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Long time with them dwelt Marien,
Until she was sent forth,
New service on the earth.
May angels guide thy bark, 'Mid slumbrous calm, 'mid tempests wild,
And o'er the waters dark!
The angel of the poor -
The world from shore to shore !
Not he! for he loveth the children,
And holiday begs for all;
For the great ones and the small !
For in giving he doth not tire ; From the red-faced, jovial butler,
To the girl by the kitchen-fire. And he tells us witty old stories;
And singeth with might and main; And we talk of the old man's visit
Till the day that he comes again! Oh he is a kind old fellow,
For though that beef be dear, He giveth the parish paupers
A good dinner once a year! And all the workhouse children
He sets them down in a row,
And two-pence a-piece also.
Have heard those children young,
Came oft and tarried long!
What money he gives away!
Could equal him any day!
And long life, let us sing,
Than many a crowned king!
THE TWELFTH HOUR.
Now he who knows old Christmas,
He knows a carle of worth ; For he is as good a fellow,
As any upon the earth! He comes warm cloaked and coated,
And buttoned up to the chin,
We open and let him in.
So we sweep the hearth up clean; We set him the old armed chair,
And a cushion whereon to lean. And with sprigs of holly and ivy
We make the house look gay, Just out of an old regard to him,
For it was his ancient way. We broach the strong ale barrel,
And bring out wine and meat; And thus have all things ready,
Our dear old friend to greet. And soon as the time wears round,
The good old carle we see, Coming a-near; – for a creditor
Less punctual is than he! He comes with a cordial voice
That does one good to hear; He shakes one heartily by the hand,
As he hath done many a year. And after the little children
He asks in a cheerful tone, Jack, Kate, and little Annie,
He remembers them every one! What a fine old fellow he is,
With his faculties all as clear, And his heart as warm and light
As a man's in his fortieth year! What a fine old fellow, in troth!
Not one of your griping elves, Who, with plenty of money to spare, Think only about themselves !
My friends, the spirit is at peace;
Oh do not trouble me with tears;
Nor covet for me length of years,
I know how strong is human fear;
And words of power are in mine ear;
“ We are commissioned from above, Through the dark portal to convey
Thee to the paradise of love; Thou need’st not shrink, thou need'st not fear; We, thy sure help, are gathered near!
A world of beauty in my mind,
A never-ceasing store. "I hear you talk of mountains,
The beautiful, the grand; Of splintered peaks so grey and tall; Of lake, and glen, and waterfall; Of flowers and trees ;-I ken them all;
Their difference understand.
“ Thy weakness on our strength confide;
Thy doubt upon our steadfast trust; And rise up, pure and glorified,
From thine infirm and sinful dust. Rise up, rise up! the eternal day Begins to dawn — why wilt thou stay? "Look forth — the day begins to dawn;
The future openeth to thy view; The veil of mystery is undrawn;
The old things are becoming new; The night of time is passing by : Poor trembler, do not fear to die! “Come, come! the gates of pearl unfold :
The eternal glory shines on thee! Body, relax thy lingering hold,
And set the struggling spirit free !" "Tis done, 'tis done!- before my sight Opens the awful infinite : I see, I hear, I live anew! Oh friends, dear friends, - adieu, adieu !
“The harebell and the gowan
Are not alike to me, Are different as the herd and flock, The blasted pine-tree of the rock, The waving birch, the broad, green oak,
The river and the sea.
“And oh, the heavenly music,
That as I sit alone, Comes to mine inward sense as clear As if the angel voices were Singing to harp and dulcimer
Before the mighty Throne!
THE BLIND BOY AND HIS SISTER.
“ It is not as of outward sound,
Of breeze, or singing bird ; But wondrous melody refined; A gift of God unto the blind; An inward harmony of mind,
By inward senses heard !
“Oh brother," said fair Annie,
To the blind boy at her side; “Would thou could'st see the sunshine lie On hill and valley, and the sky Hung like a glorious canopy
O'er all things far and wide!
In many a distant glen;
I would that thou could'st ken! “Would thou could'st see my face, brother,
As well as I see thine; For always what I cannot see It is but half a joy to me. Brother, I often weep for thee,
Yet thou dost ne'er repine !"
Said the blind boy with a smile;
For many and many a mile! " I ken the night and day, Annie,
For all ye may believe;
Like gorgeous hues of eve. "I sit upon the stone, Annie,
Beside our cottage door,
“And all the old-world stories
That neighbours tell o' nights; Of fairies on the fairy mound, Of brownies dwelling under ground, of elves careering round and round,
Of fays and water-sprites ;
Is all a merry show;
Yet where I seem to go.
Is when thou read'st to me Of the dear Saviour meek and kind, And how he healed the lame and blind. Am I not healed ? — for in my mind
His blessèd form I see!
Is not of outward things;
Unseal its deepest springs !
Because that I am blind;The beauty of all outward sight; The wondrous shows of day and night; All love, all faith, and all delight, Are strong in heart and mind!"
THE SPIRIT'S QUESTIONINGS.
What of this ? our blessed Lord
Loved such as we;How he blessed the little ones
Sitting on his knee !
WHERE shall I meet thee,
Thou beautiful one? Where shall I find thee,
For aye who art gone ? What is the shape
To thy clear spirit given? Where is thy home
In the infinite heaven? I see thee, but still
As thou wert upon earth, In thy bodied delight,
In thy wonder and mirth! But now thou art one
Of the glorified band Who have touched the shore
of the far spirit-land ! And thy shape is fair,
And thy locks are bright, In the living stream
of the quenchless light. And thy spirit's thought
It is pure, and free
And from mystery!
The awful tone
of the Ancient One! And the dwellers old
Thy steps have met, Where the lost is found,
And the past is yet. Where shall I find thee,
For aye who art gone? Where shall I meet thee,
Thou beautiful one?
Hoar with the lapse of ages seemed
The silent land toward which I drew, And yet within myself I deemed
The dwellers in that land were few. A strong conviction seemed to rest
Upon my heart that I was then In the sole portion of the earth, Since creation's perfect birth,
Had held the sons of men; And I was on a marvelling quest Of that small colony of the blest. How lone, how silent! not a sound
In earth or air, from wind or flood; But o'er the bare and barren ground
Brooded an endless solitude. It was an awful thing to tread
O'er grey and parched and mighty plains,
The blood chilled in my veins, -
Which seemed of an eternal power,
And I walked over fern and flower; Hills, robed in light celestial blue,
Bounded that amplitude of plain ;
And not a wild bird's strain,
One I beheld who strongly toiled;
Of noble form, but dimmed and soiled
And he clove wood for sacrifice.
Did from the pile arise ;
Before me; and between the tall
So low, it scarcely hung at all; 'Twas like no cloud which sails the sky;
Around it all was clearly seen; It mixed not with the ambient air; Rolled on itself compact and fair,
THE POOR CHILD'S HYMN.
We are poor and lowly born;
With the poor we bide; Labour is our heritage,
Care and want beside.
Was of lowly birth,
Were his friends on earth!
Simple children all; Gifted with but humble powers,
And of learning small.
It rested on the scene,
And through my heart a whisper ran,
Holds converse with this holy man."
No glory on it seemed to dwell;
A streaming radiance fell;
Sandaled, and girded in his vest,
Far down his pure and quiet breast; His eye was on the cloud, as one
Who listens to momentous things, And seems with reverence to hear, Yet with more confidence than fear,
What some great herald brings. But as I gazed, a little boat,
Swift, without rudder, oars, or sail, Down through the ambient air afloat,
Bore onward one who seemed to hail
He turned and saw a smiling boy,
Lay with eternal joy.
Since this, and perished as they came; But in my mind imprinted fast
This lives, and still remains the same. The beauty of that gliding car;
The mystery of the cloud and sage;
In memory's living page,
First-mate was I of the Nancy,
A tight ship and a sound;
And then were homeward bound.
Before the trade-wind's power,
Full thirteen knots an hour.
By a steady gale impressed;
But just what liked him best.
The dull days idly sped;
Or else a book I read.
I stood upon the deck;
I saw a faintish speck.
At first I did not know;
That he might look also.
That it must be a boat;
But a large bamboo afloat.
That he the sight might see; Then came a fourth, a fifth, a sixth,
But no two could agree. "Nay, 't is a little boat," I said,
“And it roweth with an oar!" But none of them could see it so,
All differing as before. " It cometh on; I see it plain;
It is a boat!" I cried, “A little boat o'erlaid with pearl,
And a little child to guide !"
And worked with an oar;
Had ever seen before.
THE BOY OF THE SOUTHERN ISLE.
AN OLD SEAMAN'S STORY.
Within it sate a little child,
The fairest e'er was seen;
His mantle of sea-green.
And the hair that on it
Of the sunniest golden hue.
Blest God that sight to see ;
I'll tell ye, if ye hearken now,
A thing that chanced to me It must be fifty years agone
Upon the southern sea.
The captain was a strong, stern man;
None liked him overwell;
"Haul up yon cockle-shell! And you, my boy, content you,
In this good ship to dwell!"
Some awful threat a joke,
The words the captain spoke.
And put his oar away,
Quick passed a pale dismay.
As if he were possessed ;
And smote upon his breast. 'Twas a wicked deed as e'er was done
I longed to set him free;
Was a grievous sight to me.
There sat he in his pretty boat,
Like an angel from the sky,
With wonder in his eye.
His sweet lips were apart;
His wonder in my heart.
His little boat he neared,
Nor seemed the least afeared.
And without fear of ill,
With frank and free good will.
No syren full of guile;
From some unknown-of isle.
Was English, every word;
As his I never heard.
Within a tamarind-grove;
A family of love.
From out a large sea-shell;
“ I shall this evening tell!" His robes, he said, his mother had wove
From roots of an Indian-tree;
With the merriest mockery,
May-be an hour or so,
And said that he would go.
“For me they all will wait; I must be back again," quoth he,
“Or ever the day be late!" “ He shall not go!" the captain said;
“ Haul up his boat and oar! The pretty boy shall sail with us
To the famous English shore !
I'll find thee a new mother;-
To them shalt be a brother!"
“For thee I do not know;I must be back again," he cried,
" Before the sun be low!" Then sprang unto the vessel's side, And made as he would go.
At length, when rage had spent itself,
His lofty heart gave way,
At the captain's feet he lay. “Oh take me back again!" he cried,
" Let me not tarry here, And I'll give thee sea-apples,
And honey rich and clear; “ And fetch thee heavy pearl-stones
From deep sea-caves below; And red tree-gold and coral-tree,
If thou wilt let me go!
“Or if I must abide with thee, –
In thy great ship to dwell, Let me but just go back again,
To bid them all farewell!"
And at the word " farewell” he wept,
As if his heart would break;
Sore sad my heart doth make.
To hear his woful cry;
One man whose eyes were dry.
An angry man was he,
For our great sympathy.
To his cabin all alone :