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Then backward rolls the wondrous screen

That hides the secret place,
Where the God of Nature veils Himself

In the brighter realms of grace :—
But they who have not bent the knee

Will smile at this my story:
For, though they enter the temple gates,

They know not the inner glory.

W. E. Littlewood

CCIII

THE GLORY OF GOD IN CREATION

Thou art, O God! the life and light

Of all this wondrous world we see;
Its glow by day, its smile by night,
Are but reflections caught from Thee.
Where'er we turn thy glories shine,
And all things fair and bright are thine.

When day, with farewell beam, delays
Among the opening clouds of even,
And we can almost think we gaze »

Through golden vistas into Heaven—
Those hues, that make the sun's decline
So soft, so radiant, Lord! are thine.

When night, with wings of starry gloom,

O'ershadows all the earth and skies, Like some dark, beauteous bird, whose plume Is sparkling with unnumber'd eyes— That sacred gloom, those fires divine, So grand, so countless, Lord! are thine..

When youthful spring around us breathes,

Thy Spirit warms her fragrant sigh;
And every flower the summer wreathes
Is born beneath that kindling eye.
Where'er we turn Thy glories shine,
And all things fair, and bright, are Thine.

T. Moore

CCiv

NATURE AND HEAVEN

I praised the earth, in beauty seen
With garlands gay of various green;
I praised the sea, whose ample field
Shone glorious as a silver shield;
And earth and ocean seem'd to say,
"Our beauties are but for a day."

I praised the sun, whose chariot roll'd
On wheels of amber, and of gold;
I praised the moon, whose softer eye
Gleam'd sweetly through the summer sky;
And moon, and sun, in answer said,
"Our days of light are numbered."

O God! O good beyond compare!
If thus Thy meaner works are fair,
If thus Thy bounties gild the span
Of ruin'd earth, and sinful man,
How glorious must the mansion be,
Where Thy redeem'd shall dwell with Thee!

Bishop Heber

ccv
THE BETTER LAND
I hear thee speak of the better land;
Thou call'st its children a happy band;
Mother! O, where is that radiant shore,—
Shall we not seek it and weep no more?
Is it where the flower of the orange blows,
And the fire-flies dance through the myrtle boughs?
"Not there, not there, my child!"

Is it where the feathery palm trees rise,
And the date grows ripe under sunny skies,
Or 'midst the green islands of glittering seas
Where fragrant forests perfume the breeze,
And strange, bright birds on their starry wings
Bear the rich hues of all glorious things?

"Not there, not there, my child!"

Is it far away in some region old

Where the rivers wander o'er sands of gold—

Where the burning rays of the ruby shine,

And the diamond lights up the secret mine,

And the pearl gleams forth from the coral strand —

Is it there, sweet mother, that better land?

"Not there, not there, my child!"

Eye hath not seen it, my gentle boy!
Ear hath not heard its deep songs of joy,
Dreams cannot picture a world so fair,
Sorrow and death may not enter there;
Time doth not breathe on its faultless bloom,
For beyond the clouds, and beyond the tomb,
It is there, it is there, my child!

Mrs. Hemans

CCVI

A CHILD'S FIRST IMPRESSION OF
A STAR

She had been told that God made all the stars
That twinkled up in heaven, and now she stood
Watching the coming of the twilight on,
As if it were a new and perfect world,
And this was its first eve. She stood alone
By the lone window, with the silken lash
Of her soft eye upraised, and her sweet mouth
Half-parted with the new and strange delight
Of beauty that she could not comprehend,
And had not seen before. The purple folds
Of the low sunset clouds, and the blue sky
That look'd so still and delicate above,
FilPd her young heart with gladness; and the eve
Stole on with its deep shadows, and she still
Stood looking at the west with that half-smile,
As if a pleasant dream were at her heart.
Presently, in the edge of the last tint
Of sunset, where the blue was melted in
To the faint golden mellowness, a star
Stood suddenly. A laugh of wild delight
Burst from her lips, and putting up her hands,
Her simple thought broke forth expressively—
"Father! dear father! God has made a star!"

N. P. Willis
S

CCVII

HYMN TO THE SEASONS

When Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil,

When Summer's balmy showers refresh the mower's toil,

When Winter binds in frosty chains the fallow and the flood,

In God the earth rejoiceth still, and owns its Maker good.

The birds that wake the morning, and those that

love the shade; The winds that sweep the mountain, or lull the

drowsy glade; The sun that from his amber bower rejoiceth on

his way; The moon, and stars, their Maker's name in silent

pomp display.

Shall man, the lord of nature, expectant of the

sky— Shall man, alone unthankful, his little praise deny? No ; let the year forsake his course, the seasons

cease to be, Thee, Master, must we always love, and, Saviour,

honour Thee.

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