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Thyself in flesh, and sat awhile disguised

At the rude feast of our humanity,

And tasted every sweet and bitter there,

Then rose, and unsuspected went away:

Who loved the humble ones at Bethany;

Who wept o'er Lazarus, and with Thy tears

Comforted all the family of grief,

In every time, in every far-off land ;—

Thou infinite tenderness wilt pardon me

If my heart murmur'd when my lips were still.

Our life is noble, Thou hast breath'd its air;

Death sweet, for Thou hast died. On Thy way

home One night Thou slept'st within the dreadful grave, And took away its fear. O, smile on me! The world and I have done; with humble heart I sit down at Thy glorious gates and wait Till death shall lead me in. But chiefly bless My poor boy, left alone in this ill world: I never more may look upon his face, May never hear his voice. Thou know'st him well, For every morning, long before the lark Sang at Thy shining doors, my prayer arose To crave Thy blessing on his restless youth. It is the evening of my day of life, I have been working from the early dawn, Am sore, and weary; let me go to sleep,— Let me stretch out my limbs, and be at rest In the untroubled silence of the grave." My heart swelFd like a man's who, after years Wasted in riot 'neath a tropic sky, Returns, and wandering on a Sabbath eve, Bursts into tears beside a twilight church,

Fill'd with a psalm which he knew long ago
When his heart too was pure.

I ran to her,
But she had sunk in swoon, and there I stood
Like one too late upon a brink, who sees
The water closing over all he loves.
I knelt down by the bed. "Come, Margery!
The sea is glittering in the sunny bay,
The fisher's nets are drying on the shore,
And let us gather silver purple shells
For necklaces. You have been in the woods;
Your lips are black with berries. O the boats!
The bonny bonny boats! List, the fishers sing!"
"O, mother, mother!"

"They have left me here, Upon this dark and lonely, lonely road; I cannot hear a voice, or touch a hand; O Father, take me home!" She sobb'd and wept As if she were a little wanderM child. Her Father took her home, I stoop'd to catch Her feeble breath, a change came o'er her look, A flutter in her throat, and all was peace.

A. Smith

CLXIII

ON THE GRAVE OF BISHOP KEN, AT FROME, SOMERSETSHIRE

Let other thoughts, where'er I roam,

Ne'er from my memory cancel
The coffin-fashion'd tomb at Frome,

That lies behind the chancel;

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A basket-work where bars are bent,

Iron in place of osier,
And shapes above that represent

A mitre and a crosier.

These signs of him that slumbers there

The dignity betoken;
These iron bars a heart declare

Hard bent but never broken;
This form portrays how souls like his,

Their pride and passion quelling,
Preferr'd to earth's high palaces

This calm and narrow dwelling.

There with the churchyard's common dust

He lov'd his own to mingle;
The faith in which he placed his trust

Was nothing rare or single:
Yet laid he to the sacred wall

As close as he was able,
The blessed crumbs might almost fall

Upon him from God's table.

Who was this father of the Church,

So secret in his glory?
In vain might antiquarians search

For record of his story;
But preciously tradition keeps

The fame of holy men;
So there the Christian smiles or weeps

For love of Bishop Ken.

[graphic]

A name his country once forsook,

But now with joy inherits,
Confessor in the Church's book,

And martyr in the Spirit's!
That dared with royal power to cope,

In peaceful faith persisting,
A braver Becket—who could hope

To conquer unresisting,

Ji. M. Milnes

CLXIV

NEW-YEARS EVE

If you're waking, call me early, call me early, mother dear,

For I would see the sun rise upon the glad newyear.

It is the last new-year that I shall ever see,

Then you may lay me low i' the mould, and think no more of me.

To-night I saw the sun set: he set and left behind The good old year, the dear old time, and all my

peace of mind; And the new-year's coming up, mother, but I shall

never see The blossom on the blackthorn, the leaf upon the

tree.

Last May we made a crown of flowers: we had a

merry day; Beneath the hawthorn on the green they made me

Queen of May; And we danced about the maypole, and in the hazel

copse, Till Charles's wain came out above the tall white

chimney-tops.

There's not a flower on all the hills: the frost is on

the pane: I only wish to live till the snowdrops come again: I wish the snow would melt and the sun come out

on high: I long to see a flower so before the day I die.

The building rook '11 caw from the windy tall elmtree,

And the tufted plover pipe along the fallow lea,

And the swallow '11 come back again with Summer o'er the wave,

But I shall lie alone, mother, within the mouldering grave.

Upon the chancel-casement, and upon that grave

of mine, In the early early morning the Summer sun '11

shine, Before the red cock crows from the farm upon the

hill, When you are warm asleep, mother, and all the

world is still.

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