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“I HEAR thee speak of the better land;
Thou call'st its children a happy band;
Mother! oh 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 fadeless bloom,
For beyond the clouds, and beyond the tomb,
It is there, it is there, my child !"
O THOSE little, those little blue shoes!
Those shoes that no little feet use!
O the price were high,
That those shoes would buy,
· Those little blue unused shoes!
For they hold the small shape of feet That no more their mother's eyes meet,
That, by God's good will,
Years since grew still, And ceased from their totter so sweet!
And 0, since that baby slept,
So hush'd ! how the mother has kept, -
With a tearful pleasure,
That little dear treasure,
And o'er them thought and wept !
For they mind her for evermore Of a patter along the floor,
And blue eyes she sees
Look up from her knees,
With the look that in life they wore.
As they lie before her there,
There babbles from chair to chair
A little sweet face,
That's a gleam in the place, With its little gold curls of hair.
LINES WRITTEN IN A LOVELY CHILD'S ALBUM. 77
Then 0 wonder not that her heart
From all else would rather part
Than those tiny blue shoes
That no little feet use,
And whose sigh makes such fond tears start.
63. LINES WRITTEN IN A LOVELY CHILD'S
LOVE Truth, dear child, love Truth!
'Twill gladden thy morn of youth;
And, in the noon of life,
Though it cost thee pain and strife
To keep the truth in its brightness
Still cleave to thy uprightness :
Yea, the truth to own,
Dear child, be brave-
In spite of the frown
Of the bigot and knave;
Ay, in spite of the proud,
Dare to speak it aloud !
Thus live, and when cometh life's farewell day,
Thou wilt be able to smile and say-
“ Welcome life, or welcome death !
I have loved the Truth, and to yield my breath
I feel no fear :
Truth gladdened my life,—and the gloom of death
Its glorious light shall cheer !"
GOD AND HIS ANGELS EVERYWHERE.
64. GOD AND HIS ANGELS EVERYWHERE.
We know that God is everywhere.
We see Him in the changing year,
Above, below; remote, or near.
And there His angels are also ;
They ride on all the winds that blow,
And at his bidding come and go.
Unseen by us, that holy band
Speed night and day o'er sea and land,
Or in his presence waiting stand.
Some wake the morning from repose,
And scent the early summer-rose,
Or tell the evening when to close.
They throw grey twilight o'er the hills,
In spring unloose the frozen rills,
And shake the golden daffodils.
Some sow the dews upon the earth, ...
Or anthem in the morning's birth,
Teaching the birds their woodland mirth.
They light the stars across the skies,
And tell the lark 'tis time to rise,
When they unlock the daisies' eyes.
They scatter cowslips on the dale,
Perfume the lilies of the vale,
And hang the thorn with blossoms pale.
Some twine the branches into bowers;
Others at evening shut the flowers,
And sprinkle them with silver showers.
Some guide the bird across the sea,
Or point out to the belted bee
Where honey bells wave on the lea.
Alighting with half-folded wings,
They bend the buds o'er brooks and springs,
By which the linnet builds and sings.
They scatter seed upon the breeze,
And hang with mellow fruit the trees,
Obeying Him who all things sees.
Keep record of our idle talk,
Ae with us when we sleep or walk,
And ever ready at His call,
To keep a watch o'er great and small.
God's messengers, who love us all.
65. THE BIRD'S NEST. --A bird's nest ! Mark it well, within, without! No tool had he that wrought, No nail to fix, no bodkin to insert, No glue to join; his little beak was all, And yet how neatly finished ! What nice hand, With every implement and means of art, Could compass such another ?