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And the rust on the sunburnt sod, That, ripe for the reaper, the barley
Silvered the acres broad.
Then certain among the people,
Fierce folk who had laughed to scorn The cark of the patient toiler,
While riot and hunt and horn Were wiling them in the greenwood,
Cried : “ Never Northumbrian born
“Shall make of his sword a sickle,
Or help to winnow the heap:
The grain as he list, or sleep,
That his angels may come and reap."
Right sadly Saint Cuthbert listened ;
And, bowing his silvered head,
As he lay on his rush-strewn bed,
Till his fears and his sadness fled.
Then he dreamed that he saw descending
On the marge of the moorland tarn A circle of shining reapers,
Who heaped in the low-eaved barn The sheaves that their gleaming sickles
Had levelled at Lindisfarne.
LINN (LYN), THE RIVER.
In the cool of the crispy morning,
Ere the lark had quitted her nest In the beaded grass, the sleeper
Arose from his place of rest; “For,” he sighed, “I must toil till the gloaming
Is graying the golden west.”
He turned to look at his corn-land;
Did he dream ? Did he see aright? Close cut was the field of barley,
And the stubble stood thick in sight : For the reapers with shining sickles Had harvested all the night!
Margaret J. Preston.
Linn (Lyn), the River.
(Recollection of Homer.)
VVEN thus, methinks, in some Ionian isle,
Yielding his soul to unrecorded joy, Beside a fall like this, lingered awhile On briery banks that wondrons minstrel-boy; Long hours there came upon his vacant ear The rushing of the river, till strange dreams Fell on him, and his youthful spirit clear Was dwelt on by the power of voiceful streams. Thenceforth begun to grow upon his soul
The sound and force of waters; and he fed
THE MERSEY AND THE IRWELL.
SUGGESTED by a very curious and interesting model of the little town of Liverpool, as it existed in the earlier part of the last century.
CENTURY since the Mersey flowed
Unburdened to the sea;
Hung over wood and lea,
Had a hamlet round its knee.
And all along the eastern way
The sheep fed on the track ;
Only the rooks were black;
With his knapsack on his back.
Where blended Irk and Irwell streamed
While Britons pitched the tent,
And Norman bows were bent,
Where pilgrims daily went.
A century since the pedler still
Somewhat of this might know, –
Might see the weekly markets fill
And the people ebb and flow Beneath St. Mary's on the hill
A hundred years ago.
Since then a vast and filmy veil
Is o'er the landscape drawn, Through which the sunset hues look pale,
And gray the roseate dawn ; And the fair face of hill and dale
Is apt to seem forlorn.
Smoke, rising from a thousand fires,
Hides all that passed from view; Vainly the prophet's heart aspires,
It hides the future too; And the England of our slow-paced sires
Is thought upon by few.
Yet man lives not hy bread alone,
How shall he live by gold ?
Of sickness, hunger, and cold;
In the ruins of the old !
The human heart, which seemed so dead,
Wakes with a sudden start;
“Nay; 't is a noble heart,” And the angels whisper overhead,
There's a new shrine in the mart!”