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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,
evil SAYING THE CREED Give me a tender spotless child,
Rehearsing o'er at eve, or morn,
Down be his earnest forehead cast,
With half a frown his eye seal'd fast,
Who while his lips so gently move,
Can say what wonders, wrought above,
The world new framed, the Christ new born,
The rising sun on Easter morn,
The fiery tongues sent down to save.
The gathering Church, the font of life,
The Day to end the body's strife,
All in majestic march, and even,
True to their time as stars in Heaven,
And this is Faith, and thus she wins
Seal but thine eye to pleasant sins,
Pause not to dream of the future before us:
Unintermitting goes up into Heaven!
Till from its nourishing stem it is riven.
"Labour is worship!" the robin is singing:
Speaks to thy soul from out Nature's great heart. From the dark cloud flows the life giving shower; From the rough sod blows the soft breathing flower; From the small insect the rich coral bower;
Only man, in the plan, shrinks from his part.
Labour is life !—'tis the still water faileth;
Idleness ever despaireth, bewaileth;
Keep the watch wound, for the dark rust assaileth!
Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon. Labour is glory !—the flying cloud lightens; Only the waving wing changes and brightens; Idle hearts only the dark future frightens;
Play the sweet keys would'st thou keep them in tune!
Labour is rest—from the sorrows that greet us,
Rest from world syrens that lure us to ill. Work—and pure slumbers shall wait on thy pillow Work—thou shalt ride over care's coming billow, Lie not down wearied 'neath woe's weeping willow,
Work with a stout heart and resolute will.
Labour is health—lo! the husbandman reaping, How through his veins goes the life-current leap
How his strong arm in its stalwart pride sweeping,
True as a sunbeam, the swift sickle guides, Labour is wealth—in the sea the pearl groweth, Rich the Queen's robe from the frail cocoon floweth, From the fine acorn the strong forest bloweth, Temple, and statue, the marble block hides.
Droop not though shame, sin, and anguish are round
thee; Bravely fling off the cold chain that hath bound
Rest not content in thy darkness—a clod.
F. S. Osgood
Rouse thee, slave of earthly gold.