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cxvi WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT?

Say, watchman, what of the night?

Do the dews of the morning fall? Have the orient skies a border of light,

Like the fringe of a funeral pall?

"The night is fast waning on high,

And soon shall the darkness flee, And the morn shall spread o'er the blushing sky,

And bright shall its glories be."

But, watchman, what of the night,

When sorrow and pain are mine,
And the pleasures of life, so sweet and bright,

No longer around me shine?

"That night of sorrow thy soul

May surely prepare to meet;
But away shall the clouds of thy heaviness roll,

And the morning of joy be sweet."

But, watchman, what of the night

When the arrow of death is sped, And the grave, which no glimmering star can light,

Shall be my sleeping bed?

"That night is near, and the cheerless tomb

Shall keep thy body in store,
Till the morn of eternity rise on the gloom,

And night shall be no more."
Anon.

CXVII

THE MARINER'S HYMN

Launch thy bark, mariner! Christian, Heaven speed

thee, Let loose the rudder bands! good angels lead thee! Set thy sails warily, tempests will come: Steer thy course steadily! Christian, steer home!

Look to the weather bow, breakers are round thee! Let fall the plummet now, shallows may ground

thee!
Reef in the fore-sail there! hold the helm fast!
So—let the vessel wear! there swept the blast.

What of the night, watchman? what of the night?
"Cloudy—all quiet—no land yet—all's right."
Be wakeful, be vigilant, danger may be
At an hour when all seems securest to thee.

How—gains the leak so fast? clear out the hold,
Hoist up thy merchandise—heave out the gold!
There—let the ingots go! now the ship rights;
Hurrah! the harbour's near,—lo the red lights.

Slacken not sail yet at inlet or island,
Straight for the beacon steer—straight for the high-
land;
Crowd all thy canvass on, cut through the foam,
Christian! cast anchor now: Heaven is thy home!

C. Southey

CXVIII

MY PSALM

I mourn no more my vanish'd years:

Beneath a tender rain,
An April rain of smiles and tears,

My heart is young again.

The west winds blow, and singing low
I hear the glad streams run,

The windows of my soul I throw
Wide open to the sun.

No longer forward, nor behind,

I look in hope and fear:
But grateful, take the good I find,

The best of now, and here.

I plough no more a desert land
For harvest, weed and tare;

The manna dropping from God's hand
Rebukes my painful care.

I break my pilgrim staff, I lay

Aside the toiling oar;
The angel sought so far away

I welcome at my door.

The airs of spring may never play

Among the ripening corn,
Nor freshness of the flowers of May

Blow through the autumn morn;

Yet shall the blue-eyed gentian look

Through fringed lids to heaven, And the pale aster in the brook

Shall see its image given;

The woods shall wear their robes of praise,

The south wind softly sigh,
And sweet calm days in golden haze

Melt down the amber sky.

Not less shall manly deed and word

Rebuke an age of wrong: The graven flowers that wreathe the sword

Make not the blade less strong.

Enough that blessings undeserv'd

Have mark'd my erring track,
That wheresoe'er my feet have swerv'd,

His chastening turn'd me back.

That more and more a Providence

Of love is understood,
Making the springs of time and sense

Sweet with eternal good.

That death seems but a covePd way,

Which opens into light,
Wherein no blinded child can stray

Beyond the Father's sight.

That care and trial seem at last,

Through memory's sunset air, Like mountain ranges overpast

In purple distance fair.

That all the jarring notes of life
Seem blending in a psalm,

And all the angles of its strife
Slow rounding into calm.

And so the shadows fall apart,
And so the west winds play;

And all the windows of my heart
I open to this day.

J. G. Whittier

CXIX

YOUTH AND AGE

The seas are quiet when the winds are o'er,
So calm are we when passions are no more!
For then we know how vain it was to boast
Of fleeting things, so certain to be lost.

Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
Conceal that emptiness which age descries;
The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and deca/d,
Lets in new light through chinks that time has made.

Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home;
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view,
That stand upon the threshold of the new.

Waller

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