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Bear witness, ye who seldom passed
Upon the lake below,
Though reason might say no.
Blest is that ground, where, o'er the springs Of history, Glory claps her wings,
Fame sheds the exulting tear; Yet earth is wide, and many a nook Unheard of is, like this, a book
For modest meanings dear.
It was in sooth a happy thought
So confident a token
Which one harsh day has broken.
Alas for him who gave the word !
Derived from earth or heaven,
wishes wanted aid
Where, for the love-lorn maiden's wound, Will now so readily be found
A balm of expectation ?
Anxious for far-off children, where Shall mothers breathe a like sweet air
Of home-felt consolation !
And not unfelt will prove the loss 'Mid trivial care and petty cross
And each day's shallow grief ; Though the most easily beguiled Were oft among the first that smiled
At their own fond belief.
If still the restless change we mourn, A reconciling thought may turn
To harm that might lurk here, Ere judgment prompted from within Fit aims, with courage to begin,
And strength to persevere.
Not Fortune's slave is Man : our state Enjoins, while firm resolves await
On wishes just and wise, That strenuous action follow both, And life be one perpetual growth
Of heavenward enterprise.
So taught, so trained, we boldly face
Whatever props may fail,
Fresh beauty through the vale.
That truth informing mind and heart,
Ungrieved, with charm and spell;
Shall bid a kind farewell ! *
THE PRIMROSE OF THE ROCK.
A ROCK there is whose homely front
The passing traveller slights; Yet there the glowworms hang their lamps,
Like stars, at various heights ; And one coy Primrose to that Rock
The vernal breeze invites.
What hideous warfare hath been waged,
What kingdoms overthrown,
And marked it for my own ;
From highest heaven let down!
The flowers, still faithful to the stems,
Their fellowship renew ;
* See Note at the end of this Volume.
The stems are faithful to the root,
That worketh out of view;
Close clings to earth the living rock,
Though threatening still to fall;
And God upholds them all :
Her annual funeral.
Here closed the meditative strain ;
But air breathed soft that day, The hoary mountain-heights were cheered, The sunny
vale looked gay ; And to the Primrose of the Rock
I gave this after-lay.
I sang, - Let myriads of bright flowers,
Like thee, in field and grove Revive unenvied ; — mightier far
Than tremblings that reprove Our vernal tendencies to hope,
Is God's redeeming love ;
That love which changed, for wan disease,
For sorrow that had bent
Their moral element,
And turned the thistles of a curse
To types beneficent.
Sin-blighted though we are, we too,
The reasoning Sons of Men,
Shall rise, and breathe again ;
Our threescore years and ten.
To humbleness of heart descends
This prescience from on high,
Before and when they die;
A court for Deity.
PRESENTIMENTS ! they judge not right