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TEIGHING the steadfastness and state
Of some mean things which here below

reside, Where birds, like watchful clocks, the noiseless date

And intercourse of times divide,
Where bees at night get home and hive, and flowers,

Early as well as late,
Rise with the sun, and set in the same bowers;

I would, said I, my God would give
The staidness of these things to man! for these
To his divine appointments ever cleave,

And no new business breaks their peace :
The birds nor sow nor reap, yet sup and dine ;

The flowers without clothes live, Yet Solomon was never dressed so fine.

Man hath still either toys or care : He hath no root, nor to one place is tied, But, ever restless and irregular,

About this earth doth run and ride.
He knows he hath a home, but scarce knows where :

He says it is so far
That he hath quite forgot how to go there.

He knocks at all doors, strays and roams; Nay, hath not so much wit as some stones have, Which, in the darkest nights, point to their homes,

By some hid sense their Maker gave.

Man is the shuttle, to whose winding quest

And passage through these looms
God ordered motion, but ordained no rest.



THEN God at first made man,

Having a glass of blessings standing by; Let

us, said He, pour on him all We can: Let the world's riches which dispersèd lie

Contract into a span.

So strength first made a way, Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honour, pleasure : When almost all was out, God made a stay, Perceiving that alone, of all his treasure,

Rest in the bottom lay.

For if I should, said He,
Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts, instead of Me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature,

So both should losers be.

Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness :
Let him be rich and weary, that at least
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast.



STRUCK the board, and cried, “No more !

I will abroad.
What! shall I ever sigh and pine ?
My lines and life are free, free as the road,
Loose as the wind, as large as store.

Shall I be still in suit ?
Have I no harvest but a thorn
To let me blood, and not restore
What I have lost with cordial fruit ?

Sure there was wine,
Before my sighs did dry it: there was corn

Before my tears did drown it.
Is the year only lost to me?

Have I no bays to crown it?
No flowers, no garlands gay? All blasted?

All wasted ?
Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,

And thou hast hands.
Recover all thy sigh-blown age
On double pleasures. Leave thy cold dispute
Of what is fit, and not. Forsake thy cage,

Thy rope of sands
Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee
Good cable, to enforce and draw

And be thy law,
While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.

Away! take heed !
I will abroad.

Call in thy death's-head there. Tie up thy fears.

He that forbears
To suit and serve his need

Deserves his load.'
But as I raved, and grew more fierce and wild

At every word,
Methought I heard one calling, ‘Child !'
And I replied, "My Lord !'



* As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.' GIVE 'IVE me thy joy in sorrow, gracious Lord,

And sorrow's self shall like to joy appear ! Although the world should waver in its sphere I tremble not, if Thou thy peace afford. But, Thou withdrawn, I am but as a chord That vibrates to the pulse of hope and fear; Nor rest I more than harps which to the air Must answer when we place their tuneful board Against the blast, which thrill unmeaning woe Even in their sweetness. So no earthly wing E’er sweeps me but to sadden. Oh, place Thou My heart beyond the World's sad vibrating : And where but in Thyself? Oh, circle me, That I may feel no touches save of Thee.




O thou into thy closet; shut thy door;

And pray to Him in secret : He will hear.
But think not thou, by one wild bound, to clear
The numberless ascensions, more and more,
Of starry stairs that must be climbed, before
Thou comest to the Father's likeness near;
And bendest down to kiss the feet so dear
That, step by step, their mounting flights passed o'er.
Be thou content if on thy weary need
There falls a sense of showers and of the spring;
A hope, that makes it possible to fling
Sickness aside, and go and do the deed;
For highest aspiration will not lead
Unto the calm beyond all questioning.

Hark, hark, a voice amid the quiet intense !
It is thy Duty waiting thee without.
Rise from thy knees in hope, the half of doubt;
A hand doth pull thee—it is Providence.
Open thy door straightway, and get thee hence;
Go forth into the tumult and the shout;
Work, love, with workers, lovers, all about :
Of noise alone is born the inward sense
Of silence; and from action springs alone
The inward knowledge of true love and faith.

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