« PreviousContinue »
ON HIS TWENTY-THIRD BIRTHDAY.
(Milton.) How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stolen on his wing my three-and-twentieth year !
My hasting days fly on with full career,
That I to manhood am arrived so near,
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,
ON HIS BLINDNESS.-(Milton.) When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide, Lodged with me useless. Though my soul more
bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He, returning chide :
Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ? I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man's work or His own gifts; who best Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best ; His state Is kingly ; thousands at His bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest ; They also serve who only stand and wait.'
Live in Love; 'tis Pleasant Living: 183
LIVE IN LOVE; 'TIS PLEASANT LIVING.
Nor be angry, though another
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in nature that is ours;
The winds, that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now, like sleeping flowers; For this, for everything, we are out of tune ;
It moves us not. Great God! I'd rather be A pagan, suckled in a creed outworn,
, So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn ;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea ; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
A SUMMER INVOCATION.-(W. C. Bennett.)
O gentle, gentle summer rain,
Let not the silver lily pine,
To feel that dewy touch of thinc,
The cattle pant beneath the tree;
The earth looks up in vain for thee
For thee, for thee, it looks in vain,
And soften all the hills with mist;
By thee shall herb and flower be kissed ;
LABOUR.-(Lord Houghton.) Heart of the people! Working men !
Marrow and nerve of human powers; Who on your sturdy backs sustain
Through streaming Time this world of ours; Hold by that title,—which proclaims,
That ye are undismayed and strong, Accomplishing whatever aims
May to the sons of earth belong. Yet not on ye alone depend
These offices, or burthens fall;
Is lord and master of us all.
Must meet the morn with horse and hound, While industry for daily bread
Pursues afresh his wonted round. With all his pomp of pleasure, he
Is but your working comrade now, And shouts and winds his horn, as ye
Might whistle by the loom or plough; In vain for him has wealth the use
Of warm repose and careless joy,
When, as ye labour to produce,
He strives, as active to destroy. But who is this with wasted frame,
Sad sin of vigour overwrought? What toil can this new victim claim ?
Pleasure for pleasure's sake besought. How men would mock her flaunting shows,
Her golden promise, if they knew What weary work she is to those
Who have no better work to do. And he who still and silent sits
In closed room or shady rock, And seems to nurse his idle wits
With folded arins or open book :To things now working in that mind,
Your children's children well may owe Blessings that Hope has ne'er defined
Till from his busy thoughts they flow. Thus all must work—with head or hand,
For self or others, good or ill; Life is ordained to bear, like land,
Some fruit, be fallow as it will : Evil has force itself to sow
Where we deny the healthy seed, And all our choice is this,—to grow
Pasture and grain or noisome weed.
Unenvious of each other's lot,-
reckon not: And he is bravest, happiest, best,
Who from the task within his span, Earns for himself his evening rest
And an increase of good for man.