The poison or the nectar

The heart's deep flower-cups yield, A sample still they gather swift

And leave us in the field.

And some flit by on pinions

Of joyous gold and blue,
And some flag on with drooping wings

Of sorrow's darker hue;
But still they steal the record,

And bear it far away;
Their mission-flight by day or night,

No magic power can stay.

And as we spend each minute

That God to us hath given, The deeds are known before His throne,

The tale is told in heaven. These bee-like hours we see not,

Nor hear their noiseless wings; We only feel, too oft, when flown,

That they have left their stings.

So teach me, Heavenly Father,

To meet each flying bour,
That as they go they may not show

My heart a poison flower!
So, when death brings its shadows,

The hours that linger last
Shall bear my hopes on angel-wings,
Unfetter'd by the past.


The Repentant Sinner.
Fever thou hast felt another's pain,

If ever, when he sighed, hast sighed again,
If ever on thy eyelid stood the tear
That pity had engendered, drop one here.
This man was happy—had the world's good word,
And with it every joy it can afford;
Friendship and love seemed tenderly at strife,
Which most should sweeten his untroubled life;
Politely learned, and of a gentle race,
Good breeding and good sense gave all a grace,
And whether at the toilet of the fair
He laughed and trifled, made him welcome there;
Or if in masculine debate he shared,
Ensured him mute attention, and regard.
Alas, how changed ! expressive of his mind,
His eyes are sunk, arms folded, head reclined;
Those awful syllables, hell, death, and sin,
Though whispered, plainly tell what works

within; That conscience there performs her proper part, And writes a doomsday sentence on his heart. Forsaking and forsaken of all friends, He now perceives where earthly pleasure ends; Hard task! for one who lately knew no care, And harder still, as learned beneath despair; His hours no longer pass unmarked away, A dark importance saddens every day; He hears the notice of the clock perplexed, And cries, "Perhaps eternity strikes next.”

Sweet music is no longer music here,
And laughter sounds like madness in his ear;
His grief the world of all her power disarms,
Wine has no taste, and beauty has no charms;
God's holy word, once trivial in his view,
Now by the voice of his experience true,
Seems as it is, the fountain whence alone
Must spring that hope he pants to make his own.
Now let the bright reverse be known abroad;
Say man's a worm, and power belongs to God.
As when a felon, whom his country's laws
Have justly doomed for some atrocious cause,
Expects in darkness and heart-chilling fears
The shameful close of all his misspent years,
If chance, on heavy pinions slowly borne,
A tempest usher in the dreadful morn,
Upon his dungeon walls the lightnings play,
The thunder seems to summon him away,
The warder at the door his key applies,
Shoots back the bolt, and all his courage dies ;
If then, just then, all thoughts of mercy lost,
When hope, long lingering, at last yields up the

The sound of pardon pierce his startled ear,
He drops at once his fetters, and his fear;
A transport glows in all he looks and speaks,
And the first thankful tears bedew his cheeks.
Joy, far superior joy, that much outweighs
The comfort of a few poor added days,
Invades, possesses, and o’erwhelms the soul
Of him whom hope has with a touch made


'Tis heaven, all heaven, descending on the wings Of the glad regions of the King of kings; 'Tis more :- —'tis God diffused through every part, 'Tis God Himself triumphant in his heart; Oh! welcome now, the sun's once hated light, His noon-day beams were never half so bright! Not kindred minds alone are called to employ Their hours, their days, in listening to his joy; Unconscious nature ! all that he surveys, Rocks, groves, and streams, must join him in his praise.


The Hollow Tworld. SHE HE is empty: hark! she sounds: there's

nothing there

But noise to fill thy ear;
Thy vain inquiry can at length but find

A blast of murmuring wind:
It is a cask that seems as full as fair,

But merely tunned with air.
Fond youth, go build thy hopes on better grounds;

The soul that vainly founds
Her joys upon this world, but feeds on empty

She is empty: hark! she sounds: there's nothing


The spark-engendering flint
Shall sooner melt, and hardest raunce shall first

Dissolve and quench the thirst,

Ere this false world shall still thy stormy breast

With smooth-faced alms of rest.
Thou may'st as well expect meridian light

From shades of black-mouthed Night,
As in this empty world to find a full delight.
She is empty: hark ! she sounds : 'tis void and


What if some flattering blast
Of flatuous honour should perchance be there,

And whisper in thine ear?
It is but wind, and blows but where it list,

And vanisheth like mist.
Poor honour earth can give! What generous mind

Would be so base to bind Her heaven-bred soul, a slave to serve a blast of

wind ? She is empty: hark ! she sounds : 'tis but a ball

For fools to play withal;
The painted film but of a stronger bubble,

That's lined with silken trouble.
It is a world whose work and recreation

Is vanity and vexation :
A hag, repaired with vice-complexioned paint,

A quest-house of complaint, It is a saint, a fiend; worse fiend when most a

saint. She is empty: hark! she sounds: 'tis vain and void.

What's here to be enjoyed, But grief and sickness, and large bills of sorrow,

Drawn now and crossed to-morrow ?

« VorigeDoorgaan »