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Bear witness, ye who seldom passed
That opening, but a look ye cast

Upon the lake below,
What spirit-stirring power it gained
From faith which here was entertained,

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
That grafted, on so fair a spot,

So confident a token
Of coming good ; — the charm is fled;
Indulgent centuries spun a thread,

Which one harsh day has broken.

Alas for him who gave the word !
Could he no sympathy afford,

Derived from earth or heaven,
To hearts so oft by hope betrayed,
Their
very

wishes wanted aid
Which here was freely given?

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
All accidents of time and place;

Whatever props may fail,
Trust in that sovereign law can spread
New glory o'er the mountain's head,

Fresh beauty through the vale.

That truth informing mind and heart,
The simplest cottager may part,

Ungrieved, with charm and spell;
And yet, lost Wishing-gate, to thee
The voice of grateful memory

Shall bid a kind farewell ! *

XLIII.

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,
Since first I spied that Primrose-tuft

And marked it for my own ;
A lasting link in Nature's chain

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;
And to the rock the root adheres
In
every

fibre true.

Close clings to earth the living rock,

Though threatening still to fall;
The earth is constant to her sphere;

And God upholds them all :
So blooms this lonely Plant, nor dreads

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
O'er hopeless dust, for withered age,

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,
From one oblivious winter called,

Shall rise, and breathe again ;
And in eternal summer lose

Our threescore years and ten.

To humbleness of heart descends

This prescience from on high,
The faith that elevates the just,

Before and when they die;
And makes each soul a separate heaven,

A court for Deity.

1881.

XLIV.

PRESENTIMENTS.

open light

PRESENTIMENTS ! they judge not right
Who deem that

ye

from
Retire in fear of shame;
All heaven-born Instincts shun the touch
Of vulgar sense, - and, being such,
Such privilege ye claim.

16

VOL. II.

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