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That she held in her outstretched hands, and flung
This way and that, as she dancing swung
In the fulness of grace and of womanly pride,
That told me she soon was to be a bride;-
Yet then, when expecting her happiest day,
In the same sweet voice I heard her say,
Passing away! passing away!"
While I gazed at that fair one's cheek, a shade
Of thought, or care, stole softly over,
Like that by a cloud in a summer's day made,
Looking down on a field of blossoming clover.
The rose yet lay on her cheek, but its flush
Had something lost of its brilliant blush;
And the light in her eye, and the light on the
That marched so slowly round above her, Was a little dimmed, as when Evening steals Upon Noon's hot face. Yet one couldn't but love her,
For she looked like a mother whose first babe lay
Rocked on her breast as she swung all day;
And she seemed, in the same silver tone, to say,
"Passing away! passing away!"
While yet I looked, what a change there came! Her eye was quenched, and her cheek was wan: Stooping and staffed was her withered frame, Yet just as busily swung she on;
The garland beneath her had fallen to dust,
The wheels above her were eaten with rust,
The hands, that o'er the dial swept,
Grew crooked and tarnished, but on they kept,
And still there came that silver tone
From the shrivelled lips of the toothless crone,—
(Let me never forget till my dying day
The tone or the burden of her lay,)
Passing away! passing away!"
CHRIST STILLING THE TEMPEST.
FEAR was within the tossing bark
When stormy winds grew loud,
And waves came rolling high and dark,
And the tall mast was bowed.
And men stood breathless in their dread,
And baffled in their skill
But One was there, who rose and said
To the wild sea, Be still!
And the wind ceased-it ceased! That word
Passed through the gloomy sky;
The troubled billows knew their Lord,
And fell beneath His eye.
And slumber settled on the deep,
And silence on the blast;
They sank, as flowers that fold to sleep
When sultry day is past.
O Thou that in its wildest hour
Didst rule the tempest's mood,
Send thy meek spirit forth in power,
Soft on our souls to brood!
Thou that didst bow the billows' pride
Thy mandate to fulfil!
Oh, speak to passion's raging tide,
Speak, and say, Peace be still!
THERE IS NO DEATH.
THERE is no death! The stars go down
To rise upon some fairer shore;
And bright in heaven's jewelled crown
They shine forever more.
There is no death!
The dust we tread
Shall change beneath the summer showers To golden grain, or mellow fruit,
Or rainbow-tinted flowers.
The granite rocks disorganize
To feed the hungry moss they bear,
The leaves drink daily life
From out the viewless air.
There is no death! The leaves may fall, The flowers may fall and pass away; They only wait through wintry hours The coming of the May.
There is no death! An angel form
Walks o'er the earth with silent tread, He bears our best-loved things away; And then we call them "dead."
He leaves our hearts all desolate;
He plucks our fairest, sweetest flowers; Transported into bliss, they now
Adorn immortal bowers.
The bird-like voice, whose joyous tones
Make glad these scenes of sin and strife,
Sings now an everlasting song
Amid the tree of life.
And when he sees a smile too bright
Or heart too pure for taint and vice,
He bears it to that world of light,
To dwell in Paradise.
Born unto that undying life,
They leave us but to come again ;
With joy we welcome them-the same,
Except in sin and pain.
And ever near us, though unseen,
The dear immortal spirits tread:
For all the boundless universe
Is life-there are no dead!
Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton.
A WOMAN to the holy father went,
(Confession of her sin was her intent,)
And owned that she a tale-bearer had been,
And bore a bit of scandal up and down
To all the long-tongued gossips in the town.
He told her this offence was very grave,
And that to do fit penance she must go
Out by the wayside where the thistles grow,
And gathering the largest, ripest one,
Scatter its seeds, and that when this was done,
She must come back again another day
To tell him his commands she did obey.
The woman, thinking this was penance light,
Hastened to do his will that very night,
Feeling right glad she had escaped so well.
Next day but one she went the priest to tell.