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VI.

Also the solemn clerk partakes the shame

Of this ungodly shine of human pride, And sadly blends his reverence and blame In one grave bow, and

passes

with a stride Impatient:- - many a red-hooded dame

Turns her pain'd head, but not her glance, aside
From wanton dress, and marvels o'er again,
That heaven hatli no wet judgments for the vain.

VII.

“ I have a lily in the bloom at home,”

Quoth one, " and by the blessed Sabbath day
I'll pluck my lily in its pride, and come
And read a lesson

upon
vain

array ;-
And when stiff silks are rustling up, and some
Give place, I'll shake it in proud eyes and

say Making my reverence, — Ladies, an you please, King Solomon's not half so fine as these.'”

VIII.

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Then her meek partner, who has nearly run

His earthly course, — “ Nay, Goody, let your text Grow in the garden. We have only one

Who knows that these dim eyes may see the next ? Summer will come again, and summer sun,

And lilies too,- but I were sorely vext To mar my garden, and cut short the blow Of the last lily I may live to grow."

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IX.

“ The last !” quoth she, “and though the last it were —

Lo! those two wantons, where they stand so proud With waving plumes, and jewels in their hair,

And painted cheeks, like Dagons to be bow'd
And curtsey'd to ! - last Sabbath after pray'r,

I heard the little Tomkins ask aloud
If they were angels — but I made him know
God's bright ones better, with a bitter blow !”

X.

So speaking, they pursue the pebbly walk

That leads to the white porch the Sunday throng, Hand-coupled urchins in restrained talk,

And anxious pedagogue that chastens wrong, And posied churchwarden with solemn stalk,

And gold-bedizen'd beadle flames along, And gentle peasant clad in buff and green, Like a meek cowslip in the spring serene;

XI.

And blushing maiden — modestly array'd

In spotless white, - still conscious of the glass ;
And she, the lonely widow, that hath made

A sable covenant with grief, alas!
She veils her tears under the deep, deep shade,

While the poor kindly-hearted, as they pass,
Bend to unclouded childhood, and caress
Her boy,

so rosy! - and so fatherless!

XII. Thus, as good Christians ought, they all draw near

The fair white temple, to the timely call Of pleasant bells that tremble in the ear.

Now the last frock, and scarlet hood, and shawl Fade into dusk, in the dim atmosphere

Of the low porch, and heav'n has won them all,

Saving those two, that turn aside and pass, In velvet blossom, where all flesh is grass.

XIII.

Ah me! to see their silken manors trail'd

In purple luxuries -- with restless gold, Flaunting the grass where widowhood has wail'd

In blotted black, over the heapy mould
Panting wave-wantonly! They never quail'd

How the warm vanity abused the cold ;
Nor saw the solemn faces of the gone
Sadly uplooking through transparent stone:

XIV.
But swept their dwellings with unquiet light,

Shocking the awful presence of the dead; Where gracious natures would their eyes benight,

Nor wear their being with a lip too red,
Nor move too rudely in the summer bright

Of sun, but put staid sorrow in their tread,
Meting it into steps, with inward breath,
In very pity to bereaved death.

L

XV.
Now in the church, time-sober'd minds resign

To solemn pray’r, and the loud chaunted hymn, With glowing picturings of joys divine

Painting the mistlight where the roof is dim;
But youth looks upward to the window shine,

Warming with rose and purple and the swim
Of gold, as if thought-tinted by the stains
Of gorgeous light through many-colour'd panes;

XVI.

Soiling the virgin snow wherein God hath

Enrobed his angels, — and with absent eyes Hearing of Heav'n, and its directed path,

Thoughtful of slippers, -- and the glorious skies Clouding with satin, - till the preacher's wrath

Consumes his pity, and he glows, and cries With a deep voice that trembles in its might, And earnest eyes grown eloquent in light:

XVII.

“ O that the vacant eye would learn to look

On very beauty, and the heart embrace True loveliness, and from this holy book

Drink the warm-breathing tenderness and grace Of love indeed! O that the young soul took

Its virgin passion from the glorious face
Of fair religion, and address'd its strife,
To win the riches of eternal life!

XVIII.

« Doth the vain heart love glory that is none,

And the poor excellence of vain attire? O go, and drown your eyes against the sun,

The visible ruler of the starry quire, Till boiling gold in giddy eddies run,

Dazzling the brain with orbs of living fire; And the faint soul down darkens into night, And dies a burning martyrdom to light.

XIX.

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go,

and
gaze,

when the low winds of ev'n Breathe hymns, and Nature's many forests nod Their gold-crown'd heads; and the rich blooms of heav'n

Sun-ripen'd give their blushes up to God;
And mountain-rocks and cloudy steeps are riv'n

By founts of fire, as smitten by the rod
Of heavenly Moses, – that your thirsty sense
May quench its longings of magnificence!

XX. “ Yet suns shall perish - stars shall fade away

Day.into darkness darkness into death Death into silence; the warm light of day,

The blooms of summer, the rich glowing breath Of even all shall wither and decay,

Like the frail furniture of dreams beneath The touch of morn or bubbles of rich dyes That break and vanish in the aching eyes.”

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