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Before the ceaseless shade
That round the world doth sail
Its towers and temples bow the head
The pyramids look pale:
The festal halls grow hushed and cold,
The everlasting hills wax old.
Coeval with the sun
Its silent course began
And still its phantom race shall run,
Till worlds with age grow wan ;-
Till darkness spread her funeral pall,
And one vast shadow circle all.
Where are you with whom in life I started,
Dear companions of my golden days?
Ye are dead, estranged from me, or parted,
-Flown, like morning clouds, a thousand ways.
Where art thou, in youth my friend and brother, Yea, in soul my friend and brother still?
Heaven received thee, and on earth none other
Can the void in my lorn bosom fill.
Where is she, whose looks were love and gladness?
-Love and gladness I no longer see!"
She is gone; and since that hour of sadness,
Nature seems her sepulchre to me.
Where am I?-life's current faintly flowing,
Brings the welcome warning of release;
Struck with death, ah! whither am I going?
All is well, my spirit parts in peace.
THE STRANGER AND HIS FRIEND.
Ye have done it unto me,'-Matthew, xxv. 40.
A poor wayfaring man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humble for relief,
That I could never answer Nay :'
I had not power to ask his name,
Whither he went, or whence he came,
Yet was there something in his eye,
That won my love, I knew not why.
Once, when my scanty meal was spread,
He entered;-not a word he spake ;—
Just perishing for want of bread;
I gave him all; he blest it, brake,
And ate, but gave me part again;
Mine was an angel's portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
That crust was manna to my taste.
I spied him where a fountain burst
Clear from the rock; his strength was gone;
The heedless water mocked his thirst,
He heard it, saw it hurrying on:
I ran to raise the sufferer up;
Thrice from the stream he drained my cup, Dipt, and returned it running o'er;
I drank, and never thirsted more.
'Twas night; the floods were out; it blew
A winter hurricane aloof;
I heard his voice abroad, and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof;
I warmed, I clothed, I cheered my guest,
Laid him on my own couch to rest;
Then made the hearth my bed, and seemed
In Eden's garden while I dreamed.
Stript, wounded, beaten, nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side:
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment; he was healed;
I had myself a wound concealed;
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.
In prison I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor's doom at morn;
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honoured him 'midst shame and scorn:
My friendship's utmost zeal to try,
He asked, if I for him would die;
The flesh was weak, my blood run chill,
But the free spirit cried, 'I will.'
Then in a moment to my view,
The stranger darted from disguise ;
The tokens in his hand I knew,
My Saviour stood before mine eyes:
He spake; and my poor name he named ;
Of me thou hast not been ashamed:
These deeds shall thy memorial be:
Fear not, thou didst them unto me!'
Oh Poverty is this a child of thine
On which I in silent rapture now?
How soft the beauty of that sinless brow
Round which the brightest flowing ringlets twine
Their silver tendrils! and how deeply shine
The mirrored depths of those blue liquid eyes,
Whence streams of sweet expression laughing rise
To tempt the parent kiss! This form divine,-
This half-blown rose beneath thy roof of care,
Ere long must yield to every bitter blast
That howls around thy hearth; she too must share
Thy cup of tears, and, as she sorrows, cast
A tattered mantle round her shivering form,
To hide her bosom from the mountain storm.