Miscellaneous Poems (2)
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WEEDS AND FLOWERS.

 

WELL spake the ancient gardener
      Unto the lady gay,
Who came to view his handywork
      One February day.
His parterres were all overrun
      With many a useless thing,
And he had only just begun
      To trim them for the Spring.
"How fast this tangled rubbish breeds,
      Even in the wintry hours!"
            "Ah, yes!" quoth he,
            With roguish glee,
The soil is mother to the weeds,
    But only step-dame to the flowers!"

And so it is in many a home;
      Where'er we chance to turn,
Some wayward and unruly child
      Will make his mother mourn:
Yet she will give him her chief love,
      Her closest watch and care;
While the docile and dutiful
      Receive the lesser share.
Perchance she feeleth that he needs
      Her best maternal powers;
            And proves anew
            The saying true—
"The soil is mother to the weeds,
    But only step-dame to the flowers!"

So in the mixed and mighty world,
      From some continuous cause
A multitude go all astray,
      And violate its laws;
While poverty and misery
      Spring up on every side,
As if to choke the very path
      Of gorgeous wealth and pride.
Since effort but in part succeeds
      Against this bane of ours,
            Well may we say,
            From day to day,
"The soil is mother to the weeds,
    But only step-dame to the flowers!"

Among the countless worshippers
      Of Heaven's supernal Lord,
What difference and intolerance,
      Where all should well accord;
Some calmly, wisely, stand apart
      From the unhallowed strife;
While some would shut their brother out
      From the eternal life.
Since thus amid conflicting creeds
      Insidious evil cowers,
            Well may we sigh,
            And inly cry—
"The soil is mother to the weeds,
    But only step-dame to the flowers!"

 

_________________________

 
THE STAR OF THE HOUSEHOLD.

 

AN angel in the house?   Ah, yes!
      There is a precious angel there;—
A woman, formed to soothe and bless,
      Good, if she be not fair;
A kindly, patient, faithful wife,
      Cheerful, and of a temper mild,
One who can lend new charms to life,
      And make man reconcil'd.

Oh! 'tis a pleasant thing to see
      Such being going to and fro,
With aspect genial and free,
      Yet pure as spotless snow:
One who performs her duties, too,
      With steady and becoming grace,
Giving to each attention due,
      In fitting time and place.

One who can use her husband's means
      With careful thrift from day to day,
And when misfortune intervenes,
      Put needless wants away;
Who smooths the wrinkles from his brow,
      When more than common cares oppress,
And cheers him—faithful to her vow—
      With hopeful tenderness.

One who, when sorrow comes, can feel
      With woman's tenderness of heart;
And yet can strive with quiet zeal,
      To ease another's smart;
One who, when Fortune's sun grows bright,
      And flings the clouds of care aside,
Can bask with pleasure in its light.
      Yet feel no foolish pride.

One who can check, with saint-like power,
      Wild thoughts that spring to dangerous birth,
And wake pure feelings, as the shower
      Of Spring awakes the earth;—
Bring forth the latent virtues shrined
      Within the compass of the breast,
And to the weak and tortured mind
      Give confidence and rest.

Good neighbour, not to envy prone;
      True wife, in luxury or need;
Fond mother, not unwisely shown,
      Blameless in thought and deed:
Whoever claims so rare a wife,
      Thus should his earnest words be given,
"She is the angel of my life,
      And makes my home a Heaven!"

 

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THE DARKEST HOUR.

 

DESPAIR not, Poet, whose warm soul aspires
        To breathe the exalted atmosphere of fame;
Give thy heart words, but purify its fires,
        So that thy song may consecrate thy name:
Sing on, and hope, nor murmur that the crowd
        Are slow to hear and recognise thy lay;
Thy time will come, if thou art well endowed;—
        The darkest hour is on the verge of day.

Despair not, Genius, wheresoe'er thou art,
        Whate'er the bent and purpose of thy mind;
Use thy great gifts with an unfailing heart,
        And wait till Fortune deigneth to be kind:
The world is tardy in its help and praise,
        And doubts and dangers may obstruct thy way:
But light oft pierces through the heaviest haze;—
        The darkest hour is on the verge of day.

Despair not, Patriot, who, in dreams sublime,
        See'st for thy country glories yet unborn,
And fain would chide the laggard wings of Time,
        Because they bring not the transcendant morn:
Be firm in thy devotion, year by year
        We seem to travel on a sunward way,
And what seems dubious now, may yet be clear;—
        The darkest hour is on the verge of day.

Despair not, Virtue, who in sorrow's hour
        Sigh'st to behold some idol overthrown,
And from the shade of thy domestic bower
        Some green branch gone, some bird of promise flown;
God chastens but to prove thy faithfulness,
        And in thy weakness He will be thy stay;
Trust and deserve, and He will soothe and bless;—
        The darkest hour is on the verge of day.

Despair not, Man, however low thy state,
        Nor scorn small blessings that around thee fall;
Learn to disdain the impious creed of fate,
        And own the Providence that governs all.
If thou art baffled in thy earnest will,
        Thy conscience clear, thy reason not astray,
Be this thy faith and consolation still,—
        The darkest hour is on the verge of day.

 

_________________________

 
A GOOD MAN GONE.

 

BROUGHT by the winged messenger of fire
Along the chords of the mysterious wire,
In silence and in secret sweeping by,
What mingled tales, what varied tidings fly!
Tidings of horror, anarchy, and gloom;
Tales of quick vengeance and appalling doom;
Signs of great triumph for some victory won;
Symbols reporting deeds of virtue done;
Stories of danger and o'erwhelming woe,
That make the heart's-blood leap, the tears o'erflow,—
Or, with a strong and terrible control,
Strike the tongue dumb, and paralyse the soul!
These, and much more, the subtle agent brings,
Snatched from the mighty sum of human things
And now to us, the toiling and the poor,
It comes, and leaves a sorrow at our door—
A sudden sorrow, telling us at last
That a good man has gone, a gentle spirit passed.

      "Carlus is gone!" is heard from every tongue;
"Our friend is dead!" repeat the mournful throng:
"Who shall succeed him?" is the general cry;
"Alas! we know not!" is the faint reply.
"None can supply his now deserted place
With the same kindness, dignity, and grace;
None will essay to bring such blessings down
On the poor denizens of Ashburn town."
Such is the language of the people here,
And who will dare to say that they are not sincere?

      A man of peace, he sought each gentle way
Whereby to mitigate the feud and fray
Of families and nations, hoping then
That Peace might sojourn 'mid the sons of men;
A man of quiet energy, he sought
To make the best of gifts that Commerce brought;
A man of steadfast principle, he saw
That all should heed the universal law
Which bindeth man to man—the common tie
That makes us equal brothers 'neath the sky;
A man of charity, he strove with zeal
For all pertaining unto human weal;
Gave with no stinted measure from his store;
Fostered the mental culture of the poor;
Helped and encouraged, whensoe'er he could,
Whate'er was just, and generous, and good;
Receiving for his meed, which was not small,
Respect, good-will, and gratitude from all.

      And was he happy, this lamented one—
This man and Christian, from our presence gone?
Did wealth and goodness make his lot below
Free from the shadow of all human woe?
Faith and approving conscience lent him rest
When sorrow came: but who is wholly blest
Where the unseen inevitable comes,
To snatch some light and treasure from our homes:
Gold cannot buy exemption from all pain,
It cannot bring the lost and mourned again,
Who from our fond embrace too soon depart,
And leave an aching vacancy of heart.

      Our friend had losses gold could not supply:
Twice did he see a loving partner die
And desolate his hearth; then, one by one,
His precious children sickened, and were gone.
One daughter, and one only, yet remained,
And his strong sorrow softened and restrained;
With him she went to many a foreign strand,
The plains of Syria, and the Bible land;
Walked on the shore of the Asphaltic sea;
Read, 'mid the rocks of Edom, God's decree;
Knelt where the suffering Saviour taught and died,
And felt the littleness of human pride.
Thus the kind father saw his only child
Grow up in love and knowledge undefiled;
A sweet companion in his lonely days,
Whose presence soothed his soul, and cheered life's
            darkest ways.

      A change came o'er the aspect of her life
By the exalted duties of a wife;
And 'mid a mother's tenderness and care
She sought her heart, and found her father there;
Found, too, that priceless blessing from above,
A triple fountain of enduring love,
Which kept her feelings in perpetual bloom,
Till the Eternal called her to the tomb.
The spoiler and the tomb! dread words that shake
The coldest heart, and make the strongest quake.
The sorrowing father, once again bereft,
Felt that he had no earthly comfort left;
And, spite of Christian solace and relief,
Succumbed beneath the burden of his grief;
Girt up his loins with an unwavering hand,
Smiled, and departed for the better land.

      Ye wealthy magnates, who have gold, and power
Whereby to scatter blessings like a shower,
Think of the worth of this lamented man,
And emulate his virtues when ye can;
True to yourselves, be kindly and sincere
To all who labour in a lower sphere,
Help and enlighten them, whene'er ye may,
And cast some gifts of goodness in their way;
Give, but give wisely, from your ample store,
And let our toiling town boast of one Carlus more.

 

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FAMILY FEUDS.

 

IN truth, it is a grievous sight
      To see domestic signs of strife,
Which deaden every sense of right
      That ought to sweeten life;
Which rend affection from the heart,
      Justice and judgment from the brain,
And to our clouded days impart
      An atmosphere of pain.

What glooms, and storms, and treacherous
            calms,
      Environ us on every side,
But no consoling gleams and balms
      To soothe our wounded pride:
Distracting doubt, and sad unrest,
      From day to day our steps pursue,
And hatred gendered in the breast,
      Which time can scarce subdue.

Sometimes, indeed, we long to leave
      Th' encumbering incubus behind,
But fail, because we cannot weave
      One harmonising mind;
Entangled in the mesh, we strive
      Against each other, as before;
Which only keeps our wrath alive,
      And fetters us the more.

Could we but calmly pause and think,
      And with the just and good agree,
Then, one by one, each galling link
      Would break, and set us free:
But since our passions lead astray,
      Too oft against our better will,
How dark becomes our tangled way,
      Beset by every ill!

Forbear, then, and be reconciled,
      Ye who are mixed in feuds like these;
Be not bewildered and beguiled
      By specious claims and pleas;
Take quiet counsel each with each,
      Let prejudice and passion cease,
Bind up the wounds, make up the breach,
      And let the end be peace.

So shall ye banish needless strife,
      So banish self-made sorrow, too,
And in your after days of life
      A friendlier course pursue.
Life is too short to waste as dross,
      In deeds as barren as the wind;
And waste of soul—a priceless loss!—
      Should teach us to be kind.

 

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ONE ANGEL MORE.

 

A BONNY and a blessèd bird
        Has gone from out my nest,
And left a void of agony
        Within the parent breast;
A young and loving bird it was,
        Whose chirp and song were gay,
Chasing away the darkest thoughts
        Of every cloudy day.

Of the sweet birds within my nest,
        I had but only three,
And this which took its heavenward flight,
        Was very dear to me!
Her gleesome voice, her sunny face,
        Gave melody and light;
But, oh! her loss has plunged us both
        In grief's oppressive night.

Both, did I say?—Ah! yes, indeed,
        Her fond and mournful mother
Weeps for her lost and lovely one,
        As if she had no other:
But time may soothe the stricken heart,
        And calm the troubled mind,
And only make us love the more
        The dear ones left behind.

And yet, we cannot help but keep
        Remembrance of the past,—
Recall her winning ways, that made
        All love her to the last:
And when some neighbour breathes the
            name
        Of our delightsome thing,
Up from our hearts the hidden tears
        Gush like a sudden spring.

Oh! it was sweet at eventide
        To watch her winsome wiles,—
Our bosoms beating with delight,
        Our faces wreathed with smiles;
While she would blithely prattle on,
        Over some pictured page,
With questions and suggestive words
        Beyond her infant age.

But when her sister's fingers touched
        The casket of sweet sound,
She started from her book or play
        With an exultant bound,
And listened to the melody,
        As if it ne'er could cloy;
The music seemed to her young soul
        A passion and a joy.

And in the summer fields, how bright
        Grew her enquiring eyes!
For every object touched her heart
        With gladness and surprise;
Sweet Nature seemed to swathe her
            round
With a diviner grace;
        While the quick light of wakening
            thought
Flashed out upon her face.

It cannot now avail to us
        How she appeared on earth;
But let us dream of what she is
        Since her celestial birth:
Let us not mourn that her white feet
        Tread the transcendant shore;
The loss is ours,—but Heaven has gained
        One little angel more.

 

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HOPE AND TRUST.

 

OH! sigh not— weep not, if some day
Fling shard or shadow on thy way;
Remember, thou hast but thy share
Of the great sum of human care;
Think of the things beyond thy sphere
Thou canst not see, thou canst not hear,—
Of labour's trammels lightly worn,
Of mighty sorrows bravely borne;
And then, subdue thy lesser pain—
The clouded sun will shine again.

The earth, beneath the sombre night,
Awaits the dawning of new light
To sweep the darkness from the hills,
To kindle up the streams and rills;
And come it will, whate'er the clime,
Whate'er the season or the time:
So will a cheerful light return
Unto the humblest minds that mourn,
If they believe this truthful strain—
The clouded sun will shine again.

Frail flowers that droop beneath the blast,
Smile with new beauty when 'tis passed;
And looking from the fields below,
Behold the many-coloured bow—
The Arch of Hope, whose glorious form
Gleams through the shadows of the storm.
Uplift thy face, and see the sign,
Reflecting love and peace divine;
And then, thy selfish grief restrain—
The clouded sun will shine again.

"Hope on and trust," in sorrow's hour,
Are words of music and of power;
"Hope and endeavour," better still,
Lighten the load of human ill;
They gild the passing clouds of care,
Dispel the darkness of despair,
Strengthen the heart 'gainst evil things,
And lend the soul aspiring wings:
Be this the burden of our strain—
The clouded sun will shine again.

 

_________________________

 
THE YOUNG MARINER.

 

YOUNG CHEERWELL, inspired with true love at eighteen,
Fancied life more enchanting than e'er it had been;
For visions of beauty, and virtue, and joy,
Came over the brain of the proud sailor boy:
And now, with a spirit right honest and brave,
He roamed the wide realm of the turbulent wave,
Resolved every pathway of right to pursue,
For the maiden to whom he had sworn to be true.

On the mighty expanse of the slumberless main,
With Love to exalt him, and Hope to sustain,
He clung to his duties with resolute will,
Resolved every purpose of life to fulfil;
While the image of her he had left far behind,
Like an angel of memory, haunted his mind,—
Came oft in his waking hours, coloured his sleep,
And brightened his way o'er the dangerous deep.

When the waters grew fierce, and the tempest grew loud,
His heart was undaunted, his spirit unbowed;
For fancy recalled the calm grace of her form,
And her eyes seemed to smile thro' the gloom of the storm;
And in the night-watches, her voice seemed to come
To his ear with sweet tidings of country and home;—
Gave him courage to strive with the perilous hour,
And trust with firm faith to a merciful Power.

When his comrades would fain have him join their carouse,
Returned from temptation, and clung to his vows,
For he saw the sweet maid, with a tear in her eye,
Like an angel to warn and guard him, stand by.
"Beware of the danger!" her lips seemed to say;
"Be wise, for the sake of a happier day!"
So he strengthened his heart, kept his soul free from stain,
And turned to his duties and studies again.

Thus earnest and hopeful, and thoughtful and true,
In brave manly beauty and goodness he grew:
She charmed him with loveliness, blest him with truth,
And covered with sunshine the days of his youth,
Till he wooed her, in words that are never forgot,
To share in his future, and sweeten his lot;
And she, with a heart of affection and trust,
Gave a bashful consent, and the guerdon was just.

Should his good ship return from the Indian shore,
And bring him to her blessèd presence once more,
Then doubt, and delay, and long absence will cease,
Two souls will commingle in virtue and peace;—
Two hearts, long divided by distance, will blend
In the husband and wife, the companion and friend.
May the blythe bridal bells ring a prelude to joy,
Many days, may pleasures, unmixed with alloy.

 

_________________________

 
LINES

TO THE PEOPLE OF ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE, ON THE
INAUGURATION OF THEIR INFIRMARY.

 

        FAIR town of toil, whose enterprise and power
Expand and strengthen every day and hour,
To thy brave sons all honour and all praise!
For they have laboured with one mind to raise
A free asylum for the suffering poor,
And opened wide its hospitable door.
When sudden sickness lays the poor man low,
And fills his house with hopelessness and woe,
While want looks out from each surrounding face,
Here is his calmest and securest place;
When quick disaster smites him unaware,
And shrouds his mind in shadows of despair,
Here he may find a refuge if he will,
Prompt help, sweet quiet, sympathy and skill,
And every needful effort to restore
The husband—father—to his home once more.

        Honour and praise unto the wealthy band
Who gave their gold with unbegrudging hand,—
Gave energy, experience, and mind,
To the wise purpose, manfully designed;
Until they saw, with not unholy pride,
The good work done, the people satisfied:
Praise to the toiling thousands! they could see
The power and beauty of sweet charity;
Gave from their humble earnings what they could,
For the fulfilment of the general good;
With ready hands and willing hearts obeyed
The impulse of humanity, that swayed
Their better natures with a magic rod,
And made them bow—unconsciously—to God.

        Courage, fair Ashton! nobly hast thou done
In this one thing, but not in this alone;
For though thy sons are rough in mien and speech,
Have much to learn, and much, perchance, to teach,
They are not destitute of those desires
Which a true sense of liberty inspires;
And in the march of progress, fain would find
A forward rank, not to be left behind.

        But where's thy park? within whose quiet bowers
Thy toiling sons may spend their leisure hours,
In social converse, or in thoughtful calm,
To the worn mind a sweet and strengthening balm,
Far better than the noisy haunts of sin,
That sap the body, soil the soul within,
And keep its fluttering and feeble wings
Down to the level of all vulgar things.

        Thou hast thy schools, and labourest to increase
Those Sabbath homes of knowledge and of peace;
May they still grow in numbers and renown,
Thronged with the happy children of the town,
Extracting wisdom from the Sacred Page,
The light of youth, the comfort of old age,
The precious Bible, destined to expand
The power and freedom of our native land.

        Thou hast thy Institute.   Ah! there, indeed,
Thou might'st increase thy energy and speed,
Infuse more life, impart more strength and grace,
Give more attractions to that needful place;
Draw greater numbers to partake the store
Of useful knowledge, pure and priceless lore,
Treasured in books that rouse the slumbering mind
To thoughts devoted, lofty, and refined;
Books written for twin truth and virtue's sake,
To keep man's spirit healthfully awake.
Let it not lag and languish,—from this hour
Afford it new appliances and power,
And some day to its credit may belong
Some famous son of science or of song.

        On, sons of Ashton! pause not by the way,
On towards the dawning of a brighter day!
Take ye a worthy and exalted place,
'Mong those who dignify the human race
And while I live, the honours that ye gain
Shall wake my lowly harp to a triumphant strain.

 

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A FAULT CONFESSED.

 

"A FAULT confessed is half redressed,"
     A simple saying, brief and wise,
For the dear truth is ever best,
     If truth without disguise.
If in a weak and angry hour
     We utter bitter words and strong,
Oh! let us strive with all our power
     To rectify the wrong.

If we attempt to mar and stain
     A fellow-being's peace and name,
What does our selfish spirit gain
     But fretfulness and shame?
Remember, that we but distress
     Another's quiet and our own
Then let us hasten to confess,
     And, if we can, atone.

But there are words breathed in the dark,
     More baneful still than careless speech;
'Tis when we single out a mark
     That secret spite may reach:
An arrow from an unseen hand
     Is winged to wound some guiltless breast;
And who can such a foe withstand,
     Hidden and unconfessed?

God judgeth justly, and will bring
     Grief for the mischief that we do;
We cannot do an evil thing
     But we shall suffer too.
Then let us lay the bosom bare
     Before the injured one and Heaven,
And in a gush of heartfelt prayer
     Confess, and be forgiven.

 

_________________________

 
A WIDOWER'S LAMENT.

 

THE traveller in desert lauds,
Amid the inhospitable sands,
        Pines for the limpid stream;
With parching lip, and throbbing brow,
He feels its priceless value now,
        And makes it all his dream.

So I, departed wife; perceive
More clearly now the things that grieve
        My lone and widowed breast;
Thy presence gone, thy trials o'er,
I feel thy value more and more,
        And know nor joy nor rest.

Morn has no cheerfulness for me,
At noon I find no sympathy,
        No balsam for my woes;
When evening comes, I sit and pine
For the calm comfort that was mine,
        And night brings no repose.

Friends may be kind, and children true,
Striving my sorrows to subdue,
        And lighten my distress;
But nought can match thy faithful zeal,
Thy interest in my worldly weal,
        Thy household watchfulness.

Who shall console with kindly voice,
Who shall rejoice when I rejoice,
        So truthfully as thou?
Alas! I little thought to bear
The gloom, despondency, and care,
        Which weigh upon me now.

Time may assuage these pangs of mine,
But my sad soul can ne'er resign
        Fond memories there impressed;
But here I bow me to the rod,
And trust that in the realms of God
        Thou art received and blest.

 

_________________________

 
CHRISTMASTIDE.

 

HOW the heart leapeth up at the festival sound
Of "Christmastide! Christmastide!" echoing round;
That joy-giving season, that holiest time,
Which speaks to our souls of a marvel sublime,
When the Bethlehem guiding-star throbbed in the sky,
And a phalanx of angels sang sweetly on high,—
"Good-will unto man, on this glorious morn
Be there peace upon earth, for a Saviour is born!"

        Now in hamlet and city, and cottage and hall,
The holly and mistletoe garland the wall,
And the time-honoured carol comes sweet to the ear,
And the brave bowl of wassail gives comfort and cheer;
And the log of the yule blazes up on the hearth,
To brighten each face of contentment and mirth;
And the song, and the feast, and good wishes are rife,
For the season admits not of bicker and strife:
Old friendships are strengthened, old feuds are
            suppressed,
And a glow of kind feeling comes over the breast;
And hearts that were severed are newly allied
By the genial magic of blythe Christmastide.

        And then the New Year!—oh! with what merry din
We wait for his coming, and welcome him in;
Albeit that he adds to our number of days,
And lessens our vigour for life's roughest ways.
Fond Memory mourns, with her glance backward cast,
O'er the failings and sorrows that darkened the past;
But Hope scans the future with bright beaming eye,
And looks for the good that may come by-and-by
And we make new resolves to be wise, and obey
The laws of that Being who watches alway;
And we go forth with feelings of friendship and joy,
And a feeling of pleasure unmixed with alloy;
Shake hands and are social, look brisk and benign,
And glow with a touch of the nature divine.

        I have sat at my casement, to feel on my face
The breath of the New Year, coming apace;
And when he has come, I have fancied I heard
The sigh of some spirit with agony stirred,
And the rush of great wings going hastily by,
And in the dark distance a wail and a cry;
And thought for a moment—my reason astray—
'Twas the voice of the Old Year passing away.
And then the sweet clamour of musical bells,
With their varying cadences, fallings, and swells,
Have wakened me up into gladsome surprise,
And brought, all unbidden, the tears to my eyes.

        Then I've sat down in peace by my glowing fireside,
And mused on God's mysteries, countless and wide;
On the marvellous doings of ongoing Time,
And the coming Eternity, darkly sublime;
And my soul has bowed down with submission and awe,
To the Maker and Giver's inscrutable law;
Till a voice has cried to me with solace and cheer—
"Live in faith, and use wisely the present New Year!"

 

_________________________

 
ADDRESS

SPOKEN AT A NEW RELIGIOUS AND LITERARY INSTITUTE,
ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE.

 

THERE is no nobler labour for mankind
Than to instruct and elevate the mind,
To pour into the eager ears of youth
The words of unadulterated truth;
To teach the untutored of maturer age,
The glorious precepts of the Sacred Page;
To chase the clouds of prejudice away,
And show bright glimpses of a purer day;
To win the heart by charity and love,
And give the soul an impulse towards above;
To watch and strive, with strong yet patient zeal,
For all pertaining to the human weal;
To own the highest and the holiest laws,
Fight boldly for the one transcendent cause:
And for our comfort this great truth is given,—
That while we love our kind, we win the love of
            Heaven.

        Such is our purpose, brother, sister, guest—
Such our pure purpose; be our labours blest;
Be ours a strenuous and united band,
Heart knit with heart, and hand allied with hand,
In the good work, how hard so e'er it be,
Which brings us closer in humanity.
Let us assemble, whensoe'er we can,
To hold calm counsel, to serenely plan
Aught that God willeth we should strive to do,
Of brave, yet gentle, generous, and true.
Here let good books arouse the slumbering mind
To thoughts all holy, lofty, and refined;
Books written for twin truth and virtue's sake,
To keep man's spirit healthfully awake:
But chiefly let God's oracle be sought,
With all its grandeur of transcendent thought,
Its grace, its glory, its consoling power,
Its wisdom fitted to the varied hour,
Its earthly language unto Heaven allied,
The Christian's treasure-page, and comforter, and
            guide.

        Here let the voice of earnest men be heard,
Till the glad bosom is divinely stirred—
Stirred with the best emotions, half akin
To angel natures, free from grief and sin;
And may each word of truthfulness that flows
From gracious lips give gladness and repose,
Or so infuse the soul with holy fire,
That it shall glow with faith, and gloriously aspire.

        Let us go forth, not arrogant and vain,
Nor with a thought of worldly praise or gain,
But, like the Apostles of the elder day,
To point the path, and lead ourselves the way;
Let us go forth with tolerance and good-will,
And strive our sacred duties to fulfil;—
Duties that urge us to the noble toil
Of breaking up a weed-encumbered soil,
Where tares of sinfulness too freely rise,
And choke the better stern that struggles towards
            the skies.

        We have a church, and we, a faithful band,
With not a haughty and oppressive hand,
Dare to uphold it in this changeful hour,
And vindicate its purity of power;
Yet do we own that each may choose his way,
If it but leadeth into perfect day;
For with one common lot, one hope, one heaven,
Let every heart forgive, and be itself forgiven.

        Lord! in whose honour we thus humbly try
To bring thy stray ones nearer to the sky,
Help us, inspire us, strengthen us to dare
All that is worthy in this world of care;
Oh! teach us how to teach, that we may sow
Thy truth, broadcast, o'er all the fields below.
Oh! make our land the noblest of the free,
An agent faithful to Thy Son and Thee;
So that she spread on each benighted shore,
Thy blessed Word, Thy everlasting lore,
Pregnant with promise to the human race,
If they but seek Thy clemency and grace
With contrite hearts, and ask with earnest prayer
A portion of Thy Heaven, to dwell for ever there!

 

_________________________

 
KINDLY WORDS.

 

THE wild rose, mingled with the fragrant bine,
        Is calmly graceful, beautiful to me,
And glorious are the countless stars that shin,
        With silent splendour over earth and sea;
But gentle words, and hearts where love has room,
        And cordial hands that often clasp my own,
Are better than the fairest flowers that bloom,
        Or the unnumbered stars that ever shone.

The fostering sun may warm the fields to life,
        The gentle dew refresh the drooping flower,
And make all beauteous things supremely rife
        In gorgeous summer's grand and golden hour;
But words that breathe of tenderness and love,
        And genial smiles, that we are sure are true,
Are warmer than the summer sky above,
        And brighter, gentler, sweeter than the dew.

It is not much the selfish world can give,
        With all its subtle and deceiving art,
And gold and gems are not the things that live,
        Or satisfy the longings of the heart;
But, oh! if those who cluster round the hearth
        Sincerely soothe us by affection's powers,
To kindly looks and loving smiles give birth,
        How doubly beauteous is this world of ours!



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