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النشر الإلكتروني

IX.

THE SAME.

Is not our world a strange and fearful place,
A home of deep mysteriousness?—we move
Amid unutterable things—above,

Beneath, around, o'er all earth's radiant face
The footprints of the Invisible we trace,
But dimly seen-amid the dusky grove,

And floweret-bordered paths through which we rove.
We are the children of a spell-bound race,
And, touching, feel not beings which oppress
Our spirits with a living consciousness
Of awful nearness. Each angelic form
Glides upon noiseless wings unheeded by ;
And man is but a little creeping worm,
Clothed in the robe of immortality.

X.

ON A PICTURE OF THE HOLY VIRGIN AND INFANT SAVIOUR.

How calmly He doth sleep upon thy breast,
Meek, blessed Virgin Mother!—closed that eye
That scans men's hearts, as stardrops in the sky.
Dreams He now of long years with grief opprest
When He will bear His people's sins, and rest
Must fly far from Him on the mountain high,
And thorns must strew His path to Calvary?
For He hath come to be the sinner's Guest,
The sinner's only Saviour. Maiden mild,

What clouds of care must dim thine own pure brow!
Know'st thou perchance, 'mid deepest joy, e'en now,
The pangs that wait thee, Mother undefiled,
When thou beneath thy Saviour's cross shalt bow,
Pale witness of the Passion of thy Child!

XI.

ABSENCE.

'Tis sad to leave our bright and peaceful home
E'en for a few short weeks, it wears a hue
Of such sweet loveliness, unknown and new.
The trees, the air, the flowers all teem with some
Strange beauty not their own: the murmuring hum
Of the wild bee is music, and the few

Kind hearts that love us tenderly and true
Seem tenfold dearer when we go to roam.
We are not like the birds who wander forth
Unmindful of their native sheltering nest;
We love our earthly friends and fireside joys,
And yet we reck not of that Father's voice
Who calls us home, beneath His wing to rest :
We better love the stranger smiles of earth.

At the Trossachs. 1843.

OH, native land, how beautiful art thou!
Dearly I love thy mountain solitudes,—

Thy lakes, o'er which the soul of stillness broods,
Receiving heaven into their breast, as though
Their depths of calmness were a heaven below.
Thy bold gray rocks, o'erhung with feathery trees,
Like graceful pennons drooping to the breeze.—
My country, is no cloud upon thy brow?
Surely thy teardrops fall in plenteous dews,
Weeping, that 'neath Heaven's interdict severe
Thy children sigh, who blindly could refuse
To God's own Church her ancient dwelling here.
Therefore thy mountains weeds of mourning wear,
The sorrowing birch trees bending in despair,
And each small floweret's eye that looks to Heaven,
With tears implores that man may be forgiven !

Night by the Sea.

THE last bright glowing tints of fading day
From our benighted world have passed away :
The lingering sun hath veilèd from our sight
His gorgeous chariot wheels, and crown of golden light.

Like lamp before a shrine is seen afar

'Mid drifting clouds a solitary star :

Thus the lone saint, who hath in sorrow striven, Will shine with lustre meek, a beacon fire of heaven.

In the calm silence of the earth and sky

We seem to gates of other worlds brought nigh:
No sound is heard, save the untiring sea
Uttering the heart of all in solemn harmony.

So doth the holy Church's prayer arise,
Like voice of ocean to the listening skies;
So ever, with her high, unwavering tone

She chants 'mid sun and storm her sacred orison.

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