Page images
PDF
EPUB

How would our hearts with wisdom talk
Along life’s dullest, dreariest walk !
We need not bid, for cloister'd cell,
Our neighbour and our work farewell, 50
Nor strive to wind ourselves too high
For sinful man beneath the sky:
The trivial round, the common task,
Would furnish all we ought to ask;
Room to deny ourselves; a road

55
To bring us, daily, nearer God.
Seek we no more: content with these,
Let present Rapture, Comfort, Ease,
As Heaven shall bid them, come and go :-
The secret this of Rest below.

60 Only, O Lord, in thy dear love Fit us for perfect Rest above; And help us, this and every day, To live more nearly as we pray.

KEBLE.

EVENING.
T' is gone, that bright and orbed blaze,
Fast fading from our wistful gaze;
Yon mantling cloud has hid from sight
The last faint pulse of quivering light.
In darkness and in weariness
The traveller on his

way
must

press,
No gleam to watch on tree or tower,
Whiling away the lonesome hour.
Sun of my soul! Thou Saviour dear,
It is not night if thou be near:

6

10

15

20

25

O! may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide Thee from thy servant's eyes.
When round thy wondrous works below
My searching rapturous glance I throw,
Tracing out Wisdom, Power, and Love,
In earth or sky, in stream or grove;
Or by the light thy words disclose
Watch Time's full river as it flows,
Scanning thy gracious Providence,
Where not too deep for mortal sense :
When with dear friends sweet talk I hold,
And all the flowers of life unfold;
Let not my heart within me burn,
Except in all I Thee discern.
When the soft dews of kindly sleep
My wearied eyelids gently steep,
Be last thought, how sweet to rest
For ever on my Saviour's breast.
Abide with me from morn till eve,
For without Thee I cannot live:
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without Thee I dare not die.
Thou Framer of the light and dark,
Steer through the tempest thine own ark:
Amid the howling wintry sea
We are in port if we have Thee.
The rulers of this Christian land,
'Twixt Thee and us ordain'd to stand,
Guide Thou their course, O Lord, aright,
Let all do all as in thy sight.
0! by thine own sad burden, borne
So meekly up the bill of scorn,

my

30

35

40

Teach Thou thy Priests their daily cross
To bear as thine, nor count it loss!
If some poor wandering child of thine 45
Have spurn'd, to-day, the voice divine,
Now, Lord, the gracious work begin;
Let him no more lie down in sin.
Watch by the sick: enrich the poor
With blessings from thy boundless store:

50
Be every mourner's sleep to-night
Like infant's slumbers, pure and light.
Come near and bless us when we wake,
Ere through the world our way we take;
Till in the ocean of thy love

55 We lose ourselves in Heaven above.

KEBLE.

THE OCEAN.

THERE is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,

5 From these our interviews, in which I steal From all I may be, or have been before,

To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet can not all conceal.

Roll on, thou deep and dark-blue ocean-roll! 10
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin-his control
Stops with the shore;-upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain

A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,

15 When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,

He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknell’d, uncoffin'd, and unknown.

His steps are not upon thy paths,—thy fields
Are not a spoil for him,--thou dost arise 20
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
For earth's destruction thou dost all despise,
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray
And howling, to his Gods, where haply lies 25

His petty hope in some near port or bay,
And dashest him again to earth :—there let him lay.

The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
And monarchs tremble in their capitals, 30
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war;
These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,

They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar 35 Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.

Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee-
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
Thy waters wasted them while they were free,
And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts :—not so thou,
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play-

Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure browSuch as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now. '

4

Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
Calm or convulsed-in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark-heaving ;-boundless, endless, and sublime-
The image of Eternity-the throne

51 Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime

The monsters of the deep are made ; each zone Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.

BYRON

MODERN GREECE.

10

HE who hath bent him o'er the dead
Ere the first day of death is fled,
The first dark day of nothingness,
The last of danger and distress,
(Before Decay's effacing fingers
Have swept the lines where beauty lingers),
And mark'd the mild angelic air,
The rapture of repose that's there,
The fix'd yet tender traits that streak
The languor of the placid cheek,
And—but for that sad shrouded eye,

That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now,

And but for that chill, changeless brow,
Where cold Obstruction's apathy
Appals the gazing mourner's heart,
As if to him it could impart
The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon;
Yes, but for these and these alone,
Some moments, ay, one treacherous hour,
He still might doubt the tyrant's power;

15

20

« PreviousContinue »