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Was not the purchase of my quiet bliss
A life-long anguish and a Cross of woe? 0! much I fear the mountain-path to miss,
If from my sight I lose the gulf below.”
Such lesson learn we by the cradle's side,
Nor other teach dark hills and valleys deep: Where rude rocks fiercest frown, and waters chide,
'Tis but to guard the green mead's lowly sleep.
There is a peak—the raven loves it well,
And all the mists of neighbouring ocean love,Which if you climb, what seem'd a pinnacle
Proves as a wide sea-beach where cormorants rove.
Rocks showered at random, as by giant hands,
Strew the rude terrace :-heedful be his eye, And firm his step, who on the dark edge stands
Beneath the cloud, and downward dares espy.
“What seest thou there?” A thousand feet below,
And further on, far as the mists that sweep Around me suffer, dimly trac'd in snow,
Pale forms I see, reclining on the steep.
Each in his drear ravine, where never ray
Even from the cold north-east in June might fall, They sleep in silence till th' appointed Day,
Nor heed the eagle's scream, the whirlwind's call.
The wastes of vapour, veering round, now hide
And now reveal the watchers dark and vast, Which by each awful resting-place abide,
Grim towering crags :—who there his eye shall cast,
With aught of sin's sad burthen on his soul,
Feels he not like a powerless child forlorn, Over a gulf where flaming billows roll
By a strong outstretch'd Arm as yet upborne ?
() surely then to his heart's deep is brought The
vow, there evermore to cling, And sickening turn from the wild haunting thought,
“What if at once o'er the dread verge I spring ?”
Retiring, sure he to a warning Voice
Will time his footsteps, on a true Arm lean : What happy vale soe'er may crown his choice,
That awful gulf, those rocks will be its screen.
Lo, nestling at the mountain's further base,
And guarded by its terrors, a soft glen : Its waters run a golden gladsome race,
Its windings hide meet homes for pastoral men.
Lord, if in such calm bowers a rest Thou give,
We pray Thee, crown Thy gift with Fear, that we May in the shadow of Thy judgments live,
The wrath o’ertake us on our bended knee.
“ The child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem.”
The cares, the loves of parents fond Go deep, all loves, all cares beyond. Fain would they read the good and ill That nestles in our silent will,
And night and day
They wish and pray
But deeper lurk all breasts within
And far and wide
On every side Our dreams dart on-no earthly guide.
Glad may they be and calm of heart,
Who, out of sight,
Know all is right,
If in pure aims and deeds and
prayers His path mount high, and far from theirs, If seeking him ʼmid friends below They find him not, what joy to know
He hath but turn’d
Where Jesus yearn'd To be ;-where heavenly Love is learn'd!
Thou who didst teach Thy Mother dear,
Prepare Thou still
Our heart and will, Our friends' and ours,—for good and ill.