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Thy creatures leap not, but express a feast,
Where all the guests sit close, and nothing wants.
Frogs, marry fish and flesh; bats, bird and beast;
Sponges, non-sense, and sense; mines, th' earth and
To shew thou art not bound, as if thy lot
Were worse than ours, sometimes thou shiftest hands.
Most things move th' under jaw; the crocodile not.
Most things sleep lying; th' elephant leans, or stands.
But who hath praise enough? nay, who hath any ?
None can express thy works, but he that knows them;
And none can know thy works, which are so many
And so complete, but only He that owes them.
All things that are, though they have sev'ral ways,
Yet in their being, join with one advice
To honour thee; and so I give thee praise
In all my other hymns, but in this, twice.
Each thing that is, altho' in use and name
It go for one, hath many ways in store
To honour thee: and so each hymn thy fame
Extolleth many ways; yet this, one more.
Yet once more ; and once more, awake my Harp,
From silence and neglect--one lofty strain,
Lofty, yet wilder than the winds of Heaven;
And speaking mysteries more than words can tell,
I ask of thee, for I, with hymnings high,
Would join the dirge of the departing year.
Yet with no wintry garland from the woods
Wrought of the leafless branch, or ivy sear,
Wreathe I thy tresses, dark December! now;
Me higher quarrel calls, with loudest song,
And fearful joy to celebrate the day
Of the Redeemer.- Near two thousand suns
Have set their seals upon the rolling lapse
Of generations, since the Day-spring first
Beam'd from on high! Now to the mighty mass
Of that increasing aggregate we add
One unit more. Space, in comparison,
How small, yet inark'd with how much misery ;
Wars, famines, and the fury pestilence,
Over the nations hanging her dread scourge ;
The oppress’d, too, in silent bitterness,
Weeping their sufferance; and the arm of wrong,
Forcing the scanty portion from the weak,
And steeping the lone widow's couch with tears.
So has the year been character'd with woe,
In Christian land, and mark'd with wrongs and crimes :
Yet 'twas not thus He taught-not thus He lived,
Whose birth we this day celebrate with prayer
And much thanksgiving-He a man of woes,
Went on the way appointed : path, though rude,
Yet borne with patience still :-He came to cheer
The broken-hearted, to raise
And on the wandering and benighted mind
To pour the light of truth.-0 task divine !
O more than angel teacher! He had words
To soothe the barking waves, and hush the winds :
And when the soul was toss'd with troubled seas,
Wrapp'd in thick darkness and the howling storm,
He, pointing to the star of peace on high,
Arm'd it with holy fortitude, and bade it smile
At the surrounding wreck.-
When with deep agony his heart was rack'd,
Not for himself the tear-drop dew'd his cheek,
For them He wept, for them to Heaven He pray'd,
His persecutors— Father, pardon them,
They know not what they do.'
Angels of Heaven,
Ye who beheld Him fainting on the cross,
And did him homage, say, may mortal join
The hallelujahs of the risen God?
Will the faint voice and grovelling song be heard
Amid the Seraphim in light divine ?
Yes, He will deign, the Prince of Peace will deign,
For mercy to accept the hymn of faith,
Low though it be and humble.-Lord of life,
The Christ, the Comforter, thine advent now,
Fills my uprising soul.-I mount, I fly
Far o'er the skies, beyond the rolling orbs;
The bonds of flesh dissolve, and earth recedes,
And care, and pain, and sorrow are no more.
ON THE EVE OF A NEW YEAR.
My days and weeks, and months and years
Fly, rapid as the whirling spheres
Around the steady pole:
Time, like the tide, its motion keeps,
Till I shall launch those boundless deeps,
Where endless ages roll.
Eternal bliss, or endless woe,
Hangs on this inch of time below,
This poor precarious breath-
The God of nature only knows
Whether another year shall close,
Ere I expire in death.
But will my soul be then extinct,
And cease to live, or cease to think?
It cannot, cannot be :
If Heaven decrees it must not die;
What shall I do, or whither fly,
When death has set it free?
Before thy throne, Great God, I bow,
And humbly beg assistance now,
To know my real state:
While life, and health, and time endure,
Fain would I make my heav'n secure,
Before it be too late.
If in destruction's road I stray,
Help me to choose that better way,
Which leads to joys on high;
My soul renew, my sins forgive;
Nor let me ever dare to live
Such as I dare not die!
With thee let every day be past;
And when that comes, which proves my last,
May glory dawn within!
Then banish me from every doubt;
And, ere life's glimmering lamp goes out,
Let endless joys begin.
[REV. J. LAWSON, MISSIONARY AT CALCUTTA.]
That first farewell to home and friends,
That word, though fond, which burns and rends,
Hangs on the lips with long delay,
The all that grief and love can say.
O God, forgive! 'twas English earth
That gave the fugitive his birth;
Forgive that he could kiss the clay
He sanctified to thee that day.
'Twas as a dream, confused and dark,
To see the waves, the unmoored bark,-
The sadness of a sister's tear,
As though she stood beside his bier.
How vain the sigh-the earnest glance,
The silent speaking countenance;
The stifled sobs that load the heart
That loved, yet could consent to part.
'Twas love of home that made him grieve,
A nobler passion made him leave;
Then let sweet charity attend
His foreign grave, and silent bend.
Where he a wanderer through each clime,
Found refuge from the strife of time;
Though frail as autumn's leaf and sere,
Yet leaving all his frailties there;
In life, a cloud before the blast,
Yet calm with setting hope at last;
Mourn what he was, sing what he is,
A child of woe, an heir of bliss.