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THE cottage of poverty, lowly and mean,
Where the poor and the humble in spirit are seen,
Was the place the REDEEMER most honoured on earth,
While he sought not the towers of splendor and mirth.
'Twas the poor and the simple who followed him still Through sadness and sorrow, through despite and ill, Whose hands earned his need, and whose eyes wept his doom,
Who were last at the cross, and the first at the tomb.
And in all that was dark and in all that was drear,
In every trouble, and every fear,
By every thorn that was found in their way,
Himself was more pierced, more afflicted than they.
Then away with the pride and disdain that would glow
Over all the Redeemer thus hallowed below;
And when the high heart and proud spirit rebel,
Its scene let the COTTAGE OF BETHANY tell!
SAY will no white-robed Son of Light,
Swift darting from his heavenly height,
Here deign to take his hallowed stand;
Here wave his amber locks; unfold
His pinions clothed with downy gold;
Here smiling stretch his tutelary wand?
And you, ye host of Saints, for ye have known.
Each dreary path in Life's perplexing maze,
Though now ye circle yon eternal throne,
With harpings high of inexpressive praise, Will not your train descend in radiant state, To break with Mercy's beam this gathering cloud of Fate?
'Tis silence all. No Son of Light Darts swiftly from his heavenly height; No train of radiant Saints descend. "Mortals, in vain ye hope to find, If guilt, if fraud has stained your mind, Or Saint to hear, or Angel to defend." So Truth proclaims: I hear the sacred sound Burst from the centre of her burning throne, Where aye she sits with star-wreathed lustre crowned; A bright Sun clasps her adamantine zone. So Truth proclaims: her awful voice I hear : With many a solemn pause it slowly meets my ear.
"Attend, ye Sons of Men; attend and say,
Does not enough of my refulgent ray
Break through the veil of your mortality!
Say, does not Reason in this form descry
Unnumbered, nameless glories, that surpass
The Angel's floating pomp, the Seraph's glowing grace!
Shall then your earth-born daughters vie
With me? Shall she, whose brightest eye
But emulates the diamond's blaze,
Whose cheek but mocks the peach's bloom,
Whose breath the hyacinth's perfume,
Whose melting voice the warbling woodlark's lays;
Shall she be deemed my rival? Shall a form
Of elemental dross, of mouldering clay,
Vie with these charms imperial? The poor worm
Shall prove her contest vain. Life's little day
Shall pass and she is gone: while I appear
Flushed with the bloom of youth through Heaven's eternal year.
Know, Mortals, know, ere first ye sprung,
Ere first these orbs in ether hung,
I shone amid the heavenly throng.
These eyes beheld Creation's day,
This voice began the choral lay,
And taught Archangels their triumphant song.
Pleased I surveyed bright Nature's gradual birth,
Saw infant Light with kindling lustre spread,
Soft vernal fragrance clothe the flowering earth,
And Ocean heave on his extended bed;
Saw the tall pine aspiring pierce the sky,
The tawny lion stalk, the rapid eagle fly.
Last, Man arose, erect in youthful grace,
Heaven's hallowed image stampt upon his face;
And, as he rose, the high behest was given,
That I alone of all the host of Heaven,
Should reign Protectress of the godlike Youth. Thus the Almighty spake: he spake, and called me "Truth."
AN ADDRESS TO THE DEITY.
GOD of my life and Author of my days!
Permit my feeble voice to lisp thy praise;
And trembling take upon a mortal tongue
That hallowed name, to harps of Seraphs sung.
Yet here the brightest Seraphs could no more
Than hide their faces, tremble, and adore.
Worms, angels, men, in every different sphere
Are equal all, for all are nothing here.
All Nature faints beneath the mighty name,
Which Nature's works, through all her parts proclaim.
I feel that name my inmost thoughts control,
And breathe an awful stillness through my soul;
As by a charm, the waves of grief subside;
Impetuous passion stops her headlong tide;
At thy felt presence all emotions cease,
And my hushed spirit finds a sudden peace,
Till every worldly thought within me dies,
And earth's gay pageants vanish from my eyes;
Till all my sense is lost in infinite,
And one vast object fills my aching sight.
But soon, alas! this holy calm is broke;
Soul submits to wear her wonted yoke ;
With shackled pinions strives to soar in vain,
And mingles with the dross of earth again.
But he, our gracious Master, kind as just,
Knowing our frame, remembers man is dust.
His Spirit ever brooding o'er our mind,
Sees the first wish to better hopes inclined;
Marks the young dawn of every virtuous aim,
And fans the smoking flax into a flame.
His ears are open to the softest cry,
His grace descends to meet the lifted eye;
He reads the language of a silent tear,
And sighs are incense from a heart sincere.
Such are the vows, the sacrifice I give,
Accept the vow, and bid the suppliant live:
From each terrestrial bondage set me free;
Still every wish that centres not in thee;
Bid my fond hopes, my vain disquiets cease,
And point my path to everlasting peace.
If the soft hand of winning pleasure leads
By living waters, and through flowery meads,
When all is smiling, tranquil, and serene,
And vernal beauty paints the flattering scene,
Oh! teach me to elude each latent snare,
And whisper to my sliding heart-Beware!
With caution let me hear the Syren's voice,
And doubtful, with a trembling heart, rejoice.
If friendless in a vale of tears I stray,
Where briers wound, and thorns perplex my way,
Still let my steady soul thy goodness see,
And with strong confidence lay hold on Thee;
With equal eye my various lot receive,
Resigned to die, or resolute to live;
Prepared to kiss the sceptre or the rod,
While GOD is seen in all, and all in GOD.
I read his awful name emblazoned high,
With golden letters on th' illumined sky;
Nor less the mystic characters I see
Wrought in each flower, inscribed on every tree :
leaf that trembles to the breeze
I hear the voice of God among the trees.
With thee in shady solitudes I walk,
With thee in busy crowded cities talk;
In every creature own thy forming power,
In each event thy Providence adore.
Thy hopes shall animate my drooping Soul,
Thy precepts guide me, and thy fear control.
Thus shall I rest unmoved by all alarms,
Secure within the temple of thine arms,
From anxious cares, from gloomy terrors free,
And feel myself omnipotent in Thee.
Then when the last, the closing hour draws nigh,
And earth recedes before my swimming eye;
When, trembling on the doubtful edge of fate,
I stand, and stretch my view to either state;
Teach me to quit this transitory scene
With decent triumph, and a look serene;
Teach me to fix my ardent hopes on high,
And having lived to Thee, in Thee to die.
THE MARRIAGE OF YOUNG KENNEDY AND MATILDA.
THOUGH grateful the hope to the death-bed that flies,
That lovers and friends o'er our ashes will weep,
The soul, when released from her lingering ties,
In secret may see if their sorrows are deep.
Who wept for the worthy Macdougal ?-Not one!
His darling Matilda, who, two months agone,
Would have mourned for her father in sorrow extreme,
Indulged in a painful, delectable dream.