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To give dissimilar, yet fruitful lands,
The grain, or herb, or plant, that each demands;
To cherish virtue in an humble state,
And share the joys your bounty may create;
To mark the matchless workings of the power
That shuts within its seed the future flower:
Bids these in elegance of form excel,
In colour these, and those delight the smell;
Sends Nature forth, the daughter of the skies,
To dance on earth, and charm all human eyes:
To teach the canvass innocent deceit,
Or lay the landscape on the snowy sheet—
These, these are arts pursued without a crime,
That leave no stain upon the wing of time.
The sea of Fortune doth not even flow,
Her tides have equal times to come and go,
No joy so great, but runneth to an end;
No hap so hard, but may in time amend.
Not always full of leaf, nor always spring;
Not endless night, yet not eternal day: The saddest birds a season find to sing,
The roughest storm a calm may soon allay. Thus with succeeding turns, God tempereth all, That man may hope to rise, yet fear to fall.
EARLY RISING AND PR A YER
When first thine eyes unveil, give thy soul leave To do the like; our bodies but forerun
The spirit's duty: true hearts spread and heave Unto their God as flowers do to the sun;
Give Him thy first thoughts then, so shalt thou keep
Him company all day, and in Him sleep.
Yet never sleep the sun up ; prayer should Dawn with the day: these are set awful hours
'Twixt Heav'n and us ; the manna was not good After sun-rising; far day sullies flowers:
Rise to prevent the sun ; sleep doth sins glut,
And Heaven's gate opens when the world's is shut.
Walk with thy fellow creatures: note the hush And whisperings amongst them. Not a spring
Or leaf but hath his morning hymn; each bush And oak doth know I Am.—Canst thou not sing?
O leave thy cares and follies ! go this way
And thou art sure to prosper all the day.
TO A CHILD
My fairest child, I have no song to give you;
No lark could pipe to skies so dull and grey:
Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever; Do noble things, not dream them, all day long: And so make life, death, and that vast for ever, One grand, sweet song.
THE CHRISTIAN'S PROGRESS
Amid the deepening gloom,
Are marching to the tomb.
There, when the turmoil is no more,
And all our powers decay,
Shall sleep the years away.
Our labours done, securely laid
In this our last retreat,
The storms of life shall beat.
Yet not thus lifeless, thus inane,
The vital spark shall lie,
To see its kindred sky.
These ashes too, this little dust,
Our Father's care shall keep,
The long and dreary sleep.
There love's soft dew o'er every eye,
Shall shed its mildest rays,
With shouts of endless praise.
H. Kirke White
cv THE CHARITIES OF THE POOR
There is a thought so purely blest,
That to its use I oft repair,
And pleasure is but varied care;
To deck with flowers the bleakest moor— A thought whose home is paradise—
The charities of poor to poor.
It were not for the rich to blame,
If they, whom fortune seems to scorn, Should vent their ill-content and shame
On others less or more forlorn: But, that the veriest needs of life
Should be dispensed with freer hand, Than all their stores and treasures rife—
Is not for them to understand.
To give the stranger's children bread,
Of your precarious board the spoil— To watch your helpless neighbour's bed,
And sleepless, meet the morrow's toil; The gifts, not proffer'd once alone,
The daily sacrifice of years— And when all else to give is gone,
The precious gifts of love and tears.
Therefore lament not honest soul!
That Providence holds back from thee, The means thou might'st so well control—
The luxuries of charity.
Manhood is nobler, as thou art;
And should some chance thy coffers fill, How art thou sure to keep thine heart,
To hold unchang'd thy loving will?
Wealth, like all other power, is blind,
And bears a poison in its core, To taint the best, if feeble mind,
And madden that debas'd before. It is the battle, not the prize,
That fills the hero's breast with joy; And industry the bliss supplies
Which mere possession might destroy.
R. M. Milnes
"What boots one feeble infant tone
Nay, the kind watchers hearkening there
Each half-note in the great Amen,