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STANZAS ON A FINE SUNDAY.
"Earth has not any thing to show more fair;
A sight so touching in its majesty."-WORDSWORTH.
It is the sabbath of the Lord, awake
Ye who in darkness slumber! 'tis a day Most beautiful; as if for Christ's dear sake
The sun pours forth a more resplendent ray, And Nature wears a robe most richly gay; The hinds now from their daily labour rest, The cattle undisturbed keep holiday :
All men, save Mammon's wretched slaves, are blest, And cheerful looks reveal their feelings unexprest.
The woods are sleeping in the sunlight now;
Of the clear lake reflecting Heaven above.
Pure as the prayers that holiest saints approve, Stray children o'er the meads, collecting flowers, The best that may be into garlands wove, To crown each other's brows in greenwood bowers, Ere the church bells proclaim devotion's solemn hours.
Fresh as on Hermon hill the morning dew,
Acceptable as incense that arose
From Aaron's altar, is the homage true
Of hearts to God. Prayer can our numerous woes Remove, and soothe the bosom's fiercest throes! Is there a place on earth that angels greet? Where persecuted Truth may find repose?
It is where congregated neighbours meet
To worship God with holy zeal and in communion sweet.
And well the sunbright day doth harmonise
As heavenward Christians strive their way to win There shines the Triune Sun, there beauty blends
Hues that are faintly seen on earth—the Sabbath never
All that night visions show to bards of heaven,
Are but the colours bright that fancy flings
She hovers near with many-coloured wings; Hence, in the charms that win us without guile, When heighten'd by devotion's glow we see the seraph's
Yet these resemblances from earth are drawn ;
Of light burst on the world with lustre rare
What are analogous to powers that glide
Through glittering orbs succeeding orbs, in circuit wide?
The sun is sinking, the horizon round
Gladdening the heart of youthful innocence.
What is this love of harmony, and whence? Even in our childhood rapture-breathing strains Of music to sublime our souls commence ; Effluent from beautiful realms where concord reigns, They come to promise bliss that God for man ordains.
Mysteriously with feelings deep accord
Light was, the morning stars in concert glad
Till man ungrateful did what Heaven forbade.
September 23, 1832.
P. 344, 1. 1.
What is this love of harmony, and whence ?
Multaque nunc etiam existunt animalia terris,
LUCRETIUS, lib. v. v. 795.
ERE as it is the world its course begun,
The earth o'erteem'd with children of the sun,
Goliah lizards of a former age,
When a hot temperature was all the rage;
What were the ladies of the temperate zone
Then? Warm as central fire-now cold as stone! And man, if man existed then I ween,
Had all the fiery particles of Kean,
Or Byron, when a boy, whose name would spread,
Thank Heaven! we have no Camelfords at school.