

O exquisite tyranny! silence,

My soul slips from under my hand, And as if by instinct is fleeing

To a dread unvisited land.

Is it sound, or fragrance, or vision ?

Vocal light wavering down from above? Past prayer and past praise I am floating

Down the rapids of speechless love.

I strove, but the sweet sounds have conquered :

Within me the Past is awake;
The Present is grandly transfigured ;

The Future is clear as daybreak.

Now Past, Present, Future have mingled

A new sort of Present to make; And my life is all disembodied,

Without time, without space, without break.

But my soul seems floating for ever

In an orb of ravishing sounds, Through faint-falling echoes of heavens

'Mid beautiful earths without bounds.

Now sighing, as zephyrs in summer,

The concords glide in like a stream, With a sound that is almost a silence,

Or the soundless sounds in a dream.

Then oft, when the music is faintest,

My soul has a storm in its bowers, Like the thunder among the mountains,

Like the wind in the abbey towers.

There are sounds, like flakes of snow falling

In their silent and eddying rings; We tremble,--they touch us so lightly,

Like the feathers from angels' wings.

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