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Plains which your infant feet have roved,
Broad streams you skimmed in light canoe,
Green woods and glens your fathers loved—
Whom smile they for, if not for you?
And could your fathers' spirits look
From lands where deathless verdure waves,
Nor curse the craven hearts that brook
To barter for a nation's graves!
Then raise once more the warrior song,
That tells despair and death are nigh;
Let the loud summons peal along,
Rending the arches of the sky.
And till your last white foe shall kneel,
And in his coward pangs expire—
Sleep-but to dream of brand and steel,
Wake-but to deal in blood and fire!
THE Roman sentinel stood helmed and tall
Beside the gate of Nain. The busy tread
Of comers in the city mart was done,
For it was almost noon, and a dead heat
Quivered upon the fine and sleeping dust,
And the cold snake crept panting from the wall
To bask his scaly circles in the sun.
Upon his spear the soldier leaned and kept
His drowsy watch, and as his waking dream
Was broken by the solitary foot
Of some poor mendicant, he raised his lids,
To curse him for a tributary Jew,
And slumberously dozed on.
"T was now high noon.
The dull, low murmur of a funeral
Went through the city-the sad sound of feet
Unmixed with voices-and the sentinel
Shook off his slumber, and gazed earnestly
Up the wide street along whose paved way
A mourning throng wound slowly. They came on,
Bearing a body heavily on its bier,
And by the throng that in the burning heat
Walked with forgetful sadness-'t was of one
Mourned with uncommon sorrow. The broad gate
Swung on its hinges, and the Roman bent
His spear-point downwards as the bearers passed
Bending beneath their burden. There was one—
Only one mourner. Close behind the bier,
Crumpling the pall up in her withered hands,
Followed an aged woman. Her slow steps
Faltered with weakness, and a broken moan
Fell from her lips, thickened convulsively
As her heart bled afresh. The pitying crowd
Followed apart, but no one spoke to her—
She had no kinsmen. She had lived alone-
A widow with one son. He was her all-
The only tie she had in the wide world
And this was he. They could not comfort her
Jesus drew near to Nain as from the gate
The funeral came forth. His lips were pale
With the noon's fainting heat. The beaded sweat
Stood on his forehead, and about the worn
And simple latchets of his sandals lay
Thick the white dust of travel.
Since sunrise from Capernaum, staying not,
To wet his lips at green Bethsaida's pool,
Nor turn him southward upon Tabor's side
To catch Gilboa's light and spicy breeze.
Genesareth stood cool upon the East,
Fast by the sea of Galilee, and there
The weary traveller would rest till eve:
And on the alders of Bethulia's plains
The grapes of Palestine hung ripe and wild;
Yet turned he not aside, but gazing on
From every swelling mount, beheld afar
Amid the hills the humble spires of Nain,
The place of his next errand; and the path
Touched not Bethulia, and a league away
Upon the East lay breezy Galilee.
He thought but of his work. And ever thus
With godlike self-forgetfulness he went
Through all his missions-healing sicknesses
Where'er he came, and never known to weep
But for a human sorrow, or to stay
His feet but for some pitying miracle.
THE WIDOW OF NAIN.
And in the garden, when his spirit grew
'Exceeding sorrowful,' and those he loved
Forgot him in his agony, and slept—
How heavenly gentle was his mild reproach-
'Could ye not watch with me one hour? Sleep on!
Sleep on!'-Forth from the city gates the throng
Followed the aged mourner. They came near
The place of burial, and with straining hands
Closer upon her breast she clasped the pall,
And with a hurried sob, quick as a child's,
And an inquiring wildness flashing through
The thin gray lashes of her fevered eyes,
She passed where Jesus stood beside the way.
He looked upon her and his heart was moved.
Weep not!' he said, and as they stayed the bier
And at his bidding set it at his feet,
He gently drew the pall from out her hands,
And laid it back in silence from the dead.
With troubled wonder the mute crowd drew near
And gazed on his calm looks. A minute's space
He stood and prayed. Then, taking the cold hand,
He said 'Arise!'-and instantly the breast
Heaved in its cerements, and a sudden flush
Ran through the lines of the divided lips,
And, with a murmur of his mother's name,
He trembled and sat upright in his shroud,
And while the mourner hung upon his neck-
Jesus went calmly on his way to Nain.
It came with spring's soft sun and showers,
Mid bursting buds and blushing flowers;
It flourished on the same light stem,
It drank the same clear dews with them.
The crimson tints of summer morn
That gilded one, did each adorn.
The breeze that whispered light and brief、
To bud or blossom, kissed the leaf;
When o'er the leaf the tempest flew,
The bud and blossom trembled too.
But its companions passed away,
And left the leaf to lone decay.
The gentle gales of spring went by,
The fruits and flowers of summer die.
The autumn winds swept o'er the hill,
And winter's breath came cold and chill
The leaf now yielded to the blast,
And on the rushing stream was cast.
Far, far it glided to the sea,
And whirled and eddied wearily,
Till suddenly it sank to rest,
And slumbered in the ocean's breast.
Thus life begins-its morning hours, Bright as the birthday of the flowersThus passes like the leaves away,