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CCXVIII

JOY TAUGHT BY NATURE

THE child leans on its parent's breast,
Leaves there its cares, and is at rest;
The bird sits singing by his nest,
And tells aloud
His trust in God, and so is blest

'Neath every cloud.

He has no store, he sows no seed;
Yet sings aloud, and doth not heed;
By flowing stream or grassy mead

He sings to shame
Men who forget, in fear of need,

A Father's name.

The heart that trusts forever sings,
And feels as light as it had wings;
A well of peace within it springs,

Come good or ill:
Whate'er to-day, to-morrow, brings,

It is His will!

7. Williams WAVES AND LEAVES

[graphic]

WAVES, waves, waves!
Graceful arches lit with night's pale gold,
Boom like thunder through the mountains rolled,
Hiss, and make their music manifold,
Sing and work for God along the strand.

Leaves, leaves, leaves!
Beautified by Autumn's scorching breath,
Ivory skeletons carven fair by death,
Float and drift at a sublime command.

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts! Rolling wave-like on the mind's strange shore, Rustling leaf-like through it evermore,

O that they might follow God's good Hand!

William Alexander

[graphic]

CCXX
THE RAINBOW

TRIUMPHAL arch, that fill'st the sky
When storms prepare to part,
I ask not proud philosophy
To teach me what thou art .

Still seem as to my childhood's sight,

A midway station given,
For happy spirits to alight

Betwixt the earth and heaven.

Can all that optics teach, unfold

Thy form to please me so
As when I dreamt of gems and gold

Hid in thy radiant bow?

^

When Science from Creation's face
Enchantment's veil withdraws,

What lovely visions yield their place
To cold material laws!

And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
But words of the Most High,

Have told why first thy robe of beams
Was woven in the sky.

When o'er the green undeluged earth
Heaven's covenant thou didst shine,

How came the world's gray fathers forth
To watch thy sacred sign!

And when its yellow lustre smiled

On mountains yet untrod,
Each mother held aloft her child,

To bless the bow of God.

Methinks thy jubilee to keep

The first-made anthem rang
On earth delivered from the deep,

And the first poet sang.

Nor ever shall the Muse's eye

Unraptured greet thy beam; Theme of primeval prophecy,

Be still the poet's theme.

The earth to thee its incense yields,

The lark thy welcome sings,
When glittering in the freshened fields

The snowy mushroom springs.

How glorious is thy girdle cast

O'er mountain, tower, and town, Or mirrored in the ocean vast,

A thousand fathom down.

As fresh in yon horizon dark,

As young thy beauties seem, As when the eagle from the ark

First sported in thy beam.

For faithful to its sacred page,

Heaven still rebuilds thy span,
Nor lets the type grow pale with age,

That first spoke peace to man.

T. Campbell

ccxxi
THE WILD-FOWL'S VOICE

IT chanced upon the merry, merry Christmas eve,
I went sighing past the church across the moorland

dreary,— O, never sin and want and woe this earth will

leave,

And the bells but mock the wailing sound, they sing so cheery.

How long, O Lord! how long, before Thou come

again?

Still in cellar, and in garret, and on mountain dreary, The orphans moan, and widows weep, and poor

men toil in vain,

Till earth is sick of hope deferred, though Christmas bells be cheery.

Then arose a joyous clamor, from the wild-fowl on

the mere, Beneath the stars, across the snow, like clear bells

ringing, And a voice within cried, —'' Listen !— Christmas

carols even here

Though thou be dumb, yet o'er their work the stars and snows are singing.

"Blind! — I live, I love, I reign; and all the nations through,

With the thunder of My judgments even now are ringing;

Do thou fulfil thy work, but as yon wild-fowl do, Thou wilt heed no less the wailing, yet hear through it angels singing."

C. Kingsley

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