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The ethereal curve of seven harmonious dyes,
A SPRING SABBATH WALK.
Feed, feed my sheep* are ever at his heart, Where Tweed or Yarrow flows; or, spurning The cross of Christ is aye before his eyes. time
0, how I love, with melted soul, to leave Recall red Flodden field; or suddenly
The house of prayer, and wander in the fields Transport, with alter'd strain, the deafen'd ear Alone! What though the opening spring be chill! To Linden's plain !-But what the pastoral lay, Although the lark, check'd in his airy path The melting dirge, the battle's trumpet peal, Eke out his song, perch'd on the fallow clod, Compared to notes with sacred numbers link'd That still o'ertops the blade! Although no branch In union, solemn, grand! O then the spirit, Have spread its foliage, save the willow wand Upborne on pinions of celestial sound,
That dips its pale leaves in the swollen stream! Soars to the throne of God, and ravish'd hears What though the clouds oft lower! Their threats Ten thousand times ten thousand voices rise
but end In hallelujahs ;-voices, that erewhile
In sunny showers, that scarcely fill the folds
The merle's dulcet pipe, -melodious bird !
Bless'd be the female votaries, whose days (Whose early flowers anticipate the leaf,) No Sabbath of their pious Jabours prove,
Welcomes the time of buds, the infant year. Whose lives are consecrated to the toil
Sweet is the sunny nook, to which my steps Of ministering around the uncurtain'd couch Have brought me, hardly conscious where I roam'd; Of pain and poverty! Bless'd be the hands, Unheeding where, --so lovely all around The lovely hands, (for beauty, youth, and grace, The works of God, array'd in vernal smile! Are oft conceal'd by pity's closest veil,)
Oft at this season, musing, I prolong That mix the cup medicinal, that bind
My devious range, till, sunk from view, the sun The wounds which ruthless warfare and disease Emblaze, with upward-slanting ray, the breast, Have to the loathsome lazar-house consign'd. | And wing unquivering of the wheeling lark, Fierce superstition of the mitred king!
Descending, vocal, from her latest flight; Almost I could forget thy torch and stake,
While, disregardful of yon lonely star,When I this blessed sisterhood survey,
The harbinger of chill night's glittering host,-Compassion's priestesses, disciples true
Sweet Redbreast, Scotia's Philomela, chants, Of him whose touch was health, whose single in desultory strains, his evening hymn.
Electrified with life the palsied arm,-
And he who cried to Lazarus, Come forth,
A SUMMER SABBATH WALK.
** So when he had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these ? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time. Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me ? Peter was grieved, because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep." John ni. 15-17
That, soon as loosed, booms with full twang away, His comfort, stay, and ever new delight!
While, heedless, at his side, the lisping boy
AN AUTUMN SABBATH WALK. Watches his time to spring; or from above, WHEN homeward bands their several ways disperse, Some feather'd dam, surveying midst the boughs, I love to linger in the narrow field Darts from her perch, and to her plumeless brood Of rest, to wander round from tomb to tomb, Bears off the prize :-Sad emblem of man's lot! And think of some who silent sleep below. He, giddy insect, from his native leaf,
Sad sighs the wind, that from those ancient elms (Where safe and happily he might have lurk',) Shakes showers of leaves upon the wither'd grass : Elate upon ambition's gaudy wings,
The sere and yellow wreaths, with eddying sweep, Forgetful of his origin, and, worse,
Fill up the furrows 'tween the hillock'd graves. Unthinking of his end, flies to the stream;
But list that moan! 'tis the poor blind man's dog, And if from hostile vigilance he 'scape,
His guide for many a day, now come to mourn Buoyant he flutters but a little while,
The master and the friend-conjunction rare ! Mistakes th' inverted image of the sky
A man indeed he was of gentle soul, For heaven itself, and, sinking, meets his fate. Though bred to brave the deep: the lightning's flash
Now let me trace the stream up to its source Had dimm'd, not closed, his mild, but sightless eyes, Among the hills ; its runnel by degrees
He was a welcome guest through all his range Diminishing, the murmur turns a tinkle.
(It was not wide:) no dog would bay at him; Closer and closer still the banks approach,
Children would run to meet him on his way, Tangled so thick with pleaching bramble shoots, And lead him to a sunny seat, and climb With brier, and hazel branch, and hawthorn spray, His knee, and wonder at his oft-told tales. That, fain to quit the dangle, glad I mount
Then would he teach the elfins how to plait Into the open air : Grateful the breeze
The rushy cap and crown, or sedgy ship ; That fans my throbbing temples ! smiles the plain And I have seen him lay his tremulous hand Spread wide below: how sweet the placid view! Upon their heads, while silent moved his lips. But, 0! more sweet the thought, heart-soothing Peace to thy spirit! that now looks on me thought,
Perhaps with greater pity than I felt
But let me quit this melancholy spot,
And roam where nature gives a parting smile. Of breathing in the silence of the woods,
As yet the blue-bells linger on the sod And blessing Him who gave the Sabbath day. That copes the sheepfold ring; and in the woods Yes, my heart flutters with a freer throb,
A second blow of many flowers appears; To think that now the townsman wanders forth Flowers faintly tinged, and breathing no perfumc. Among the fields and meadows to enjoy
But fruits, not blossoms, form the woodland wreata The coolness of the day's decline ; to see
That circles Autumn's brow: the ruddy haws His children sport around, and simply pull
Now clothe the half-leaved thorn; the bramble The flower and weed promiscuous, as a boon,
bends Which proudly in his breast they smiling fix. Beneath its jetty load; the hazel hangs Again I turn me to the hill, and trace
With auburn branches, dipping in the stream The wizard stream, now scarce to be discern'd; That sweeps along, and threatens to o'erflow Woodless its banks, but green with ferny leaves, The leaf-strewn banks: oft, statue-like, I gaze, And thinly strew'd with heath-bells up and dowc. In vacancy of thought, upon that stream,
Now, when the downward sun has leít the glens, And chase, with dreaming eye, the eddying foam ;
A WINTER SABBATH WALK.
How dazzling white the snowy scene! deep, deep, But, hark, a plaintive sound floating along !
The stillness of the winter Sabbath day, "Tis from yon heath-roof'd shielin ; now it dies Not even a foot-fall heard.Smooth are the fields, Away, now rises full; it is che song
Each hollow pathway level with the plain : Which He,-who listens to the hallelujahs
Hid are the bushes, save that, here and there, Of choiring seraphim,--delights to hear;
Are seen the topmost shoots of brier or broom. It is the music of the heart, the voice
| High-ridged, the whirled drift has almost reach'd Of venerable age, -of guileless youth,
The powder'd key-stone of the churchyard porch. In kindly circle seated on the ground
Mute hangs the hooded bell ; the tombs lie buried, Before their wicker door. Behold the man! No step approaches to the house of prayer. The grandsire and the saint; his silvery locks The flickering fall is o'er; the clouds disperse, Beam in the parting ray: before him lies, And show the sun, hung o'er the welkin's verge ; Upon the smooth cropt sward, the open book, Shooting a bright but ineffectual beam
In all the sparkling waste. Now is the time, Silence was o'er the deep; the noiseless surge, To visit nature in her grand attire;
The last subsiding wave,-of that dread tumult Though perilous the mountainous ascent,
Which raged, when ocean, at the mute command, Anoble recompense the danger brings.
Rush'd furiously into his new-cleft bed, How beautiful the plain stretch'd far below! Was gently rippling on the pebbled shore; Unvaried though it be, save by yon stream
While, on the swell, the sea-bird with her head With azure windings, or the leafless wood. Wing-veil’d, slept tranquilly. The host of heaven, But what the beauty of the plain, compared Entranced in new delight, speechless adored ; To that sublimity which reigns inthroned,
Nor stopp'd their fleet career, nor changed their Holding joint rule with solitude divine,
form Among yon rocky fells, that bid defiance
Encircular, till on that hemisphere, To steps the most adventurously bold !
In which the blissful garden sweet exhaled There silence dwells profound; or if the cry Its incense, odorous clouds,-the Sabbath dawn Of high-poised eagle break at times the calm, Arose ; then wide the flying circle oped, The mantled echoes no response return.
And soar'd, in semblance of a mighty rainbow But let me now explore the deep sunk dell.
Silent ascend the choirs of seraphim; No foot-print, save the covey's or the flock's, No harp resounds, mute is each voice; the burst Is seen along the rill, where marshy springs Of joy and praise reluctant they repress, Still rear the grassy blade of vivid green.
For love and concord all things so attuned Beware, ye shepherds, of these treacherous haunts, To harmony, that earth must have received Nor linger there too long: the wintry day
The grand vibration, and to the centre shook : Soon closes; and full oft a heavier fall
But soon as to the starry altitudes Heap d by the blast, fills up the shelter'd glen, They reach'd, then what a storm of sound tremenWhile, gurgling deep below, the buried rill
dous Mines for itself a snow-coved way. O! then, Swell'd through the realms of space! The mornYour helpless charge drive from the tempting spot, ing stars And keep them on the bleak hill's stormy side, | Together sang, and all the sons of God Where night-winds sweep the gathering drift Shouted for joy ! Loud was the peal; so loud away :
As would have quite o’erwhelm'd the human sense ; So the great Shepherd leads the heavenly flock | But to the earth it came a gentle strain, From faithless pleasures, full into the storms Like softest fall breathed from Æolian lute, Of life, where long they bear the bitter blast, When 'mid the chords the evening gale expires. Until at length the vernal sun looks forth,
Day of the Lord! creation's hallow'd close ! Bedimm'd with showers: Then to the pastures Day of the Lord! (prophetical they sang,) green
Benignant mitigation of that doom He brings them, where the quiet waters glide, Which must, ere long, consign the fallen race, The streams of life, the Siloah of the soul. Dwellers in yonder star, to toil and wo!
THE FINDING OF MOSES.
Slow glides the Nile: amid the margin flags,
Closed in a bulrush ark, the babe is left,
Left by a mother's hand. His sister waits
Far off; and pale, 'tween hope and sear, beholds Like that untouching cincture which enzones
The royal maid, surrounded by her train,
Where sleeps the innocent: She sees them stoop In rapid course, through yet untravellid space,
With meeting plumes; the rushy lid is oped, Beholding God's stupendous power,-a world And wakes the infant, smiling in his tears, Bursting from chaos at the omnific will,
As when along a little mountain lake
And parts the reeds, unveiling, as they bend,
JACOB AND PHARAOH.
Was seated ; while around him stood submiss
The patriarch enters, leaning on the arm
Upon the pageant show; for from his youth Among the antler'd herd, the tiger couch'd
A shepherd's life he led, and view'd each night Harmless, the lion's mane no terror spread The starry host; and still, where'er he went, Among the careless ruminating flock,
| He felt himself in presence of the Lord
His eye is bent on Joseph, him pursues.
ELIJAH FED BY RAVENS.
SORE was the famine throughout all the bounds
Of Israel, when Elijah, by command Lays on the ground his staff, and stretching forth Of God, journeyed to Cherith's failing brook. His tremulous hand o'er Pharaoh's uncrown'd head, No rain-drops fall, no dew-fraught cloud, at moro Prays that the Lord would bless him and his land. Or closing eve, creeps slowly up the vale;
The withering herbage dies; among the palms
The shrivell’d leaves send to the summer gale
An autumn rustle ; no sweet songster's lay
Upon the flowerless bank ; serene he sleeps, For well he knows, that, from her earliest years, Nor wakes till dawning: then with hands enclasp'd, She still was first to meet his homeward steps : And heavenward face, and eyelids closed, he prays Well he remembers, how, with tottering gait, To Him who manna on the desert shower'd, She ran, and clasp'd his knees, and lisp'd, and look'd To Him who from the rock made fountains gush: Her joy; and how, when garlanding with flowers
Entranced the man of God remains : till roused His helm, fearful, her infant hand would shrink
By sound of wheeling wings, with grateful heart, Back from the lion couch'd beneath the crest.
He sees the ravens fearless by his side What sound is that, which, from the palm-tree Alight, and leave the heaven-provided food.
THE BIRTH OF JESUS ANNOUNCED.
DEEP was the midnight silence in the fields
Of Bethlehem; hush'd the folds; save that at times Hope from the omen springs : 0 blessed hope !
Was heard the lamb's faint bleat: the shepherds, It may not be her voice !--Fain would he think
stretch'd 'Twas not his daughter's voice that still approach'd,
On the green sward, survey'd the starry vault.
The firmament shou's forth thy handy-vork:
Thus they, their hearts attuned to the Most HighWith hostile gore, but, shuddering, quits the hold:
When suddenly a splendid cloud appeard, And clasps in agony his hands, and cries,
As if a portion of the milky way “ Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me low.”
Descended slowly in the spiral course.
Near and more near it draws; then, hovering, floats
Upon the folded Rocks, a heavenly radiance,
From whence was utter'd loud, yet sweet, a voice, DEEP was the furrow in the royal brow,
Fear not, I bring good tidings of great joy ;
The angel spake; when, lo! upon the cloud,
A multitude of seraphim, enthroned, In Pharaoh's realm ; his brethren thither sent; Sang praises, saying, -Glory to the Lord Suppliant they stood before his face, well known, On high ; on earth be peace, good will to men. Unknowing,-till Joseph fell upon the neck With sweet response harmoniously they choir'd, Of Benjamin, his mother's son,
And while, with heavenly harmony, the song Unconsciously the warlike shepherd paused; Arose to God, more bright the buoyant thrope But when he saw, down the yet quivering string, Illumed the land: the prowling lion stops, The tear-drop trembling glide, abash’d, he check’d, Ave-struck, with mane upreard, and flatter'd Indignant at himself, the bursting flood, And, with a sweep impetuous, struck the chords : And, without turning, backward on his steps From side to side his hands transversely glance, Recoils, aghast, into the desert gloom. Like lightning 'thwart a stormy sea; his voice A trembling joy th' astonish'd shepherds prove, Arises 'mid the clang, and straightway calms As heavenward reascends the vocal blaze The harmonious tempest, to a solemn swell Triumphantly; while by degrees the strain Majestical, triumphant; for he sings
Dies on the ear, that, self-deluded, listens-
As if a sound so sweet could never die.
BEHOLD MY MOTHER AND MY BRETHREN.
Who is my mother, or my brethren?
With a meek smile of pity blent with love,
More melting than e'er gleam'd frorn human face, and quits his hold; the voyagers, appallid, As when a sunbeam, through a summer shower, Shrink from the fancied Spirit of the Flood : Shines mildly on a little hill-side Aock;
But when the voice of Jesus with the storm And with that look of love he said, Behold Soft mingled, It is 1, be not afraid ; My mother and my brethren; for I say,
Fear fled, and joy lightend from eye to eye. That whosoe'er shall do the will of God,
Up he ascends, and, from the rolling side, He is my brother, sister, mother, all.
Surveys the tumult of the sea and sky
With transient look severe : the tempest, awed, BARTIMEUS RESTORED TO SIGHT.
Sinks to a sudden calm; the clouds disperse ;
The moonbeam trembles on the face divine, BLIND, poor, and helpless Bartimeus sat,
Reflected mildly in th' unruffled deep.
THE DUMB CURED He thinks he hears the coming breeze faint rustle His eyes uplifted, and his hands close clasp'd, Among the sycamores ; it is the tread
The dumb man, with a supplicating look, Of thousand steps ; it is the hum of tongues Turn'd as the Lord pass'd by: Jesus beheld, Innumerable : But when the sightless man And on him bent a pitying look, and spake : Heard that the Nazarene was passing by
His moving lips are by the suppliant seen,
Was never utter'd but in doing good.
THE DEATH OF JESUS.
'Tis his last agony: The temple's vail To strangers’ hands; The innocents, alarm'd
Is rent; revealing the most holy place, Amid the throng of faces all unknown,
Wherein the cherubim their wings extend, Skrink, trembling, -till their wandering eyes dis- O'ershadowing the mercy-seat of God.
Appall’d the leaning soldier feels the spear The countenance of Jesus, beaming love
Shake in his grasp ; the planted standard falls And pity; eager then they stretch their arms,
Upon the heaving ground; the sun is dimm'd, And, cowering, lay their heads upon his breast. And darkness shrouds the body of the Lord.
JESUS CALMS THE TEMPEST.
THE RESURRECTION. The roaring tumult of the billow'd sea
The setting orb of night her level ray Awakes him not: high on the crested surge
Shed o'er the land, and on the dewy sward Now heaved, his locks flow streaming in the blast, The lengthen'd shadows of the triple cross And now, descending 'tween the sheltering waves, Were laid far-stretch'd, -when in the east arose, The falling tresses veil the face divine;
Last of the stars, day's harbinger: No sound Meek through that veil, a momentary gleam
Was heard, save of the watching soldier's foot: Benignant shines; he dreams that he beholds
Within the rock-barr'd sepulchre, the gloom The opening eyes,—that long hopeless had rolld
Of deepest midnight brooded o'er the dead, In darkness,-look around bedimm'd with tears
The Holy One: but, lo! a radiance faint Of joy ; but suddenly the voice of fear
Began to dawn around his sacred brow : Dispell’d the happy vision : Awful he rose,
The linen vesture seem'd a snowy wreath, Rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea,
Drifted by storms into a mountain cave: Peace, be thou still ! and straight there was a calm. Bright and more bright, the circling halo beam'd With terror-mingled gladness in their looks, The mariners exclaim,-What man is this,
Upon that face, clothed in a smile benign,
Though yet exanimate. Nor long the reign
Unclose, and look around with conscious joy. JESUS WALKS ON THE SEA, AND CALMS THE Yes; with returning life, the first emotion STORM.
That glow'd in Jesus' breast of love was joy Loud blew the storm of night; the thwarting surge At man's redemption, now complete ; at death Dash'd, boiling, on the labouring bark: dismay, Disarm'd; the grave transform'd into the couch From face to face reflected, spread around : Of faith; the resurrection and the life. When, lo! upon a towering wave is seen Majestical he rose: trembled the earth; The semblance of a foamy wreath, upright, The ponderous gate of stone was roll'd away; Move onward to the ship: The helmsman starts, The keepers fell; the angel, awe-struck, sunk