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What happy, secret fountain,
Fair shade, or mountain,
Whose undiscovered virgin glory
Boasts it this day, though not in story,
Was then thy dwelling ? did some cloud,
Fixed to a tent, descend and shroud
My distressed Lord ? or did a star,
Beckoned by thee, though high and far,
In sparkling smiles haste gladly down
To lodge light and increase her own ?
My dear, dear God! I do not know
What lodged thee then, nor where, nor how;
But I am sure thou dost now come
Oft to a narrow, homely room,
Where thou too hast but the least part ;
My God, I mean my sinful heart.
They are all gone into a world of light,
I alone sit lingering here;
Their very memory is fair and bright,
And my sad thoughts doth clear.
It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast,
Like stars upon some gloomy grove; Or those faint beams in which the hill is dressed
After the sun's remove.
I see them walking in an air of glory,
Whose light doth trample on my days; My days which are at best but dull and hoary,
Mere glimmerings and decays.
O holy Hope, and high Humility,
High as the heavens above ! These are your walks, and you have showed them me,
To kindle my cold love.
Dear, beauteous Death, the jewel of the just,
Shining nowhere but in the dark, What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,
Could man outlook that mark!
He that hath found some fledged bird's nest may know,
At first sight, if the bird be flown;
But what fair field, or grove, he sings in now,
That is to him unknown.
And yet as angels, in some brighter dreams,
Call to the soul when man doth sleep, So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,
And into glory peep.
If a star were confined into a tomb,
Her captive flame must needs burn there;
But when the hand that locked her up gave room,
She'd shine through all the sphere.
O Father of eternal life, and all
Created glories under Thee !
Resuine thy spirit from this world of thrall
Into true liberty.
Either disperse these mists, which blot and fill
My perspective still as they pass ; Or else remove me hence unto that hill,
Where I shall need no glass.
SINCE I in storms most used to be,
And seldom yielded flowers,
How shall I get a wreath for Thee
From these rude barren hours ?
The softer dressings of the spring,
Or summer's later store,
I will not for thy temples bring,
Which thorns, not roses, wore;
But a twined wreath of grief and praise,
Praise soiled with tears, and tears again
Shining with joy, like dewy days,
This day I bring for all Thy pain.
Bright shadows of true rest! some shoots of bliss !
Heaven once a week;
The next world's gladness prepossessed in this ;
A day to seek
Eternity in time; the steps by which
We climb above all ages ; lamps that light
Man through his heap of dark days; and the rich
And full redemption of the whole week's flight:
The pulleys unto headlong man; time's bower;
The narrow way;
Transplanted paradise ; God's walking hour;
The cool o' the day;
The creature's jubilee; God's.parle with dust;
Heaven here ; man on those hills of myrrh, of flowers ; Angels descending; the returns of trust;
A gleam of glory after six days' showers; The Church's love-feasts; time's prerogative
Deducted from the whole; the combs and hive,
And home of rest;
The milky-way chalked out with suns; a clue
That guides through erring hours, and in full story; A taste of heaven on earth; the pledge and cue
Of a full feast, and the out-courts of glory.
Happy those early days, when I
Shined in my angel-infancy!
Before I understood this place,
Appointed for my second race;
Or taught my soul to fancy aught
But a white celestial thought;
When yet I had not walked above
A mile or two from my first love;
And, looking back at that short space,
Could see a glimpse of his bright face;
When on some gilded cloud or flower
My gazing soul would dwell an hour,
And in those weaker glories spy
Some shadows of eternity ;
Before I taught my tongue to wound
My conscience with a sinful sound;
Or had the black art to dispense,
A several sin to every sense ;
But felt through all this fleshly dress
Bright shoots of everlastingness.
Oh! how I long to travel back,
And tread again that ancient track!
That I might once more reach that plain
Where first I left my glorious train ;
From whence the enlightened spirit sees
That shady city of palm-trees;
But, oh! my soul, with too much stay,
Is drunk, and staggers in the way.
Some men a forward motion love,
But I by backward steps would move;
And when this dust falls to the urn,
In that state I came return.
I cannot reach it; and my striving eye
Dazzles at it, as at eternity.
Were now that Chronicle alive,
Those white designs which children drive,
And the thoughts of each harmless hour,
With their content too in my power,
Quickly would I make my path even,
And by mere playing go to Heaven.
Dear, harmless age! the short, zwift span
Where weeping virtue parts with man;
Where love without lust dwells, and bends
What way we please without self-ends.
An age of mysteries! which he
Must live twice that would God's face see ;
Which angels guard, and with it play,
Angels! which foul men drive away.
I saw eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm as it was bright: