Page images

Brak. No marvel, lord, that it affrighted you;
I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.

Clar. O, Brakenbury, I have done these things,
That now give evidence against my soul,
For Edward's sake, and see how he requites me !

-I pray thee, gentle keeper, stay by me;
My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.


I walked alone in the darkness,

One stormy night;
Behind me fast faded the city,

My home and its light.
I said, “On the earth's wide bosom

I stand all alone;
God has hidden His face ; I'm forsaken-

All hope is gone!
I watch for His hand 'mid the shadows

That circle my feet;
I listen, but nothing I hear save

My own heart's wild beat.
Yet I marvel not He has left me,

Too faithless and vain,
To walk in the light of His favor

Ever again!
My heart has forgotten His mercy

Till mercy is past,
And my Lord, whom my sins have long wearied,

Leaves me at last!"
But, swift as the flash of the lightning,

Cleaving the sky,
Came a voice, through the gloom that engulfed me,

So tenderly:
When earth and its friends all forsake thee,

Look thou above,
For the Father Eternal remembers

The child of His love.
The shadows that gather around thee

But herald the light;
Had the sun never risen to warm thee

Where, then, were thy night?
Forget not the springs in the desert,

So arid and drear;
For thee shall the wilderness blossom ;

Why did'st thou fear?

God gave thee His promise to keep thee,

He cannot deceive;
He gave thee His word and His promise,

Only believe!
He sought thee, cast out and forsaken,

Bidding thee ‘Live!'
He gave thee the Son of His bosom;

What more could He give?"
Then swift o'er my heart in the darkness

That stormy night, With the peace and the joy of believing,

Came inward light, And my lips sent a prayer for forgiveness

Up to His throne: “Forgive me, my Father, I measured

Thy love by my own!”


On Linden when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow,
And dark as winter was the flow

Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
But Linden saw another sight,
When the drum beat at dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light

The darkness of her scenery.
By torch and trumpet fast arrayed,
Each warrior drew his battle-blade,
And furious every charger neighed,

To join the dreadful revelry. Then shook the hills with thunder riven, Then rushed the steed to battle driven, And louder than the bolts of Heaven

Far flashed the red artillery.
But redder yet those fires shall glow
On Linden's hills of blood-stained snow,
And darker yet shall be the flow

Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
'Tis morn; but scarce yon lurid sun
Can pierce the war-clouds' rolling dun,
Where furious Frank and fiery Hun

Shout in their sulphurous canopy.

The combat deepens. On, ye brave,
Who rush to glory or the grave!
Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave,

And charge with all thy chivalry!
Few, few shall part where many meet,
The snow shall be their winding-sheet,
And every turf beneath their feet

Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.


OLIVER GOLDSMITH. Near yonder copse, where once the garden smiled, And still where many a garden flower grows wild, There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose, The village preacher's modest mansion rose. A man he was to all the country dear, And passing rich, with forty pounds a year; Remote from towns he ran his godly race, Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to change, his place. Unpracticed he to fawn, or seek for power, By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour: Fár other aims his heart had learned to prizeMore bent to raise the wretched, than to rise. His house was known to all the vagrant train ; He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain. The long-remembered beggar was his guest, Whose beard, descending, swept his aged breast : The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud, Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allowed : The broken soldier, kindly bid to stay, Sat by his fire, and talked the night away; Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done, Shouldered his crutch, and showed how fields were won. Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to glow, And quite forgot their vices in their woe; Careless their merits or their faults to scan, His pity gave, ere charity began. Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, And e'en his failings leaned to virtue's side : But, in his duty prompt at every call. He watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all : And, as a bird, each fond endearment tries, To tempt its new fledged offspring to the skies, He tried each art, reproved each dull delay, Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.

Beside the bed where parting life was laid,
And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismayed,
The reverend champion stood. At his control
Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;
Comfort came down, the trembling wretch to raise,
And his last–faltering accents—whispered praise.
At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorned the venerable place;
Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway,
And fools who came to scoff, remained to pray,
The service past, around the pious man,
With ready zeal, each honest rustic ran :
Even children followed with endearing wile,
And plucked his gown, to share the good man's smile.
His ready smile a parent's warmth expressed,
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed :
To them his heart, his love, his griefs, were given,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven :-
As some tall cliff, that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.


Out of the clover and blue-eyed grass

He turned them into the river lane;
One after another he let them pass,

Then fastened the meadow bars again.
Under the willows, and over the hill,

He patiently followed their sober pace;
The merry whistle for once was still,

And something shadowed the sunny face.
Only a boy! and his father had said

He never could let his youngest go:
Two already were lying dead,

Under the feet of the trampling foe.
But after the evening work was done,

And the frogs were loud in the meadow-swamp,
Over his shoulder he slung his gun,

And stealthily followed the footpath damp.
Across the clover, and through the wheat,

With resolute heart and purpose grim,
Though cold was the dew on his hurrying feet,

And the blind bats flitting startled him.

Thrice since then had the lanes been white,

And the orchards sweet with apple-bloom;
And now, when the cows came back at night,

The feeble father drove them home.
For news had come to the lonely farm

That three were lying where two had lain;
And the old man's tremulous, palsied arm

Would never lean on a son's again.
The summer day grew cool and late;

He went for the cows when the work was done;
But down the lane, as he opened the gate,

He saw them coming, one by one:
Brindle, Ebony, Speckle, and Bess,

Shaking their horns in the evening wind;
Cropping the buttercups out of the grass,

But who was it following close behind ?
Loosely swung in the idle air

The empty sleeve of army blue;
And worn and pale, from the crisping hair,

Looked out a face that the father knew.
For Southern prisons will sometimes yawn,

And yield their dead unto life again:
And the day that comes with a cloudy dawn

In golden glory at last may wane.
The great tears sprang to their meeting eyes;

For the heart must speak when the lips are dumb:
And under the silent evening skies

Together they followed the cattle home.

81.–SACRED SCRIPTURES. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind ; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the

« PreviousContinue »