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The highest lonors that the world can boast
Are subjects far too low for my desire;
The highest beams of glory are, at most,
But dying sparkles of Thy living fire:
The loudest flames that earth can kindle be
Without Thy presence, wealth is bags of cares;
Wisdom, but folly; joy, disquiet, —sadness;
Friendship is treason, and delights are snares;
Pleasures but pain, and mirth but pleasing madness: Without Thee, Lord, things be not what they be, Nor have they being when compared with Thee.
In having all things, and not Thee, what have I?
Not having Thee, what have my labors got?
Let me enjoy but Thee, what farther crave I?
And having Thee alone, what have I not?
HYMN OF APOLLO.— Shelley.
The sleepless Hours who watch me as I lie,
From the broad moonlight of the sky,
Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes,—
Waken me, when their Mother, the gray Dawn,
Tells them that dreams, and that the moon is gone.
Then I arise, and, climbing heaven's blue dome,
Leaving my robe upon the ocean foam;My footsteps pave the clouds with fire; the caves
296 HYMN OF APOLLC.
Are filled with my bright presence; and the air Leaves the green earth to my embraces bare.
The sunbeams are my shafts, with which I kill
All men who do or even imagine ill
Good minds and open actions take new might,
Until diminished by the reign of night.
I feed the clouds, the rainbows, and the flowers
And the pure stars in their eternal bowers,
Whatever lamps on earth or heaven may shine
Are portions of one power, which is mine.
I stand at noon upon the peak of heaven,
Into the clouds of the Atlantic even;
For grief that I depart, they weep and frown:
What look is more delightful than the smile
With which I soothe them from the western isle?
I am the eye with which the Universe
All harmony of instrument or verse,
All light of art or nature; — to my song
Victory and praise in their own right belong.
AGENIAL MOMENT OFT HAS GIVEN. — Trench.
A Genial moment oft has given
What years of toil and pain,
To win, and all in vain.
Yet count not, when thine end is won,
That labor merely lost;
To spare the painful cost.
When heaped upon the altar lie All things to feed the fire, —
But those sweet gums and fragrant woods,
Its rich materials rare,
Had first been gathered there.
A DEWDROP FALLING.— Trench.
A Dewdrop, falling on the wild sea wave,
293 The Prioress's Tale.
Until again, " I perish quite," it said,
THE SEED MUST DIE.— Trench.
The seed must die, before the corn appears
THE PRIORESS'S TALE. — Chaucer.
There was in Asia, in a great city,
Sustained by a lord of that country,
And through the street men mighten ride and wend,
For it was free, and open at either end.
A little school of Christian folk there stood
Down at the further end, in which there were Children a heape comen of Christian blood
That learned in that schoole year by year
Among these children was a widow's son,
That day by day to schoole was his won2;
As him was taught, to kneel adown, and say,
Are Maria, as he go'th by the way.
Thus hath this widow her little son ytaught
To worship aye, and he forgot it nought;
Saint Nicholas slant5 ever in my presence,
For he so young to Christ did reverence.
This little child his little book learning,
He Alma Redemptoris hearde sing,
As children learned their antiphonere ;6
And hearkened aye the wordes and the note,
Till he the firste verse could all by rote.
Nought wist7 he what this Latin was to say,
1 Young cleric. 2 Custom. 3 Simple. 4 Learn
6 Standeth. 6 Chanting alternate verses of the Psalms