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To me like victims dress'd ye go,
For tho' in youthful strength ye glow,
Yet ah! behind the pageant show,
Death follows pale and silently.
THE GLORY OF GOD IN CREATION.
PSALM LXXIV. 16, 17.
THOU art, oh God! the life and light
Of all this wondrous world we see;
Its glow by day, its smile by night,
Are but reflections caught from Thee.
Where'er we turn thy glories shine,
And all things fair and bright are Thine.
When day, with farewell beam, delays
Among the opening clouds of even,
And we can almost think we gaze
Through golden vistas into heaven -
Those hues, that make the sun's decline
So soft, so radiant, Lord! are Thine.
When night, with wings of starry gloom,
O'ershadows all the earth and skies,
Like some dark, beauteous bird, whose plume
Is sparkling with unnumber'd eyes
That sacred gloom, those fires divine,
So grand, so countless, Lord! are Thine.
When youthful spring around us breathes,
Thy Spirit warms her fragrant sigh;
And every flower the summer wreaths
Is born beneath that kindling eye.
Where'er we turn, thy glories shine,
And all things fair and bright are Thine.
AN EVENING WALK IN BENGAL.
OUR task is done! o'er Gunga's breast
The sun is sinking down to rest;
And, moor'd beneath the tamarind bough,
Our bark has found its harbour now.
With furled sail, and painted side,
Behold the tiny frigate ride:
Upon her deck, mid charcoal gleams,
The Moslem's savoury supper steams;
While, all apart, beneath the wood,
The Hindoo cooks his simpler food.
Come, walk with me the jungle through; -
If yonder hunter tells us true,
Far off, in desert dank and rude
The tiger holds his solitude;
For (taught by recent harm to shun
The thunders of the English gun),
A dreadful guest, but rarely seen,
Returns, to scare the village green.
Come boldly on! no venom'd snake
Can shelter in so cool a brake;
Child of the sun! he loves to lie
Mid nature's embers, parch'd and dry,
Where o'er some tower, in ruin laid,
The peepul1 spreads its haunted shade,
Or round a tomb his scales to wreath,
Fit warder in the gate of death!
* Peepul Ficus religiosa — is a large tree planted in India near houses for the sake of the dark and extensive shade which it affords. It is held in superstitious veneration by the Hindoos, because their deity Vishnoo is fabled to have been born under its branches. The leaves are heartshaped, on long slender footstalks, which causes them to tremble like those of the aspen tree.
Come on! yet pause! behold us now
Beneath the bamboo's arched bough;
Where, gemming oft that sacred gloom,
Glows the geranium's scarlet bloom;
And winds our path through many a bower
Of fragrant tree and giant flower:
The ceiba's 2 crimson pomp display'd
O'er the broad plantain's humbler shade,
And dusk anana's prickly blade;
While, o'er the brake so wild and fair,
The betel waves his crest in air.
With pendent train, and rushing wings,
Aloft the gorgeous peacock springs;
And he, the bird of hundred dyes 3,
Whose plumes the dames of Ava prize.
So rich a shade,
so green a sod,
Our English fairies never trod;
Yet who in Indian bower has stood,
But thought on England's "good green wood;"
And bless'd, beneath the palmy shade
Her hazel and her hawthorn glade;
And breath'd a prayer (how oft in vain!)
To gaze upon her oaks again.
A truce to thought! the jackal's cry
Resounds like sylvan revelry;
And, through the trees, yon failing ray
Will scantly serve to guide our way.
Yet mark! as fade the upper skies,
Each thicket opes ten thousand eyes: —
Before, beside us, and above
The firefly lights his lamp of love,
Retreating, chasing, sinking, soaring,
The darkness of the night exploring ;
A shrub with scarlet flowers, thence called the Indian geranium.
While, to this cooler air confest,
The broad dhatura bares her breast,
Of fragrant scent and virgin white,
A pearl around the locks of night!
Still as we pass, in soften'd hum,
Along the breezy alleys come
The village song, the horn, the drum.
Still as we pass, from bush and briar,
The shrill cigala strikes his lyre ;
And, what is she whose liquid strain
Thrills through yon copse of sugar-cane!
I know the soul-entrancing swell!
It is it must be. Philomel!
Enough! enough! the rustling trees
Announce a shower upon the breeze.
The flashes of the summer sky
Assume a deeper, ruddier dye;
Yon lamp that trembles on the stream
From forth our cabin sheds its beam;
And we must early sleep, to find,
Betimes, the morning's healthy wind.
But, oh! with thankful hearts confess
E'en here there may be happiness;
And He, the bounteous Sire, has given
His peace on earth his hope of heaven!
WHATEVER passes as a cloud between
The mental eye of faith and scenes unseen,
Causing that brighter world to disappear,
Or seem less lovely, and its hope less dear;
This is our world, our idol, though it bear
Affection's impress, or devotion's air!
REFLECTED in the lake, I love
To mark the star of evening glow,
So tranquil in the heaven above,
So restless in the waves below.
Thus heavenly hope is all serene,
But earthly hope, how bright soe'er,
Still fluctuates o'er this changing scene,
As false and fleeting as 'tis fair.
NAY, shrink not from that word "Farewell!" As if 'twere friendship's final knell;
Such fears may prove but vain : So changeful is life's fleeting day,
We part, to meet again!
E'en the last parting earth can know,
Brings not unutterable woe.
To souls that heavenward soar;
For humble Faith, with stedfast eye
Points to a brighter world on high,
Where hearts, that here at parting sigh,
May meet to part no more.