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THE CYCLE OF LIFE.
“ So he crept to his poor garret,
Poor no more, but rich and bright,
Love, and Rest, and Hope, and Light-
Through the starry summer night.
"Day dawned, yet the visions lasted ;
All too weak to rise he lay;
All were strangely kind that day;
Must have charmed all ills away.
“ And he smiled, though they were fading ;
One by one their leaves were shed;
They would bloom again,' he said ;
Child and flowers both were dead.
Know, dear little one! our Father
Does no gentle deed disdain ;
Still all tender thoughts remain ;
Lives divine and pure again!”
THE ANGEL'S STORY.
Thus the angel ceased, and gently
O'er his little burthen leant ;
Loving eyes that o'er him bent,
Wondering what that mystery meant.
Then the radiant angel answered,
And with tender meaning smiled : “ Ere your childlike, loving spirit,
Sin and the hard world defiled,
I was once that little child !”
In the churchyard of that city
Rose a tomb of marble rare, Decked, as soon as spring awakened,
With her buds and blossoms fair;And a humble grave beside it,
No one knew who rested there.
A LITTLE fair soul, that knew not sin,
Looked over the edge of Paradise ; And saw one striving to come in,
With fear and tumult in his eyes.
“Oh, brother, is it you ?” he cried ;
“ Your face is like a breath from home; Why do you stay so long outside ?
I am athirst for you to come!
“ Tell me, first, how our mother fares,
And has she wept too much for me?” “ White are her checks, and white are her hairs,
But not from gentle tears for thee."
THE LITTLE FAIR SOUL.
Cannot you break the gathering days,
And, let the light of death come through, Ere his feet stumble in the maze,
Crossed safely by so few, so few ?
For like a cloud upon the sea,
That darkens till you find no shore, So was the face of life to me,
Until I sank for evermore.
“ And like an army in the snow
My days went by, a treacherous train, Each smiling as he struck his blow,
Until I lay among them slain.”
“ O brother! there was a path so clear ! ”
“ There might be, but I never sought.' “ O brother! there was a sword so near!”
" There might be, but I never fought.”
" Yet sweep this needless gloom aside,
For you are come to the gate at last!” Then in despair that soul replied,
“ The gate is fast-the gate is fast!”
I cannot move this mighty weight,
I cannot find this golden key;
And none has ever said 'No' to me.
THE CYCLE OF LIFE.
“ Sweet Saint, put by thy palm and scroll,
And come undo the door for me!” “ Rest thee still, thou little fair soul,
It is not mine to keep the key.”
“ Kind Angel, strike these doors apart !
The air without is dark and cold."
Not for my word will they unfold.”
Up all the shining heights he prayed
For that poor Shadow in the cold;
We cannot make the doors unfold.”
But that poor Shadow still, outside,
Wrung all the sacred air with pain;
Where never cry was heard in vain.
No eye beheld the pitying Face,
The answer none might understand ;
Was scen the stretching of a hand.