THE TRANCE OF TIME.
"Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,
Atque metus omnes, et inexorabile farum
Subjecit pedibus, strepiturnque Acherontis avari!"
In childhood, when with eager eyes
The season-measured year I view'd,
All, garb'd in fairy guise,
Pledged constancy of good.
Spring sang of heaven ; the summer flowers
Bade me gaze on, and did not fade;
Even suns o'er autumns bowers
Heard my strong wish, and stay'd.
They came and went, the short-lived four;
Yet, as their varying dance they wove,
To my young heart each bore
Its own sure claim of love.
Far different now;—the whirling year
Vainly my dizzy eyes pursue;
And its fair tints appear
All blent in one dusk hue.
Why dwell on rich autumnal lights,
Spring-time, or winter's social ring?
Long days are fire-side nights,
Brown autumn is fresh spring.
Then what this earth to thee, my heart?
Its gifts nor feed thee nor can bless.
Thou hast no owner's part
In all its fleetingness.
The flame, the storm, the quaking ground,
Earth's joy, earth's terror, nought is thine,
Thou must but hear the sound
Of the still voice divine.
O priceless art! O princely state!
E'en while by sense of change opprest,
Within to antedate
Heaven's Age of fearless rest.
High-wood. October, 1827.
OF ISAIAH, CHAP. LXIV.
O That Thou wouldest rend the breadth of sky, That veils Thy presence from the sons of men! O that, as erst Thou carnest from on high Sudden in strength, Thou so would'st come
Track'd out by judgments was Thy fiery path,
Ocean and mountain withering in Thy wrath!
Then would Thy name—the Just, the Merci-
Strange dubious attributes to human mind—
Appal Thy foes ; and, kings, who spurn Thy
Then, then would quake to hopeless doom consign'd.
See, the stout bows, and totters the secure, While pleasure's bondsman hides his head impure!
Come down! for then shall from its seven
To him who thirsts the draught of life be given; Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard the
things Which He hath purposed for the heirs of
A God of love, guiding with gracious ray
Each meek rejoicing pilgrim on his way.
Yea, though we err, and Thine averted face
Rebukes the folly in Thine Israel done,
Will not that hour of chastisement give place
To beams, the pledge of an eternal sun?
Yes ! for His counsels to the end endure;
We shall be saved, our rest abideth sure.
Lord, Lord! our sins . . . our sins . . , unclean are we,
Gross and corrupt; our seeming-virtuous deeds Are but abominate ; all, dead to Thee, Shrivel, like leaves when summer's green recedes;
While, like the autumn blast, our lusts arise, And sweep their prey where the fell serpent lies.
None, there is none to plead with God in
Bracing his laggart spirit to the work
Of intercession ; conscience-sprung despair,
Sin-loving still, doth in each bosom lurk.
Guilt calls Thee to avenge ;—Thy risen ire
Sears like a brand, we gaze and we expire.
But now, O Lord, our Father! we are Thine,
Design and fashion ; senseless while we lay,
Thou, as the potter, with a Hand Divine,
Didst mould Thy vessels of the sluggish clay.
Mark not our guilt, Thy word of wrath recall,
Lo, we are Thine by price, Thy people all!
Alas for Zion ! 'tis a waste ;—the fair,
The holy place in flames ;—where once our
Kindled the sacrifice of praise and prayer,
Far other brightness gleams from Gentile fires.
Low lies our pride ;—and wilt Thou self-deny
Thy rescuing arm, unvex'd amid Thine Israel's
cry? Brighton. September, 1821. 26 CON SO LA T1ONS IN BE RE A VEMENT.
CONSOLATIONS IN BEREAVEMENT.
Death was full urgent with thee, Sister dear,
And startling in his speed ;— Brief pain, then languor till thy end came near—
Such was the path decreed,
The hurried road
To lead thy soul from earth to thine own God's abode.
Death wrought with thee, sweet maid, impatiently :—
Yet merciful the haste
That baffles sickness ;—dearest, thou didst die,
Thou wast not made to taste
Decline's slow-wasting charm, or fever's fierce distress.
Death came unheralded :—but it was well;
For so thy Saviour bore Kind witness, thou wast meet at once to dwell
On His eternal shore;
CON SO LA TIONS IN BEREA VEMENT. 2^
All warning spared,
For none He gives where hearts are for prompt change prepared.
Death wrought in mystery; both complaint and cure
To human skill unknown :—
God put aside all means, to make us sure
It was His deed alone;
Lest we should lay
Reproach on our poor selves, that thou wast caught away.
Death urgent as scant of time :—lest, Sister dear,
We many a lingering day Had sickened with alternate hope and fear. The ague of delay;
Watching each spark
Of promise quench'd in turn, till all our sky was dark.
Death came and went:—that so thy image might
Our yearning hearts possess,
Associate with all pleasant thoughts and bright, With youth and loveliness;
Sorrow can claim,
Mary, nor lot nor part in thy soft soothing name.
Joy of sad hearts, and light of downcast eyes!
Dearest thou art enshrined
In all thy fragrance in our memories;
For we must ever find
Bare thought ofthee
Freshen this weary life, while weary life shall be.
Oxford. April, 1828.
A VOICE FROM AFAR.
Weep not for me ;—
Be blithe as wont, nor tinge with gloom
The stream of love that circles home,
Light hearts and free!
Joy in the gifts Heaven's bounty lends;
Nor miss my face, dear friends!
I still am near ;—
Watching the smiles I prized on earth, Your converse mild, your blameless mirth;
Now too I hear
Of whisper'd sounds the tale complete,
Low prayers, and musings sweet.
A sea before
The Throne is spread ;—its pure still glass Pictures all earth-scenes as they pass.
We, on its shore, Share, in the bosom of our rest,
God's knowledge, and are blest.
Horsepath. September 29, 1829.
THE HIDDEN ONES.
Hid are the saints of God ;—
Uncertified by high angelic sign;
Nor raiment soft, nor empire's golden rod
Marks them divine.
Theirs but the unbought air, earth's parent sod,
And the sun's smile benign;
Christ rears His throne within the secret heart, From the haughty world apart.
They gleam amid the night, Chill sluggish mists stifling the heavenly ray; Fame chants the while,—old history trims his light,
Aping the day;
In vain ! staid look, loud voice, and reason's might
Forcing its learned way,
Blind characters ! these aid us not to trace
Christ and His princely race.
Yet not all-hid from those
Who watch to see;—'neath their dull guise of
earth, Bright bursting beams unwittingly disclose
Their heaven-wrought birth. Meekness, love, patience, faith's serene repose;
And the soul's tutor'd mirth, Bidding the slow heart dance, to prove her power
O'er self in its proud hour.
These are the chosen few, The remnant fruit of largely-scatter'd grace, God sows in waste, to reap whom He foreknew
Of man's cold race: Counting on wills perverse, in His clear view
Of boundless time and space, He waits, by scant return for treasures given, To fill the thrones of heaven.
Lord ! who can trace but Thou The strife obscure, 'twixt sin's soul-thralling
And Thy keen Spirit, now quench'd, reviving now?
Or who can tell,
Why pardon's seal stands sure on David's brow,
Why Saul and Demas fell? Oh ! lest our frail hearts in the annealing break,
Help, for Thy mercy's sake!
Horsepath. • September, 1829.
*' Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.':
Lord, in this dust Thy sovereign voice
First quicken'd love divine;
I am all Thine, —Thy care and choice,
My very praise is Thine.
I praise Thee, while Thy providence
In childhood frail I trace,
For blessings given, ere dawning sense
Could seek or scan Thy grace;
Blessings in boyhood's marvelling hour,
Bright dreams, and fancyings strange;
Blessings, when reason's awful power
Gave thought a bolder range;
Blessings of friends, which to my door
Unask'd, unhoped, have come;
And, choicer still, a countless store
Of eager smiles at home.
Yet, Lord, in memory's fondest place
I shrine those seasons sad, When, looking up, I saw Thy face
In kind austereness clad.
I would not miss one sigh or tear,
Heart-pang, or throbbing brow;
Sweet was the chastisement severe,
And sweet its memory now.
Yes I let the fragrant scars abide,
Love-tokens in Thy stead,
Faint shadows of the spear-pierced side
And thorn-encompass'd head.
And such Thy tender force be still,
When self would swerve or stray, Shaping to truth the froward will Along Thy narrow way.
Deny me wealth; far, far remove
The lure of power or name;
Hope thrives in straits, in weakness love,
And faith in this world's shame.
Oxford. October 20, , 821).
THE BRAND OF CAIN.
I Bear upon my brow the sign
Of sorrow and of pain;
Alas! no hopeful cross is mine,
It is the brand of Cain.
The course of passion and the fret
Of godless hope and fear,— Toil, care, and guilt, —their hues have set,
And fix'd their sternness there.
Saviour! wash out the imprinted shame;
That I no more may pine,
Sin's martyr, though not meet to claim
Thy cross, a saint of Thine.
Oxford. November 18, 1832.
ZEAL AND LOVE,
And would'st thou reach, rash scholar mine,
Love's high unruffled state? Awake ! thy easy dreams resign,
First learn thee how to hate :—
Hatred of sin, and Zeal, and Fear,
Lead up the Holy Hill; Track them, till Charity appear
A self-denial still.
Dim is the philosophic flame,
By thoughts severe unfed: Book-lore ne'er served, when trial came,
Nor gifts, when faith was dead. Oxford. November 20,
"And the woman fled into the wilderness."
Say, who is he in deserts seen,
Or at the twilight hour? Of garb austere, and dauntless mien, Measured in speech, in purpose keen, Calm as in Heaven he had been,
Yet blithe when perils lower.
My Holy Mother made reply,
'' Dear child, it is my Priest. The world has cast me forth, and I
Dwell with wild earth and gusty sky;
He bears to men my mandates high,
And works my sage behest.
'' Another day, dear child, and thou
Shalt join his sacred band. Ah ! well I deem, thou shrinkest now From urgent rule, and severing vow; Gay hopes flit round, and light thy brow:
Time hath a taming hand!"
Oxford. November 22,
ZEAL AND PURITY.
"Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord."
Thou to wax fierce
In the cause of the Lord,
To threat and to pierce
With the heavenly sword!
Anger and Zeal,
And the Joy of the brave,
Who bade thee to feel,
The Altar's pure flame
Consumes as it soars:
Faith meetly may blame,
For it serves and adores.
Thou warnest and smitest!
Yet Christ must atone
For a soul that thou slightest—
Oxford. November 23, 1832.
THE GIFT OF PERSEVERANCE.
Once, as I brooded o'er my guilty stale,
A fever seized me, duties to devise,
To buy me interest in my Saviour's eyes:
Not that His love I would extenuate,
But scourge and penance, masterful self-hate, Or gift of cost, served by an artifice
To quell my restless thoughts and envious sighs,
And doubts, which fain heaven's peace would antedate.
Thus as I tossed, He said :—•" E'en hottest
deeds Shroud not the soul from God, nor soothe
Deny thee thine own fears, and wait the end!" Stern lesson! Let me con it day by day, And learn to kneel before the Omniscient
Nor shrink, when Truth's avenging shafts descend!
Oxford. November 23, 1832.
THE SIGN OF THE CROSS.
Whene'er across this sinful flesh of mine
I draw the Holy Sign, All good thoughts stir within me and renew
Their slumbering strength divine; Till there springs up a courage high and true
To suffer and to do.
And who shall say, but hateful spirits round,
For their brief hour unbound,
Shudder to see, and wail their overthrow?
While on far heathen ground
Some lonely Saint hails the fresh odor, though
Its source he cannot know.
Oxford. November 25, 1832,
0 Prophet, tell me not of peace,
Or Christ's all-loving deeds;
Death only can from sin release,
And death to judgment leads.
Thou from thy birth hast set thy face
Towards thy Redeemer Lord;
To tend and deck His holy place,
And note His secret word.
1 ne'er shall reach Heaven's glorious path;
Yet haply tears may stay
The purpose of His instant wrath,
And slake the fiery day.
Then plead for one who cannot pray,
Whose faith is but despair,
Who hates his heart, nor puts away
The sin that rankles there.
Iffley- , November 28, 1832.
THE SCARS OF SIN.
My smile is bright, my glance is free,
My voice is calm and clear;
Dear friend, I seem a type to thee
Of holy love and fear.
But I am scann'd by eyes unseen,
And these no saint surround;
They mete what is by what has been,
And joy the lost is found.
Erst my good Angel shrank to see
My thoughts and ways of ill;
And now he scarce dare gaze on me,
Scar-seam'd and crippled still.
November 2g, 1832.
Are these the tracks of some unearthly
His foot prints, and his vesture-skirts of light, Who, as I talk with men, conforms aright Their sympathetic words, or deeds that blend With my hid thought; —or stoops him to
attend My doubtful-pleading grief;—or blunts the
Of ill I see not;—or in dreams of night Figures the scope, in which what is will end? Were I Christ's own, then fitly might I call That vision real; for to the thoughtful mind That walks with Him, He half unveils His
face; But, when on earth-stain'd souls such tokens
fell, These dare not claim as theirs what there they
find, Yet, not all hopeless, eye His boundless grace.
Whitchurch. December 3, 1832. SUBSTANCE AND SHADOW.
t They do but grope in learning's pedant round,
Who on the fantasies of sense bestow
An idol substance, bidding us bow low
Before those shades of being which are found,
Stirring or still, on man's brief trial-ground;
As if such shapes and moods, which come and
go, Had aught of Truth or Life in their poor
show, To sway or judge, and skill to sane or
Son of immortal seed, high-destined Man! Know thy dread gilt,—a creature, yet a cause: Each mind is its own centre, and it draws Home to itself, and moulds in its thought's
All outward things, the vassals of its will, Aided by Heaven, by earth unthwarted still.
Falmouth. December 7, 1832.
Ere yet I left home's youthful shrine, My heart and hope were stored
Where first I caught the rays divine, And drank the Eternal Word.
I went afar ; the world unroll'd
Her many-pictured page;
I stored the marvels which she told,
And trusted to her gage.
Her pleasures quaff'd, I sought awhile The scenes I prized before;
But parent's praise and sister's smile
Stirr'd my cold heart no more.
So ever sear, so ever cloy
Earth's favors as they fade;
Since Adam lost for one fierce joy
His Eden's sacred shade.
0/the Lizard. December 8, i THE SAINT AND THE HERO.
0 Aged Saint! far off I heard
The praises of thy name ;—
Thy deed of power, thy prudent word,
Thy zeal's triumphant flame.
1 came and saw ; and, having seen,
Weak heart, I drew offence
From thy prompt smile, thy simple mein, Thy lowly diligence.
The Saint's is not the Hero's praise ;—
This I have found, and learn
Nor to malign Heaven's humblest ways
Nor its least boon to spurn.
Bay of Biscay. December 10, 1832.
Poor wand'rers, ye are sore distress'd
To find that path which Christ has bless'd,
Track'd by His saintly throng:
Each claims to trust his own weak will,
Blind idol !—so ye languish still,
All wranglers and all wrong.
He saw of old, and met your need,
Granting you prophets of His creed,
The throes of fear to swage;
They fenced the rich bequest He made,
And sacred hands have safe convey'd
Their charge from age to age.
Wand'rers ! come home ! obey the call!
A Mother pleads, who ne'er let fall
One grain of Holy Truth;
Warn you and win she shall and must,
For now she lifts her from the dust,
To reign as in her youth.
Off Cape Or legal. December //, 1832
Faint not. and fret not, for threaten'd woe,
Watchman on Truth's grey height!
Few though the faithful, and fierce though the foe, Weakness is aye Heaven s might.
Infidel Ammon and niggard Tyre,
Ill-fitted pair, unite; Some work for love, and some work for hire,
But weakness shall be Heaven's might.
Eli's feebleness, Saul's black wrath,
May aid Ahithophel's spite; And prayers from Gerizim, and curses from Gath
Our weakness shall prove Heaven's might.
Quail not, and quake not, thou Warder bold,
Be there no friend in sight;
Turn thee to question the days of old,
When weakness was aye Heaven's might.
Moses was one, but he stay'd the sin
Of the host, in the Presence bright;
And Elias scorn'd the Carmel din,
When Baal would match Heaven's might.
Time's years are many, Eternity one,
And one is the Infinite; The chosen are few, few the deeds well done,
For scantness is still Heaven's might.
At Sea. December 12, 1832.