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And to leaven with fiery leaven
All the hearts of men for ever;
Yet all bars, whose hearts unblighted
Honor and believe the presage, Hold aloft their torches lighter, Gleaming through the realms benighted,
As they onward bear the message!
THE LADDER OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
SAINT AUGUSTINE! well hast thou said,
That of our vices we can traine A ladder, if we will but tread
Beneath our feet each deed of shame!
All conmon things, each day's events,
That with the hour begin and end, Our pleasures and our discontents,
Are rounds by which we may ascend.
The low desire, the base design,
That makes another's virtues less ; The revel of the ruddy wine,
And all occasions of excess;
The longing for ignoble things;
The strife for triumph inore than truth; The hardening of the heart, that brings
Irreverence for the dreams of youth;
All thoughts of ill; all evil deeds,
That have their root in thoughts of ill; Whatever hinders or impedes
The action of the nobler will;
THE LADDER OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
All these must first be trampled down
Beneath our feet, if we would gain
The right of eminent domain.
We have not wings, we cannot soar;
But we have feet to scale and climb
The cloudy summits of our time.
The mighty pyramids of stone
Chat wedge-like cleave the desert airs,
Are but gigantic flights of stairs.
The distant mountains, that uprear
Their solid bastions to the skies,
As we to higher levels rise.
The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Standing on what too long we bore
With shoulders bent and downcast eyes, We may discern --unseen before —
A path to higher destinies.
Nor deem the irrevocable Past,
As wholly wasted, wholly vain,
To something nobler we attain.
THE PHANTOM SHIP.
In Mather's Magnalia Christi,
Of the old colonial time,
That is here set down in rhyine.
A ship sailed from New Haven,
And the keen and frosty airs, That filled her sails at parting,
Were heavy with good men's prayers.
“ Lord! if it be thy pleasure
Thus prayed the old divine “ To bury our friends in the ocean,
Take them, for they are thine!”
But Master Lamberton muttered,
And under his breath said he, “ This ship is so crank and walty
I fear our grave she will be !
And the ships that came from England,
When the winter months were gone, Brought no tidings of this vessel
Nor of Master Lamberton.
This put the people to praying
That the Lord would let them hear What in his greater wisdom
He had done with friends so dear.
And at last their prayers were answered:
It was in the month of June, An hour before the sunset
Of a windy afternoon,
366 THE WARDEN OF TIE CINQUE PORTS.
When, steadily steering landward,
A ship was seen below,
Who sailed so long ago.
On she came, with a cloud of canvas,
Right against the wind that blew,
The faces of the crew.
Then fell her straining topmasts,
Hanging tangled in the shrouds,
And blown away like clouds.
And the masts, with all their rigging,
Fell slowly, one by one,
As a sea-mist in the sun !
And the people who saw this marrel
Each said unto his friend,
And thus ber tragic end.
And the pastor of the village
Gave thanks to God in prayer,
He had sent this Ship of Air.
THE WARDEN OF THE CINQUE PORTS
A Mist was driving down the British Channel,
The day was just begun, And through the window-panes, on floor and panel,
Streamed the red autuinn sun.
It glanced on flowing flag and rippling pennon,
And the white sails of ships; And, from the frowning rampart, the black cannon
Hailed it with feverish lips.
Sandwich and Romney, Hastings, Hithe, and Dover
Were all alert that day,
When the fog cleared away.
Sullen and silent, and like couchant lions,
Their cannon, through the night,
And now they roared at drum-beat from their
stations On every citadel; Each answering each, with morning salutations,
That all was well.
And down the coast, all taking up the burden,
Replied the distant forts,
And Lord of the Cinque Ports.
Ilim shall no sunshine from the fields of azure,
No drum-beat from the wall, No morning gun from the black fort's embrasura
Awaken with its call!
No more, surveying with an eye impartial
The long line of the coast,
Be seen upon his post !
For in the night, unseen, a single warrior,
In sombre harness mailed,