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To prayer;—for the day that God has bless'd
There are smiles and tears in that gathering band, Where the heart is pledged with the trembling
hand. What trying thoughts in her bosom swell, As the bride bids parents and home farewell ! Kneel down by the side of the tearful fair, And strengthen the perilous hour with prayer. Kneel down by the dying sinner's side, And pray for his soul through Him who died. Large drops of anguish are thick on his browO, what is earth and its pleasures now! And what shall assuage his dark despair, But the penitent cry of humble prayer ? Kneel down at the couch of departing faith, And hear the last words the believer saith. He has bidden adieu to his earthly friends ; There is peace in his eye that upward bends ;
There is peace in his calm, confiding air ;
A Psalm of Life.
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest !
And the grave is not its goal; “ Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul. Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the bivouac of Life,
Be a hero in the strife !
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !
Let the dead Past bury its dead! Act,-act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time ;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.
All, all on Earth, is Shadow. THY then their loss deplore, that are not lost?
Why wanders wretched thought their tombs
around, In infidel distress ? Are angels there? Slumbers, rak'd up in dust, ethereal fire ?
They live! they greatly live a life on Earth Unkindled, unconceived; and from an eye Of tenderness let heavenly pity fall On me, more justly number'd with the dead. This is the desert, this the solitude: How populous, how vital, is the grave! This is creation's melancholy vault, The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom ; The land of apparitions, empty shades ! All, all on Earth, is shadow, all beyond Is substance; the reverse is folly's creed. How solid all, where change shall be no more!
This is the bud of being, the dim dawn, The twilight of our day, the vestibule : Life's theatre as yet is shut, and Death, Strong Death, alone can heave the massy bar, This gross impediment of clay remove,
And make us embryos of existence free.
Yet man, fool man! here buries all his thoughts;
expire! And is it in the flight of threescore years, To push eternity from human thought, And smother souls immortal in the dust ? A soul immortal, spending all her fires, Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness, Thrown into tumult, raptur’d or alarm’d, At aught this scene can threaten or indulge, Resembles ocean into tempest wrought, To waft a feather, or to drown a fly. Where falls this censure ? It o’erwhelms
myself; How was my heart incrusted by the world! O how self-fetter'd was my grovelling soul!