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The bards of old bewail'd their birth,
And, shuddering, trac'd their future doom ;
For all was wretchedness on earth,
And doubt and dread beyond the tomb.
Did woe their ". fe of life” consume?
Their sweet and plaintive strains express
No hope but in eternal gloom,
No rest except in nothingness?
Not thus when death itself appears,
The Christian dreads the stern decree;
Hope soars above this vale of tears,
And brightens in eternity !
Redeemer of the world, by thee
Such mercies to thy saints are given ;
Such let thy grace accord to me-
The cross on earth, the crown in heaven.
14.—God is love! To it we owe the blessed gospel; that testimony of love to all, and love in every thing. Love when he chastens, and love when he hides himself behind dark clouds and afflictive dispensations. Here is the ground of a firm faith. By bereavements we are more strongly attracted to that blessed world; we find a richer interest in
the heavenly inheritance. Our future journey will be cheered by the hope of reunion with those who are gone before, and the blissful assurance that our loved ones are in the glory and smile of our divine Lord. Let this assurance induce us, while yet here below, to cherish the delightful feeling that our God is ever with us, about our path, and about our bed, and spiest out all our ways; then shall we pass through things temporal, with things eternal fully and constantly in view. For what is life? How unsubstantial until filled with those feelings and acts which connect it with the perfection of eternity, and convert it into the vestibule of the future spacious temple of being, through which we cannot pass, and from which we can never be excluded!
The voice that I did more esteem
Than music in her sweetest key;
which unto me did seem
More comfortable than the day ;
Those now by me, as they have been,
Shall never more be heard or seen ;
But what I once enjoyed in them,
Shall seem hereafter as a dream.
All earthly comforts vanish thus;
So little hold of them have we,
That we from them or they from us
May in a moment ravish'd be.
Yet we are neither just nor wise,
If present mercies we des pise ;
Or mind not how there may be made
A thankful use of what we had.
HYMN TO HESPERUS.
". The stars, Man's heavenly friends."
Bright solitary beam ! fair speck !
That calling all the stars to duty,
Through stormless ether gleams to deck
The fulgent west's unclouded beauty.
All silent are the fields, and still ;
The umbrageous wood's recesses dreary;
As if calm came at thy sweet will,
And nature of day's strife were weary.
Blent with the season and the scene,
From out her treasured stores, Reflection
Looks to the days when life was green,
With fond and thrilling retrospection.
The earth again seems haunted ground;
Youth smiles, by hope and joy attended ;
And bloom afresh young flowers around, With scent as rich, and hues as splendid.
Fair star! with calm repose and peace,
I hail thy vesper beam returning ;
Thou seemst to say that troubles cease,
In the calm sphere where thou art burning.
Sweet 'tis on thee to gaze, and muse :
Sure, angel wings around thee hover,
And from life's fountain scatter dews
To freshen earth, day's fever over.
Star of the mourner! 'mid the gloom,
When droops the west, o'er day departed,
The widow bends above the tomb
Of him who left her broken-hearted.
Darkness within, and night around,
The joys of life no more can move her ;
But when thou shedst thy beam around,
Heaven's eye appears to glow above her.
Star of declining day, farewell!
Ere liv'd the patriarchs, thou wert yonder;
Ere Isaac, ʼmid the piny dell,
Went forth at eventide to ponder:
And when to death's stern mandate bow,
All whom we love, and all who love us,
Thou shalt uprise, as thou dost now,
To shine and shed thy tears above us.