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GENTLY, dear mother, here
The bridge is broken near thee, and below
The waters with a rapid current flow, -
Gently, and do not fear.
Lean on me, mother: plant thy staff before thee,
For she who loves thee most is watching o'er thee.
The green leaves, as we pass,
Lay their light fingers on thee unaware,
And by thy side the hazels cluster fair,
And the low forest grass
Grows green and lovely where the woodpaths Alas, for thee, dear mother, thou art blind!
And nature is all bright;
And the faint gray and crimson of the dawn,
Like folded curtains from the day are drawn;
And evening's dewy light
Quivers in tremulous softness on the sky,
Alas, dear mother, for thy clouded eye!
The moon's new silver shell
Trembles above thee, and the stars float up
In the blue air, and the rich tulip's cup
Is pencill'd passing well.
And the swift birds on brilliant pinions flee,
Alas, dear mother, that thou canst not see!
And the kind looks of friends
Peruse the sad expressions in thy face,
And the child stops amid his bounding race,
And the tall stripling bends
Low to thine ear, with duty unforgot, -
Alas, dear mother, that thou seest them not!
But thou canst hear!- and love
May richly on a human tone be pour'd,
And the slight cadence of a whisper'd word
A daughter's love may prove;
And while I speak thou knowest if I smile,
Albeit thou dost not see my face the while.
Yes thou canst hear! and He
Who on thy sightless eye its darkness hung,
To the attentive ear, like harps, hath strung
Heaven, and earth, and sea!
And 'tis a lesson in our hearts to know.
With but one sense the soul may overflow!
A CLOUD lay cradled near the setting sun,
A gleam of crimson ting'd its braided snow;
Long had I watch'd the glory moving on,
O'er the still radiance of the lake below:
Tranquil its spirit seem'd, and floated slow,
Ev'n in its very motion there was rest,
While ev'ry breath of eve that chanc'd to blow
Wafted the trav'ller to the beauteous west.
Emblem, methought, of the departed soul,
To whose white robe the gleam of bliss is giv'n,
And by the breath of mercy made to roll
Right onward to the golden gates of heav'n;
Where to the eye of faith it peaceful lies,
And tells to man his glorious destinies.
THY fruit full well the school-boy knows
Wild bramble of the brake!
So, put thou forth thy small white rose ;
I love it for his sake.
Though woodbines flaunt, and roses glow
O'er all the fragrant bowers,
Thou need'st not be ashamed to show
Thy satin-threaded flowers;
For dull the eye, the heart is dull
That cannot feel, how fair,
Amid all beauty beautiful,
Thy tender blossoms are!
How delicate thy gauzy frill!
How rich thy branchy stem!
How soft thy voice, when woods are still,
And thou sing'st hymns to them;
While silent showers are falling slow,
And 'mid the general hush,
A sweet air lifts the little bough,
Lone whispering through the bush!
The primrose to the grave is gone;
The hawthorn flower is dead;
The violet by the moss'd gray stone
Hath laid her weary head;
But thou, wild bramble; back dost bring,
In all their beauteous power,
The fresh green days of life's fair spring
And boyhood's blossomy hour.
Scorn'd bramble of the brake! once more
Thou bidd'st me be a boy,
To gad with thee the woodlands o'er
In freedom and in joy.
BROKEN-HEARTED, weep no more!
Hear what comfort He hath spoken,
Smoking flax who ne'er hath quenched,
Bruised reed who ne'er hath broken 1,
"Ye who wander here below
Heavy laden as you go,
Come, with grief, with sin oppress'd,
Come to me and be at rest!" 2
Lamb of Jesus' blood-bought flock,
Brought again from sin and straying,
Hear the Shepherd's gentle voice,
'Tis a true and faithful saying.
"Greater love how can there be
Than to yield up life for thee? 3
Bought with pang, and tear, and sigh,
Turn and live; why will ye die?" 4
Broken-hearted, weep no more,
Far from consolation flying:
He who calls hath felt thy wound
Seen thy weeping, heard thy sighing;
Bring thy broken heart to me,
Welcome offering it shall be
Streaming tears and bursting sighs,
Mine accepted sacrifice!" 5
1 Isaiah, xlii. 3.
3 John, xv. 13.
5 Psalm li. 17.
2 Matthew, xi. 28.
Ezekiel, xxxiii. 11.
To every cot the lord's indulgent mind
Has a small space for garden-ground assign'd;
Here till return of morn dismiss'd the farm-
The careful peasant plies the sinewy arm,
Warm'd as he works, and casts his look around
On every foot of that improving ground;
It is his own he sees; his master's eye
Peers not about, some secret fault to spy;
Nor voice severe is there, nor censure known;
Hope, profit, pleasure they are all his own.
Here grow the humble cives, and hard by them,
The leek with crown globose and reedy stem;
High climb his pulse in many an even row;
Deep strike the ponderous roots in soil below;
And herbs of potent smell and pungent taste
Give a warm relish to the night's repast;
Apples and cherries grafted by his hand,
And cluster'd nuts for neighbouring market stand.
Nor thus concludes his labour; near the cot,
The reed-fence rises round some fav'rite spot;
Where rich carnations, pinks with purple eyes,
Proud hyacinths, the least some florist's prize,
Tulips tall stemm'd, and pounc'd auriculas rise.
Here on a Sunday-eve, when service ends,
Meet and rejoice a family of friends;
All speak aloud, are happy and are free,
And glad they seem, and gaily they agree.
What, though fastidious ears may shun the speech
Where all are talkers, and where none can teach; Where still the welcome and the words are old, And the same stories are for ever told;
Yet there is joy that, bursting from the heart, Prompts the glad tongue these nothings to impart;