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How still the morning of the hallowed day!
With dove-like wings, Peace o'er yon village
broods : The dizzying mill-wheel rests; the anvil's din
Hath ceased ; all, all around is quietness.
But chiefly Man the day of rest Hail, SABBATH ! thee I hail, the poor man's day. On other days the man of toil is doomed To eat his joyless bread, lonely ; the ground Both seat and board ; screened from the winter's
cold And summer's heat, by neighbouring hedge or tree; But on this day, embosomed in his home, He shares the frugal meal with those he loves ; With those he loves he shares the heart-felt joy Of giving thanks to God,—not thanks of form, A word and a grimace, but reverently, With covered face and upward earnest eye.
Hail, SABBATH! thee I hail, the
man's day: The pale mechanic now has leave to breathe The morning air, pure from the city's smoke ; While, wandering slowly up the river's side, He meditates on Him, whose power he marks In each green tree that proudly spreads the bough, As in the tiny dew-bent flowers that bloom Around its roots ; and while he thus surveys, With elevated joy, each rural charm, He hopes, yet fears presumption in the hope, That Heaven may be one SABBATH without end
But now his steps a welcome sound recalls : Solemn the knell, from yonder ancient pile, Fills all the air, inspiring joyful awe: Slowly the throng moves o'er the tomb-paved
ground: The aged man, the bowed down, the blind Led by the thoughtless boy, and he who breathes With pain, and eyes the new-made grave well
pleased; These, mingled with the young, the gay, approach The house of God; these, spite of all their ills, A glow of gladness feel ; with silent praise They enter in. A placid stillness reigns, Until the man of God, worthy the name, Arise, and read the anointed shepherd's lays. His locks of snow, his brow serene,-his look Of love, it speaks, “ Ye are my children all, The grey-haired man, stooping upon his staff, As well as he, the giddy child, whose eye Pursues the swallow flitting thwart the dome.” Loud swells the song : 0 how that simple song, Though rudely chanted, how it melts the heart, Commingling soul with soul in one full tide Of praise, of thankfulness, of humble trust! Next comes the unpremeditated prayer, Breathed from the inmost heart, in accents low, But earnest.- -Altered is the tone; to man Are now addressed the sacred speaker's words. Instruction, admonition, comfort, peace, Flow from his tongue : O chief let comfort flow! It is most needed in this vale of tears : Yes, make the widow's heart to sing for joy ; The stranger to discern the Almighty's shield Held o'er his friendless head ; the orphan child
Feel, 'mid his tears, I have a father still !
Nor would I leave unsung
breathes its distant thunder-notes,
* " And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them; and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not : for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them." -Mark x, 13-16.
In softer harmony the people join,
It is not only in the sacred fane That homage should be paid to the Most High ; There is a temple, one not made with hands, The vaulted firmament: far in the woods, Almost beyond the sound of city-chime, At intervals heard through the breezeless air ; When not the limberest leaf is seen to move, Save where the linnet lights upon the spray ; When not a floweret bends its little stalk, Save where the bee alights upon the bloom ;There, rapt in gratitude, in joy, and love,