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LIFE AND DEATH.
That narrow place of noise and strife
There now the matin-bell is rung,
LIFE AND DEATH.— R. C. Trench.
A PARABLE, FROM THE GERMAN OF RUCKERT.
There went a man through Syrian land, Leading a camel by the hand. The beast, made wild by some alarm, Began to threaten sudden harm, So fiercely snorting, that the man With all his speed escaping ran ;-—
He ran, and saw a well that lay, As chance would have it, by the way. He heard the camel snort so near, As almost maddened him with fear,
And crawled into the well, — yet there
The man in anguish, fear, despair,
252 LIFE AND DEATH.
Ripe berries from their laden stalk;Then his desire he could not balk. When these did once his eye engage, He saw no more the camel's rage, Nor dragon in the underground, Nor game the busy mice had found. The beast above might snort and blow, The Dragon watch his prey below, The mice gnaw near him as they pleased, ■—- The berries eagerly he seized;They seemed to him right good to eat;A dainty mouthful, welcome treat, They brought him such a keen delight, His danger was forgotten quite.
But who, you ask, is this vain man, Who thus forget his terror can?
Then learn, O friend, that man art thou!Listen and I will tell thee how. The dragon in the well beneath, That is the yawning gulf of death. The camel threatening overhead Is life's perplexity and dread. 'T is thou who, life and death between, Hangest on this world's sapling green;And they who gnaw the root, the twain Who thee and thy support would fain Deliver unto death a prey, ■—■ These names the mice have, Night and Day. From morn to evening gnaws the white, And would the root unfasten quite;From evening till the morn comes back, In deepest stillness gnaws the black;And yet, in midst of these alarms, The berry, Pleasure, has such charms..
That thou, the camel of life's woe,
BY GRECIAN ANNALS IT REMAINED UNTOLD.- R. C. Trench.
By Grecian annals it remained untold,
But may be read in Eastern legend old,
How, when great Alexander died, he bade
That his two hands uncovered might be laid
Outside the bier, for men therewith to see—
Men who had seen him in his majesty—
That he had gone the common way of all,
And nothing now his own in death might call;
Nor of the treasures of two empires aught
Within those empty hands unto the grave had brought
FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. — Keble.
It was not, then, a poet's dream,
An idle vaunt of song,
On vacant fancies throng,
Which bids us see in heaven and earth,
In all fair things around,
With sinless glories crowned •
254 FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
Which bids us hear, at each sweet pause
In the low chant of wakeful birds,
In the deep weltering flood,
All true, all faultless, all in tune,
Creation's wondrous choir
To last till time expire.
And still it lasts: by day and night,
With one consenting voice,
All worship and rejoice!
Man only mars the sweet accord,
The music of thy works and word,
Sin is with man at morning break,
But when eve's silent footfall steals
Along tne eastern sky,
Those purer fires on high,—